Reese Strickland/USA Today

Badgers Oust Hawkeyes in a Defensive Struggle

Iowa welcomed the 10th ranked Wisconsin Badgers to Iowa City on Saturday to battle for the Heartland Trophy and take a shot at burying the Badgers deep in the Big Ten West standings.

This one pretty much went like many of us thought it would.

Both Wisconsin and Iowa play the same style of football. They like to run the ball to death and both teams play exceptional defense. 

The first quarter was fairly uneventful. The Hawkeyes punted twice while the Badgers missed a field goal and punted themselves. Wisconsin got the scoring started in the second quarter when Bart Houston found Troy Fumagalli on a 17 yard TD strike and just like that it was 7-0 in favor of the Badgers. 

The teams then traded punts before Iowa got on the board with a Keith Duncan field goal with just over 3:30 left in the first half. The Hawkeyes caught a break when Corey Clement fumbled with Wisconsin inside the Iowa five yard line. Clement fumbled the ball into the end zone and Iowa's Desmond King recovered. 

Iowa's Miguel Recinos drilled a 47 yard field goal to make the score 7-6 as the two teams broke for halftime. 

The Badgers got another TD about halfway through the third quarter and that made it 14-6 in their favor. The teams would combine to go the next seven possessions without scoring a point. The Badgers broke that streak with just over a minute left in the game as they drilled a field goal to make ti 17-6.

The Hawkeyes were struggling all day in terms of taking advantage of the Badgers playing poorly, which I felt they did. It seemed as though Wisconsin had many chances to simply put the Hawkeyes out of it, but Iowa's defense held tight and gave the offense plenty of chances, which they could not capitalize on.

Iowa did show a sign of life late when Desmond King gave the Hawkeyes great starting field position after a return that went to Wisconsin's 25 yard line. Iowa thought they had a TD with a Noah Fant catch, but the officials went back and determined that the ball hit the ground. Iowa would settle for another field goal to make it 17-9.

The onside kick attempt would fail and Wisconsin kneeled their way to victory. 

The Hawkeyes totaled just 236 yards of offense and converted 2-13 on third downs. The Badgers were not penalized during the contest.

Iowa will now head into their bye week before heading to Happy Valley on November 5th for a crossover game with Penn State.

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