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A.J.’s Annihilations: Defense Finally Struggles in Loss to Badgers

Fifteen more minutes of possession time for Wisconsin wears down defense.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 09 Iowa at Wisconsin
A.J. Epenesa with the strip sack in the first quarter.
Photo by Dan Sanger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Hawkeyes dropped a close one to Wisconsin 24-22 in Madison. The loss drops Iowa to 6-3 and out of the picture in the Big Ten West. Up next is a home date against Minnesota as Iowa tries to position itself for a better bowl appearance.

Game Notes:

A.J. Epenesa had one tackle in the game and it was a strip sack in the first quarter as shown below.

The big story of the game to me is that Iowa wasn’t able to get a ton of pressure on Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan nor was the defensive line able to hold up the Badger offensive line enough to allow the Iowa linebackers to make tackles on Badger running back Jonathan Taylor who ran for 250 yards on 31 carries.

Wisconsin had the ball for 37 minutes and 24 seconds compared to just 22 minutes and 36 seconds for Iowa. This is a discrepancy of 71 offensive plays for the Badgers to only 51 for Iowa. Undoubtedly this led to the defense wearing down, but it seems to be incumbent on the coaches to find ways to get more pressure on the quarterback and ways to key on star running backs like Taylor. Playing a base defense the whole game just won’t work against top teams.

2018 Annihilations: 10.5

2019 Annihilations: 4.5

This Week Last Year: Northwestern 14, Iowa 10

Another loss from 2018 that is too depressing to write about again. If you need the refresher, the highlights are below and if you don’t want to be depressed, you can just watch Epenesa blow up the Northwestern left tackle.

Up Next: Minnesota

After a disappointing showing against Wisconsin, Iowa has a quick chance for redemption as they host an undefeated and #7 ranked (#8 in playoff rankings) Minnesota team.

Iowa v Minnesota
The Hawkeyes hope to keep Floyd at home.
Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images