1. Moving the Chains
Iowa's defense was solid as advertised, and made Wisconsin work hard for their yards on the interior. They played straight up and smartly refused to gamble, preventing any big Wisconsin plays. Combined with some miserable throws from Dustin Sherer, and you get inconsistency in moving the ball.
2. Mitch King vs. Interior of the Badger line
King was his usual stout self. Wisconsin continually tried to probe the middle but they simply could not get King and Kroul moved, resulting in limited success. The Badgers did rush for 158 yards, but could not get any of the big plays that they needed in lieu of the passing game.
3. Lack of Pressure
No sacks once again. To compound the problem, the Badgers tried to bring the blitz on a few occasions, resulting in some big Iowa runs. Wisconsin is simply not getting any kind of pressure on the quarterback, which is hanging their secondary out to dry.
4. Shonn Greene vs. Badger Size (or lack thereof)
Greene had a big first drive, and then the Badgers seemed to settle down and contain him for some time. However, Greene hit on a couple of big plays in the second half, putting the game out of reach. Was that wearing down or the inevitable with a super back? Who knows, but Greeene was a significant factor in the Iowa victory, finishing with 220 yards and nearly 9 yards per carry.
5. Ricky Stanzi vs. Alltin Scheridge
Stanzi was consistent and did not make mistakes, though he was certainly unspectacular. Dustin Sherer, on the other hand, was dreadful in his first start. He threw two picks (and should have had two more), consistently misfired on his passes, and had trouble getting off his first read. Some of this is understandable given his lack of experience, but it still doesn't cut it when the team desperately needs a win.
It was certainly a slugfest in many ways, as expected, and of course the Iowa win did not surprise me. It was disappointing to see Shonn Greene run rough-shod over the Badgers however, which turned a potential defensive game into a comfortable Iowa victory.