So when the sixth-year senior tapped his wrist prior to Wisconsin's 28-9 win over Iowa, he put Dippel's No.51 on his tape, honoring a teammate and close friend who couldn't have been farther away from Kinnick Stadium.
"Every single play when I got in my stance, I could remember (him)," said Kelly. "I've sat out plenty of games due to injuries. He's sitting out with some personal issues back home, but at the same time I know how hard it was for Dippel to watch this game.
"It touched me deep when he couldn't be there."
Dippel left the team on Thursday night for what Andersen described as a "really bad family situation." Andersen said Dippel was in California, where he is from originally, and hopes he returns possibly around midweek. He declined to go into more detail.
Wisconsin's defensive line evidently took Dippel's absence to heart as the Badgers limited Iowa to 294 yards, registered eight tackles for loss, seven quarterback hurries, three pass breakups and two interceptions, mostly a result of pressure from a number of linemen having their best game of the season.
"We're pretty selfless when it comes to production," said Kelly. "That's the great thing about this team and it makes for a great defense."
One of those players was senior defensive end Ethan Hemer, who has struggled to put up the same kind of numbers he did a season ago from the defensive tackle position. A classmate of Dippel's, Hemer finished with three tackles (one more than he had in the seven previous games combined) and one tackle for loss.
"We knew it was serious enough where he couldn't come, so we knew we had to play for this guy," said Hemer. "We need to be focused for him, and I am glad we were able to do that."
It was only fitting then that the game's final turning point was caused by a defensive lineman. With Wisconsin clinging to a 14-9, junior linebacker Marcus Trotter, starting in place of injured senior Chris Borland, pressured Iowa back-up quarterback C.J. Beathard, causing his pass to deflect off right guard Andrew Donnal's helmet and into the leaping arms of senior Pat Muldoon.
Wisconsin scored three plays later to go up 21-9 and effectively end the comeback.
"He plays with great energy, great passion and has made a lot of plays for us this year," said Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen of Muldoon.
Muldoon's interception was his first since his junior year of high school, picking off a screen pass against Louisville Trinity. That interception didn't end so gracefully either.
"I fell," said Muldoon. "I am good on falling down on those."
Estimating he played double the reps with Dippel unavailable, Muldoon finished with one tackle and his interception. Through eight games, Muldoon has already set a new career high with 22 tackles and his 4.5 tackles for loss is one away for tying the career high he set last season.
"I thought Pat had the best game of his career," said Borland. "Hopefully that helps Tyler a little bit."
The interception was a small case of divine intervention since Borland called the defense together on the series of Muldoon's interception, telling them to stop Iowa for Dippel.
"Dippel is one of my best friends," said Muldoon. "Everything we did out there today was all for him."
Extra Points: Wisconsin won consecutive games at Kinnick Stadium for the first time since scoring wins in 1998 and 2000 … At 19 points, the Badgers posted their largest margin of victory over Iowa since a 41-3 win in 1999. It was UW's largest win over the Hawkeyes in Iowa City since a 31-0 victory in 1998 … This is the fourth time this season UW has held its opponent without a touchdown … Wisconsin's last 10 wins have come by at least 19 points.