IOWA CITY — The play by play was a Halloween scarefest that happened a couple of weeks after Halloween.
First possession: Akrum Wadley run for 4 yards, incomplete Nate Stanley pass, incomplete Nate Stanley pass, punt.
Second possession: Back-to-back James Butler runs for 10 yards and a first down, incomplete pass, Wadley rush for minus-1, false-start penalty, Wadley draw run for 9 yards, punt.
The next eight possessions: All three-and-outs, with various offensive penalties sprinkled in there.
Wisconsin’s 38-14 win over the Iowa Hawkeyes two years at Camp Randall Stadium was a massacre. Two pick-sixes by cornerback Josh Jackson were Iowa’s highlights and made the score of the game WAY closer that it was truly.
“Going into that stadium, they just kind of trucked us,” said Iowa’s Michael Ojemudia. “The fans and all that. I’m not going to say we weren’t prepared because we definitely had a week to prepare. But Wisconsin definitely came out really strong, and we couldn’t come from behind.”
The yardage told the story. Wisconsin had 382, Iowa 66.
The Badgers had 247 rushing yards, the Hawkeyes 25. Quarterback Nate Stanley was 8 of 24 in the passing department for 41 yards, and he threw a pick.
What a brutal return home for the Menomonie, Wis., native.
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“Obviously, very nervous, not really knowing what to expect with the environment,” said Stanley. “But I think now I have a good idea of what to expect. Obviously, I think I put too much pressure on myself for that game. So now it’s just knowing if I do my part, my teammates are going to do their part.”
“It was loud,” said Iowa’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette. “The fourth quarter, it gets real intense up there ... The noise level, it’s just playing through that. Don’t let the crowd get into it. Keep them out of it. It’s going to be a factor. That fourth quarter, it’s something big for them with that jump song.”
Wisconsin fans literally jump up and down to House of Pain’s “Jump Around” between the third and fourth quarters. The pressbox literally sways.
Just part of the intimidating experience for road teams (and their reporters). Of course, Iowa will be that road team again Saturday in an elimination game for the Big Ten Conference’s West Division championship.
Kickoff at Camp Randall is 3:05 p.m.
This time has got to be better for the Hawkeyes than last time. Right? Right?
“It was definitely a tough game, but we took a lot from it, took a lot from that film,” said Iowa’s Toren Young. “It was a good lesson for us as a team. But, now, I mean, this is a completely different team. Most of the guys who were on that team are either playing in the NFL or off doing other things. So you can’t get too caught up in the previous games. Each year is a new team, and you’ve got different personnel, different guys. We take away what we need to take away from that game and move forward.”
Young also is a Wisconsin guy, from Madison. The Badgers never recruited him, though he doesn’t take specific offense.
Iowa was his only FBS offer.
“I always try and play with a chip on my shoulder because of that,” he said.
There are 15 Wisconsinites on Iowa’s roster. Young and defensive tackle Daviyon Nixon (Kenosha) are the most significant players there, especially with linebacker Kristian Welch (Iola) likely out with an injury.
Then there’s Stanley. He’s got pressure to be way better than he was in 2017, one last chance to beat his home state school.
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“I think just the experience that a lot of guys on our team have now (will help),” he said. “We just didn’t handle that environment very well the last time. But with some of the environments we’ve played in this year already and in the past (there), we have an idea of what to expect and how to handle it.”
“I think the message to our team is we need to be ready at kickoff. 3:05. We’d better be ready, because if you’re not ...,” Iowa Coach Kirk Ferentz said. “That really was the story of the Michigan (and) Michigan State game (against Wisconsin). It was over pretty quickly ... The message there is if you’re not ready to go, these guys know what to do with it. They’re going to be ready to go. They’ve demonstrated that time and time again, not just this year but kind of historically these guys show up ready to play.”
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