When you lose the football three times, you are not supposed to hold a 10-point lead at halftime. But such is the case so far this afternoon for Wisconsin, the last unbeaten team in the Big Ten. Wisconsin has used a strong defensive effort to overcome three turnovers and leads Iowa 17-7 at the half in Madison.
Iowa actually scored first in this one, with the defense striking on the first possession of the game. On 3rd and 13 from the Wisconsin 36-yard line, Alex Hornbrook had his pass picked off by Iowa’s Joshua Jackson, who returned it 43 yards for a touchdown in the first 90 seconds of the game. If that sounds a tad familiar, that’s because Iowa returned an interception for a score against Ohio State last week. But this game has been much more defensive throughout, as opposed to the scoring bursts seen last week in Kinnick Stadium.
Wisconsin came back with a field goal on their second offensive series to calm things down a bit. As expected, the game quickly became a chess match of field position with punt after punt from both teams, and a second interception from the Iowa defense mixed in. In the second quarter though, Wisconsin took the lead on an end-around play with Kendric Pryor springing down the left side of the field 25 yards for a score.
The Badgers added a late touchdown before halftime after taking the ball over at the Iowa 26-yard line after a punt from the back of the end zone. Hornibrook connected with Pryor as the receiver climbed a ladder to come down with the ball to put Wisconsin up 17-7.
Iowa’s offense has not been able to get anything going and has just one first down at the break. If they can’t get going, they will be going home with a loss while the Badgers keep hoping to make a playoff-worthy statement.