The Big Ten West title ended up being out of reach for Iowa after an 0-2 start, but the Hawkeyes still have reasons to feel good about this season and Saturday's game is a big one.
It's now a six-game winning streak for No. 16 Iowa (6-2) after a 28-7 victory over Wisconsin (2-3) at a snowy Kinnick Stadium. That gives the Hawkeyes possession of the Heartland Trophy (and all four rivalry trophies it plays for, although the Cy-Hawk game wasn't played this year).
It was a sluggish start, as a pair of Keith Duncan field goals represented the only scoring of the first half. But Spencer Petras connected with Ihmir Smith-Marsette on a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes and Tyler Goodson broke an 80-yard touchdown run in the fourth for the final margin one play after Jack Campbell came up with an end-zone interception.
Iowa limited the Badgers to 225 total yards, including just 56 on the ground (1.7 per carry).
4:09 4th: Iowa 28, Wisconsin 7
Wisconsin was on the verge of making this interesting, but instead Iowa put the game away.
Iowa punter Tory Taylor dropped the snap and tried to kick the ball off the ground, which is a penalty. That gave Wisconsin the ball at the 5, but Jack Campbell picked off Graham Mertz in the end zone on fourth-and-goal.
On the very next play, Tyler Goodson busted an 80-yard touchdown run to ice it.
1:23 3rd: Iowa 21, Wisconsin 7
More success through the air for Spencer Petras and Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
The two connected for their second touchdown of the quarter, this one a 53-yard bomb capped by a Smith-Marsette flip into the end zone that left him limping.
It was a quick, four-play drive for the Hawkeyes.
5:42 3rd: Iowa 14, Wisconsin 7
Iowa was in complete control of this game ... and then Charlie Jones tried to field a bouncing punt and fumbled it back to Wisconsin at the Iowa 25.
Three plays later, Nakia Watson punched in a 1-yard touchdown run to get the Badgers on the board. Graham Mertz hit Jack Dunn for a 21-yard game to get Wisconsin to the goal line.
8:49 3rd: Iowa 14, Wisconsin 0
The second half started with some offense.
Wisconsin drove to the Iowa 29, but settled for a 47-yard field goal attempt left short by Collin Larsh after Iowa's Riley Moss broke up a third-and-2 pass.
Spencer Petras hit Ihmir Smith-Marsette over the top for a 38-yard gain to the Wisconsin 19. Three plays later, the two connected again for a 19-yard touchdown.
Iowa added a 2-point conversion on a pass to Brandon Smith.
0:01 2nd: Iowa 6, Wisconsin 0
Keith Duncan tacked on another field goal just before the break, this one off the right upright and in from 45 yards out.
It was another short drive for the Hawkeyes, six plays and 36 yards. A 20-yard screen pass to Tyler Goodson set up the field goal.
Iowa got the ball when Jack Campbell blew up a fourth-and-1 from the Iowa 31 in the backfield for a 6-yard loss.
Iowa gained 112 yards of offense in the first half, Wisconsin just 66.
7:12 1st: Iowa 3, Wisconsin 0
Keith Duncan gave the Hawkeyes the lead with a 30-yard field goal.
Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz mishandled an exchange and fumbled on the Badgers' first drive. It was recovered by Iowa's Nick Niemann at the Wisconsin 32, leading to the game's first points.
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