IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Hawkeyes played hard Saturday. They just didn't play well enough.
It resulted in a 26-24 loss to Wisconsin. It wasn't a victory, moral or otherwise, and the Iowa players didn't treat it as such.
"When there's a loss, I don't really believe in moral victories," Quarterback Jake Rudock said. "I remember last year against Ohio State you guys were all saying that, too. It doesn't matter. We loss the game.
"Nobody cares about moral victories. We just need to do enough to win and unfortunately we didn't do enough (Saturday)."
The Hawkeyes fell behind 19-3 with 5:33 remaining in the third quarter. They then rallied for a pair of touchdowns, time and time again beating Wisconsin's man-to-man coverage on receivers. Iowa trailed by just two points with 11:10 left in regulation.
The Badgers responded with a 7-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to extend their advantage to 26-17 with 7:44 on the clock. Two scores proved to be too much for Iowa to overcome.
Double-digit favorite Wisconsin won at least a share of the Big Ten West title. The Hawkeyes extended their conference championship drought to 10 years.
"Guys were hurt," defensive tackle Carl Davis said. "We practiced hard all week and we knew we could win this game. We're upset."
Watch what else the Hawkeyes said about the emotional loss in this Hawkeye Insider compilation video of post-game comments: