Paul Chryst has the Wisconsin football team back on track after a convincing 27-7 victory over the 9th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. This marked the second straight victory over a ranked opponent, and now has Wisconsin Football well positioned to make a run at winning the Big Ten West.
Given the state of the program just one month ago, this was a victory few would have anticipated winning. Paul Chryst got the Badgers back to playing Wisconsin Football, and with that identity, they’ve returned to their winning ways.
Once again, Wisconsin’s defense came to play and made it nearly impossible for Iowa’s offense to get into any kind of rhythm. Jim Leonhard’s defense allowed just 156 total yards, which averaged a mere 2.8 yards a play – also forcing three fumbles on the day. Just a stellar performance from one of the nation’s best defensive units.
Wisconsin’s offense came out and made a statement on the opening drive, moving the ball through the air which set the tone for the afternoon. Hard to ask for much more than you got from the offense today against a stingy Hawkeye defense. The Badgers didn’t turn the ball over and managed to win the TOP battle 34:28 to 24:13.
So, without further ado, it’s time to hand out game balls from the win over 9th ranked Iowa.
OFFENSE: Graham Mertz – 11/22 104 yards, 3 total touchdowns’ (1 passing, 2 rushing)
Yes, I’m aware that Braelon Allen ran for over 100 yards yet again. But Wisconsin doesn’t win this game if Graham Mertz doesn’t come out slinging the ball on that opening drive. Mertz going 5/5 passing en route to a Jake Ferguson touchdown set the tone for the entire game. He helped move the sticks when necessary, evidenced by 7 of his 11 completions going for first downs.
Also, more important than the numbers was the fact that he didn’t turn the ball over once, which was absolutely crucial.
Defense: DEATH ROW (Chenal, Sanborn, Herbig, Burks) – 25 total tackles and 4.5 combined sacks.
The Badgers line-backing core of Leo Chenal, Jack Sanborn, Nick Heribg, and Noah Burks was absolutely terrific against the Iowa Hawkeye’s. Iowa quarterback, Spencer Petras had the Wisconsin linebackers breathing down his neck all day long. This is a special group that’s starting to take the ball away. Look out Big Ten West.
As good as the Badgers run defense is, don’t get It twisted, this pass rush is nasty in their own right.