Wisconsin vs. Iowa prediction and game preview. The Badgers try to bounce back when they travel to Iowa City to face the Hawkeyes on Saturday.
Wisconsin vs. Iowa Game Preview
When: Saturday, Oct. 22 – Noon ET
Where: Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City.
TV Broadcast: ESPN
Wisconsin came out of its back-to-back matchups with Michigan and Ohio State without a win, but the losses by a combined 14 points were impressive in their own right. Still, the Badgers aren’t happy with moral victories. The defeats to Big Ten East Division teams put them two games behind West-leading Nebraska, making for an uphill climb for them to reach the conference title game for a potential rematch with the Wolverines or Buckeyes.
Wisconsin at least can gain some ground on Iowa with a victory over the Hawkeyes, who sit at 3-1 in the conference after Saturday’s 49-35 win over Purdue. Iowa has won its last two and is coming off its best offensive performance of the season that included its most rushing yards in 14 years. It’ll be tough to have a similar performance on the ground against one of the nation’s stingiest run defenses, though.
What To Know About Wisconsin
The Badgers held Ohio State without a touchdown until late in the third quarter Saturday night and led deep into the fourth, but the Buckeyes scored on their first possession of overtime and stopped Wisconsin to pull out a 30-23 road victory. Once again the Badgers’ defense proved worthy of its reputation as one of the best units in the nation, but they fact remains that it wasn’t enough to get past the Big Ten’s top two teams.
Corey Clement had a big game with 164 yards on the ground as Wisconsin finished with 450 total yards. Iowa’s run defense is ranked eighth in the Big Ten, but it allowed only 46 yards on the ground against Purdue and 102 the week before that against Minnesota. Alex Hornibrook likely will be forced to throw the ball more than usual.
What To Know About Iowa
A couple weeks ago it could be argued that facing Hornibrook work as an advantage for the Hawkeyes. However, that’s before Purdue’s David Blough passed for 458 yards and five touchdowns last week. No opposing quarterback threw for 200 yards in any of Iowa’s previous five games. Granted, Purdue was behind and forced to throw more often, but the Hawkeyes couldn’t stop it. Hornibrook has thrown four touchdowns and five interceptions while being sacked eight times in his three starts, though.
Iowa’s defense has 11 takeaways, the same amount of turnovers for Wisconsin to put it near the bottom of the Big Ten in giveaways. The Hawkeyes likely are going to have to a tough time getting their offense going against the Badgers’ defense, so getting a couple of turnovers would be critical.
Offense: Even – The Hawkeyes are averaging a little more than half of a yard more per play than the Hawkeyes.
Defense: Wisconsin – This might end up being the difference in a low-scoring game so long as the Badgers’ offense can put together a couple of solid drives.
Special Teams: Iowa – Desmond King is among the conference leaders in both punt and kickoff return yardage.
Coaching: Even – Before the season this would’ve easily gone to Kirk Ferentz, but Paul Chryst has turned Wisconsin into a top-10 team.
Intangibles: Wisconsin – The Badgers have won the last three meetings in Iowa City.
Matchup To Watch
Iowa’s running game vs. Wisconsin’s run defense
The Badgers are allowing an average of 106.2 yards on the ground per game, but they haven’t seen a combo like Akrum Wadley and LeShun Daniels. Wadley went for 170 yards and a touchdown against the Boilermakers while Daniels added 156 and two scores.
Spread: Wisconsin -3
Over/Under: No over/under as of post
Wisconsin vs. Iowa Prediction
Last year’s meeting ended with Iowa grinding out a 10-6 win. It won’t be that low-scoring, but don’t expect many points. Ultimately the Badgers will pull it out behind a 100-yard day from Clement.
Wisconsin vs. Iowa final score prediction: Wisconsin 17, Iowa 13