Iowa Football

Game Report, Iowa vs. Wisconsin: Numbers, notes, grades and more

IOWA CITY — A look at Iowa’s 28-17 loss Saturday night to No. 16 Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium.

Play of the game

The Setup

Iowa took a 10-7 lead when Miguel Recinos nailed a 24-yard field goal to cap off a good drive to begin the second half. The Hawkeyes got an ensuing defensive stop, too, forcing Wisconsin to punt from the Iowa 47. 

What Happened 

Wisconsin punter Anthony Lotti hit an end-over-end kick that was too low to allow Iowa punt returner Kyle Groeneweg to field it. The ball bounced and bounced and bounced, with one Iowa player (Julius Brents) almost touching it inadervently.

A second Iowa player (Shaun Beyer) didn’t get so lucky.

Blocking an opponent, Beyer accidentally backed into the ball, touching it with his leg and having Wisconsin pounce on it at the Iowa 10-yard line. 

The Result 

Three players later, quarterback Alex Hornibrook connected with wide receiver A.J. Taylor on a back-shoulder pass inside the 5. Taylor made Iowa cornerback Michael Ojemudia miss his tackle attempt, and Wisconsin had a touchdown off the turnover, taking a 14-10 lead with 5:12 left in the third.

There was a lot of ballgame played after that, but this was a crucial Hawkeyes mistake.


Mike Hlas: C

The Hawkeyes ought to win three of their four trophy games this season. But they lost the one that matters most.

Jeff Johnson: C

Three turnovers, two on special teams, one that cost Iowa a touchdown. Lost opportunity here. A big one.


— Senior Dalton Ferguson got the start at right guard for Iowa, in place of Cole Banwart. Ferguson played the first quarter, with Banwart replacing him for the second. Banwart missed last week’s game against Northern Iowa with an injury, after starting Iowa’s first two games.

— The other two starters for Iowa that missed last week’s UNI game came back as well. Running back Ivory Kelly-Martin actually was injured in the season opener against Northern Illinois and missed last week and two weeks ago against Iowa State. Wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette was injured in the Iowa State game, missed last week, but returned here.

— Djimon Colbert started the second half for Iowa at weakside linebacker. He replaced Kristian Welch, who started and played the entire first half and led the Hawkeyes with seven tackles.

— Outside linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel did not start for Wisconsin, playing mostly on passing downs. The Rock Valley, Iowa, native, was injured in the Badgers’ game last week against Brigham Young.

— Through three quarters, Iowa fullback Brady Ross had kept his crazy streak alive. The junior from Humboldt had seven touches of the football, all of which have resulted in a first down for his team. That would be four rushes and three receptions. In this game, Ross had a run for 3 yards in the first quarter for a Hawkeye first down. Late in the third, he caught a pass from quarterback Nate Stanley and rumbled 11 yards to make it first-and-goal at the Wisconsin 1.

— Two true freshmen saw the field Saturday night for Iowa. Riley Moss played special teams and a bit in Iowa’s dime defensive package, as he has done in the previous four games. Brents played left cornerback throughout the second half in place of Matt Hankins. Brents also has played in all five games. Both guys are now not eligible to redshirt. A new NCAA rule allows true freshmen to play in four games and still be eligible to redshirt.

— Iowa tight end Noah Fant caught a 1-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter to extend his school record in that department to 15 for his career. That is more TD catches than any other Hawkeyes tight end. He surpassed Clinton Solomon on the overall career TD catch chart. Solomon was ninth overall.


— Among the recruits at Kinnick Stadium were a pair of 4-star guys (according to, one in the senior class and one in the junior class. David Bell is a 4-star wide receiver from Warren Central High School in Indianapolis. He is a 6-foot-2 senior being recruited by Penn State, Purdue, Indiana and Ohio State, among others. A.J. Henning of Lincoln Way East High School in Frankfort, Ill., is a junior who is considered a 4-star “all-purpose” player. According to Rivals, he has 25 offers.

By the numbers

66: Total yardage Iowa had in last year’s game against Wisconsin.

203: Yardage for Iowa in the first half of this year’s game against Wisconsin.

250.6: The first-half quarterback rating for Iowa’s Nate Stanley. He was 5 of 7 for 110 yards and a touchdown.

23,500: Dollar amount on a check Iowa donated to the Iowa Food Bank, as part of ANF (America Needs Farmers) game festivities.

16: Consecutive Big Ten Conference victories for Wisconsin.

Injury report

Iowa wide receiver Brandon Smith left the game with an apparent left shoulder injury after an incompleted pass thrown to him in the second quarter. Smith landed hard on his left side. He returned to start the second half.

Up next

Iowa gets it bye week this upcoming week. The next opponent is Minnesota, Oct. 6 in Minneapolis. Kickoff time has not yet been set. It will be the Hawkeyes’ first road game of the season.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.