By Dallas Jones
MADISON, WI – After their most disappointing performance of the season last game against Purdue, the Hawkeyes looked to silence the doubters in Madison Saturday morning.
Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes showcased more issues within their offense line and caught a case of the turnover bug.
Three fumbles, two of which were unforced, helped put Iowa in a 20-0 deficit at the half. That proved to be far too much for Iowa to overcome as the offense put up only seven points for the second consecutive week.
There is a blaring weakness in the Iowa offense currently and that is the offensive line. Including the yards lost on sacks, the Hawkeyes rushed for just 24 yards on 30 attempts, not even earning a yard per attempt.
The pass game did not fair much better as Junior QB Spencer Petras finished the game 9-19 for 93 yards and no touchdowns. He scored a touchdown on a QB sneak and lost one fumble.Iowa finished the game with a season-low 156 yards of total offense and only nine first downs.
Wisconsin’s defensive line was dominant in the trenches with six total sacks, ten tackles for loss, three QB hits, and one forced fumble.
The Iowa defense was once again relied on to keep the game close.
The Badgers started three possessions in the red zone Saturday, all in the second quarter. They came from lost fumbles by both Ivory Kelley-Martin and Spencer Petras, the third coming from a muffed punt.
Iowa’s defense held strong only surrendering ten points off those three turnovers. While not much of the blame falls on the Hawkeye defense, they will tell you themselves they have much room to grow.
The Hawkeye defense allowed a total of 270 yards. 166 coming from the ground and 104 through the air.
A positive sign for the Hawkeyes as they are still out defensive backs Riley Moss and Terry Roberts.
Moss was injured during the Penn State game and Roberts suffered a deep tissue bruise during practice this week. According to Coach Ferentz the status of both will be monitored throughout the week.
Iowa now moves to 6-2 on the season and sits at 3rd in the Big Ten West behind Minnesota and Wisconsin. Their next matchup will be next Saturday against Northwestern in Evanston.