Wisconsin clinches Big Ten West in rout of Iowa

Wisconsin's defense dominated, as the Badgers beat Iowa 38-14 on Saturday in Madison. Wisconsin is 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 November games, 17-8-1 in their last 26 games overall, 12-5-1 in their last 18 conference games, 1-4-1 in their last 6 games following an ATS win, and 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a winning road record.

The Badgers' 10-0 mark is the best start to a season in program history. "We can be 10-2 and still win the Big Ten championship".

Iowa (6-4, 3-4) had just 66 yards of total offense.

Wisconsin sophomore quarterback Alex Hornibrook said, season after season, defense has been a difference-maker.

"I think we're a lot more confident", the senior linebacker said.

"Those turnovers they had and how they were able to stop (Iowa) from getting first downs like that, it was awesome. We didn't come close to that this week".

His fellow freshman, running back Jonathan Taylor, played yet another solid game, gaining 157 yards on 29 carries.

"First, it felt like it and second, with the same players out there you can't explain it, " Ferentz said of the Hawkeyes' offensive struggles that came on the heels of the team's most productive performance of the season. Not that they haven't been playing well. We didn't do much to hurt ourselves and for us to be successful, we have to play a pretty clean game. Leon Jacobs recovered two fumbles for the Badgers, and ran one back for a touchdown.

It didn't take long for Iowa to get on the scoreboard.

Pryor's first touchdown - a 25-yard rushing score - capped a five-play drive that lasted 5:51 and gave Wisconsin a 10-7 lead at 8:55 of the second quarter.

The Hawkeyes mustered just one first down and 20 yards of offense in the first half as Wisconsin rode an aggressive, blitzing defensive approach to a 17-7 halftime advantage. Safety Joe Ferguson and linebacker T.J. Edwards each have four picks. "We went through a little bit of adversity".

Entering the game, Hornibrook was ranked 12th nationally in passing efficiency with a rating of 158.3.

22 - Wisconsin has 22 takeaways this season, which is tied for the Big Ten lead. Badgers coach Paul Chryst said two days ago that Quintez Cephus, team's leading receiver, was ruled out for the remainder of the season due to a right leg injury.

With analysts, pundits and college football fans alike counting the Wolverines out, MI center Patrick Kugler said he and his teammates are eyeing the role of spoiler in their final two regular season games against Wisconsin and Ohio State.

Vanessa Coleman

Comments