Game Recap: Champs of the Hearland

Follow Badger Nation's game blog for free! It's a second half slugfest between Wisconsin and Iowa. John Clay has scored twice from two yards out and Ricky Stanzi is finding holes in the Wisconsin defense. Who would have thought Montee Ball would be the hero? His eight-yard run gives UW a 31-30 victory Saturday afternoon.

IOWA CITY, Iowa - The Heartland Trophy is coming back to Madison.

With Wisconsin decimated with injuries to key starters, the Badgers chalked up their grittiest effort of the season, registering a phenomenal game-winning drive that ended with Montee Ball reaching the ball across the goal line with 66 seconds left, giving No.10 Wisconsin a 31-30 victory over No.13 Iowa Saturday night.

The Badgers trailed 30-24 with 8 minutes, 35 seconds, but used a fake Brad Nortman punt, Scott Tolzien precision passing and power running to give Wisconsin a 15-play, 80-yard drive that ate up seven minutes, 29 seconds.

With Iowa having only 1:06 left to operate, Ricky Stanzi, who finished 25 of 37 for 257 yards and three touchdowns, couldn't get his team far enough into field goal position, as the Badgers made Iowa use all of its timeouts and tackle Adam Robinson in bounds, celebrating as the final seconds ticketed off.

Going against the top rushing defense in the Big Ten, giving up 83.8 yards per game, junior John Clay rushed for 90 yards and two second-half touchdowns, being the workhorse after freshman James White left the game with a sprained knee in the first half. Tolzien finished 20 of 26 for 206 yards, completing passes to 10 different wide receivers, for one touchdown and one interception.

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No.10 Wisconsin 31, No.13 Iowa 30

First Half

First Quarter

3-0 Wisconsin

15 plays, 70 yards, 8:09 TOP, 6:51 left

FG Philip Welch 33

Key Play: On Wisconsin's first third down of the game, Scott Tolzien was given excellent protection, which allowed him to wait for senior tight end Lance Kendricks to get open. Tolzien double pumped and Kendricks became open over the middle for a 15-yard gain, sparking the drive.

6-3 Iowa

9 plays, 78 yards, 4:20 TOP, 2:31 left

Adam Robinson one-yard run (kick blocked)

Key Play: Wisconsin's defensive line got pushed around with ease on Iowa's first drive, allowing the Hawkeyes running game to gain traction. Adam Robinson ran through a huge hole on the the left side of the defensive line between Louis Nzegwu and Ethan Hemer, gaining 30 yards to the UW 1.

Second Quarter

10-6 Wisconsin

10 plays, 59 yards, 5:20 TOP, 12:11 left

Bradie Ewing 7-yard pass from Scott Tolzien (Welch kick)

Key Play:With Wisconsin trying to open up the run game, Scott Tolzien delivered some solid strikes. On first-and-10, Tolzien floated a pass over three defenders to a wide-open Jacob Pedersen, on the field after Lance Kendricks, suffered a knee injury, and the play went for 18 yards down to the Iowa 30. That play was second best after Montee Ball, in because James White suffered a lower body injury, took a shovel pass 14 yards on third-and-12 to move the chains inside the 10.

13-10 Iowa

9 plays, 49 yards, 1:37 TOP, :16 left

Allen Reisner two-yard pass from Stanzi(Meyer kick)

Key Play: Antonio Fenelus was playing off Marvin McNutt on third-and-10, giving Ricky Stanzi plenty of room to thread a pass to one of his main wideouts. McNutt's catch was good for 16 yards, getting the Hawkeyes to the four-yard line.

Second Half

Third Quarter

17-13 Wisconsin

12 plays, 80 yards, 6:27 TOP, 6:30 left

John Clay two-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: On fourth-and-one from the two, Wisconsin Coach Bret Bielema decided to roll the dice. Unlike early in the first quarter when Bielema used White in short yardage, UW gave the ball to Clay, who muscled into the end zone. Kudos also to Tolzien for connecting with David Gilreath for 19 yards on third-and-four.

20-17 Iowa

7 plays, 69 yards, 3:22 TOP, 3:08 left

Derrell Johnson-Koulianos 45-yard catch from Stanzi (Meyer kick)

Key Play: It was unclear whether Niles Brinkley slipped or he just got confused but whatever the reason was, the senior cornerback was nowhere close to Johnson-Koulianos, who easily hauled in the uncontested catch for the score.

24-20 Wisconsin

4 plays, 51 yards, 2:07 TOP, 1:01 left

John Clay two-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: With Toon still trying to loosen his quad muscle on the sideline, senior Isaac Anderson became the big playmaker. Anderson caught the pass at the 22, made a quick cut to the outside and used his speed to get the Badgers down to the 2, setting up big John Clay.

Fourth Quarter

27-24 Iowa

13 plays, 80 yards, 5:45 TOP, 10:16 left

Marvin McNutt six-yard pass from Stanzi (Meyer kick)

Key Play: Wisconsin miscues are allowing Iowa's offense to find the end zone. On third down, McNutt released into the center of the end zone and was not checked by three players, including Culmer St. Jean letting the receiver run right by him on the play action.

30-24 Iowa

4 plays, 3 yards, 1:29 TOP, 8:35 left

FG Mike Meyer 41

Key Play: Scott Tolzien had Bradie Ewing wide open in the flat, but decided to gamble on a pass to Anderson. Bad decision, has the Hawkeyes intercepted the pass and had great field position.

30-24 Iowa

4 plays, 3 yards, 1:29 TOP, 8:35 left

FG Mike Meyer 41

Key Play: With Iowa doing maximum cover on the UW punt, Brad Nortman had a huge alley way up the middle for the fake punt. Nortman gave 17 yards on fourth-and-four, and gave UW new life.

31-30 Wisconsin

15 plays, 80 yards, 7:29 TOP, 1:06 left

Montee Ball eight-yard run (Welck kick)

Key Play: With Iowa doing maximum cover on the UW punt, Brad Nortman had a huge alley way up the middle for the fake punt. Nortman gave 17 yards on fourth-and-four, and gave UW new life.

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