Wisconsin Badgers vs. Iowa Hawkeyes: Final Thoughts From The 10-6 Loss


The Wisconsin Badgers dropped their third Big Ten opener in the last four years with an ugly 10-6 home loss to Iowa on Saturday. Joel Stave turned the ball over four times, Joe Schobert played the game of his life and Wisconsin’s running game struggled against Iowa’s defense.

READ ALSO: Joe Schobert Named Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week

Bad Joel Stave Returns

Stave guided Wisconsin to an opening-drive field goal as he completed 4 of 6 pass attempts for 42 yards. All four completions went for 10 yards or more, and Stave found three different receivers. After the opening possession, the Badgers’ fifth-year quarterback struggled.

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  • The most devastating of Stave’s four turnovers came midway through the fourth quarter, trailing 10-6. On second down from the one-yard line, redshirt freshman guard Micah Kapoi stepped on Stave’s foot and instead of taking the three-yard loss, Stave flipped the ball to Taiwan Deal, who could not corral it. Iowa recovered the fumble, and Camp Randall went silent.

    The next few weeks may be even tougher for Stave, who may be without two of his top pass catchers. Wisconsin’s best receiver Alex Erickson exited early in the second half with a concussion, and tight end Austin Traylor left with an arm injury. Traylor is not even listed on the team’s official depth chart, and Erickson is still going through concussion protocol.

    Stave had an efficient start to the season, but the four turnovers reminded Badger fans of 2014 Joel Stave, which is not a good sign. Turnovers and inconsistency have been tied to Stave throughout his Wisconsin career, and Saturday’s game was another example.

    Joe Schobert Dominates

    Wisconsin’s senior outside linebacker was a dominant force and provided the offense with plenty of opportunities to win the game. Schobert finished with eight total tackles, including 3.5 for loss, forced two fumbles, recovered one with three sacks and five quarterback hurries. His hit on quarterback CJ Beathard in the third quarter caused an interception for Michael Caputo. Schobert’s big day earned him a Co-Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors.

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    Last week, the Badger of Honor staff updated its predictions for the conference season, and I picked Joe Schobert to be the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Through five games, his statistics ranks him among the best defensive players in college football. His 13 tackles for loss are three more than the player with the second most in the country. Schobert is tied for the most forced fumbles with four and ranks No. 1 with nine sacks. “Joe The Show” is a stud.

    Running Game Struggles

    Iowa’s defense came into the game allowing an average of 84 yards per game on the ground, and the Badgers did not do much better with just 86 rushing yards. Taiwan Deal carried the ball 15 times for 59 yards, and Dare Ogunbowale gained 28 yards on 11 attempts. With Stave’s struggles, the Hawkeyes could key in on stopping the running game, and they did that. The running back duo combined for 3.3 yards per carry.

    Redshirt sophomore Hayden Biegel sat out with an injury, and Jacob Maxwell started in his place at right tackle as Wisconsin started three redshirt freshmen on the offensive line. This week’s depth chart lists the two as co-starters. The young offensive line will benefit Wisconsin in the future, but we are certainly seeing the growing pains from this inexperienced unit.