The Heartland Trophy came home with the No.22 Wisconsin Badgers (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten) after the 28-9 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes (5-4, 2-3 Big Ten). After the Badgers third consecutive Big Ten victory, Wisconsin football is now Bowl eligible for the 12th year in a row.
The blistering wind played a major factor in Iowa City on Saturday as the Hawkeyes and Badgers took the field. Wisconsin had trouble getting anything going on offense right off the bat and found themselves down 0-6 late in the second quarter. Continuing to struggle getting the ball moving down the field, Joel Stave finally connected with tight-end Jacob Pedersen for a 44-yard touchdown to take a 7-6 lead into the locker room at half-time.
Wisconsin’s defense would continue it’s dominant performance into the second half and with Chris Borland sidelined again due to injury, the defense didn’t skip a beat. The defense would only render a total of 289 yards and 9 points in the win.
The Badger’s defense took control of the game in the second half after Darius Hilary intercepted a pass at the Iowa 20-yard line. This first interception would lead to another passing touchdown for Joel Stave. Stave found Jared Abbrederis in the back of the end zone to take a 14-6 lead in the third quarter. Abbrederis would have to leave the game after an injury sustained making the touchdown reception.
Iowa would make things more interesting after converting another field goal try to cut the Badgers lead to 14-9 entering the fourth quarter. Again, the Badger’s defense came up with another huge turnover when defensive linemen, Pat Muldoon intercepted Iowa’s back-up quarterback CJ Beathard at the Iowa 25. The crucial interception would lead to another Wisconsin touchdown after an 11-yard touchdown run by James White, giving the Badgers a 21-9 advantage.
James White stepped out of the shadow of Melvin Gordon and finished with a team high 132 yards rushing and 2 touchdowns. Jacob Pedersen continued to make his case for one of the best tight-ends in college football finishing with 73 yards on 3 receptions and 1 touchdown.
Wisconsin will come home next Saturday, November 9th to take on BYU (6-2) for the last non-conference game of the season.