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Iowa 28, Wisconsin 7: Full of Heart

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Christmas came early boys and girls

Wisconsin v Iowa Photo by Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Your Iowa Hawkeyes played the HATED Wisconsin Badgers in what some call a football game. Others call it masochism. Whatever you wanna call it, make sure you call it a 28-7 Iowa win.

I’d like to describe the first half to you. But at the Iowa School of Journalism, we learned to “show, don’t tell.”

So here’s how the first 30 minutes went:

Wisconsin had just 66 yards of offense in the first half. Iowa, 112. It was enough to surge the Hawks to 6 points off the foot of Keith Duncan. But a fortunate fumble recovery, and a 4th-down stuff on Wisconsin’s broke-ass wildcat to end the second half put the offense just close enough to the uprights to get some points.

Spencer Petras wasn’t sharp, but neither was Graham Mertz. The two combined for 16/31 for just 120ish yards. Neither quarterback got too much help from their receivers, and Ihmir Smith-Marsette had a bad drop on Iowa’s last possession of the first half. An offensive pass interference call on Tyrone Tracy hamstrung another play that drive, but I think the weather combined with weird play calling made things difficult as possible for the Hawkeyes.

A great catch and run by Tyler Goodson set up the field goal, and Iowa went into the half up.

The Badgers got the ball to start the second half, and didn’t do a GD thing. They went all of 46 yards to kick a ball five yards short of the upright and give the Hawks primo field position at its 43.

A 38-yard pass to ISM on first down set up a B-E-A-utiful (albeit under-thrown) fade to him three plays later for 19 yards and the first touchdown of game. A sexy little two point conversion made it a two touchdown game and put the Hawks in the drivers seat.

The Iowa defense forced a three and out the ensuing drive, but Charlie Jones coughed up the return.

With the ball at Iowa’s 25, Wisconsin needed just three plays to get in the end zone following a one-yard scamper from Nakia Watson. Fourteen-seven and it felt like this is when the Badge do Badge things.

Three Iowa plays and one yard later, they’d get the chance to knot the game up.

But the Hawkeye defense had another plan as Chauncey Golston had himself a violent sack on third down to give the boys their ball back.

Two runs to Goodson and another to Mekhi Sargent set up the longest play for the Iowa offense all year (at the time):

ISM went to the locker room following his front flip and that’s a problem for next week.

Wisconsin trudged 26 yards until it was faced with a third and one on its own 34.

Over their timeout, the Badgers drew up a stupid little Mertz scamper to extend the drive, but it wouldn’t matter because he’d eventually miss a wide open Garret Groshek on 4th down a few plays later to give Iowa the ball back up 21-7 with just over seven minutes to play.

Iowa turned the ball over on downs itself after a bizarre punting situation that I don’t really know how to describe.

What I do know how to describe is Iowa’s goal line stand after Wisconsin got the ball on Iowa’s five.

Wisconsin gained zero yards, and Mertz threw the ball into the arms of Jack Campbell on fourth down.

Then, Tyler Goodson sealed the deal.

Eighty yards, one touchdown, and Iowa with a 28-7 lead late into the fourth.

After five years, the trophy is coming home.

Others

  • Nick Niemann might be better than his brother
  • ISM came back onto the field in a walking boot after his ill-advised celebration
  • I think Chauncey Golston had his best game of the year
  • Petras’ stat line will end just fine: 14-25, 211 yards and 2 touchdowns. I think it’d be even better if the weather were more cooperative