By Wade Flavion
MADISON– Despite a late push from the Hawkeyes, Wisconsin outlasted Iowa 24-22 at Camp Randall on Saturday afternoon. Here are WSUM Sports’ weekly Game Day Grades:
This was not the best day for the Wisconsin offense, but they played well enough to win the game. Jonathon Taylor had his 7th 100+ yard game of the season, and was phenomenal in between the tackles. The junior’s effort was outstanding, and it rallied the rest of the offense around him. Jack Coan missed several open throws, and looked rattled under the heavy pressure brought by the Hawkeye defense. Danny Davis was arguably the star of the game with a touchdown through the air and another on the ground by way of the jet sweep. Both scores were vital to bringing the Badgers back from behind early in the game. Overall, there were many mistakes on the offensive side, but big days from Jonathon Taylor and Danny Davis kept the Badgers ahead in this game.
The Wisconsin front seven that has been dominant all season long, but took a step back in this game. They were gashed numerous times in the running game, and failed to get pressure on Nate Stanley. This left them vulnerable to big plays, but the secondary led by Caesar Williams were great at wrapping up in the open field and breaking up passes. The thing that hurt this defense, along with the entire team, were penalties. Rachad Wildgoose committed two key penalties that allowed Iowa to score their first touchdown of the day. Apart from this, and a lack of run defense, the Badgers defense played a solid game.
Special Teams: C-
This was an extremely poor showing from kicker Colin Larsh, and punter Anthony Lotti. Anthony Lotti had 3 punts today with an only 34.3 yard average, while Larsh missed a 31 yard field goal. Zach Hintze had another outstanding performance, with numerous touchbacks. It was a non-factor game for both returners today, and the special teams overall had a below average day today.
Paul Chryst coached a solid game on the offensive side of the ball, and the offensive mishaps can be blamed on execution. On the defensive side of the ball Jim Leonhard called an aggressive game, but several lapses of coverage at the end of the game let the Hawkeyes get back in the game. The coaching was overall solid, but tweaks will definitely need to be made.
This was a good win for the Badgers against a talented Iowa team, but there are definitely some issues that need to be worked out on both sides of the ball. The penalties and mental errors cost the Badgers big this week, but they were on the right end of the scoreboard at the end.