Wisconsin came up with the big performance it needed to have in the 17-9 win over Iowa to get back in control of the Big Ten West … maybe. What does it all mean?
Wisconsin 17, Iowa 9: What Does It All Mean?
– What’s the difference between last year’s Wisconsin team and this year’s version? Last year’s team found a way to lose the battle with the Hawkeyes by screwing up and not taking advantage of the chances to put the game away. This Bucky team kept screwing up – especially in the Red Zone – and should’ve put the game away earlier, but the D didn’t allow a touchdown on the road against a jacked-up Hawkeye team. No matter how it looked, the Badgers will take 17-9.
– It’s not like Iowa QB C.J. Beathard didn’t have time to throw, but he only completed 17-of-33 passes and only got into a groove late once the Hawkeyes quickened the tempo. The pro scouts like him, but he needs to be more accurate when the ground game isn’t working.
– For the second week in a row, Corey Clement looked terrific. He ran 35 times for 134 yards and a score, and almost got a second touchdown reaching out for a possible score, and fumbled. This is a different Badger offense when he’s playing like he’s supposed to.
– The Badgers rotated quarterbacks a bit, and it worked. Bart Houston stepped in and hit 4-of-6 passes for 59 yards and a score, while Alex Hornibrook completed 11-of-19 passes for 197 yards.
– Wisconsin might not always be pretty, but this defense continues to be at a whole other level, especially at linebacker with Vince Biegel back. Now it comes down to a two-game season with Nebraska at home next week, and Northwestern on the road to follow. Win those two, and with Illinois, at Purdue and Minnesota to follow, it’s off to the Big Ten title game – if the Huskers lose once more, likely to Ohio State.
– Iowa is out of the Big Ten title hunt for all intents and purposes, and it’s not going to get a whole lot easier with at Penn State and Michigan up next, and Nebraska still to go. The Hawkeyes weren’t able to crank up any explosive plays, and the running game didn’t get anything moving consistently. They’re going to need both phases to kick in against the Nittany Lions in two weeks.