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No. 18 Wisconsin aims to get back on track vs. Iowa

Wisconsin quickly went from having championship aspirations to recovery mode.

The Badgers entered the season with experience, perhaps the best offensive line in the country, a Heisman Trophy candidate in sophomore running back Jonathan Taylor and plenty of talent in the front seven on defense.

That put Wisconsin in the early discussion for the College Football Playoff, but along came BYU last week, beating the Badgers 24-21 in Madison as Rafael Gaglianone missed a 42-yard field goal that would have forced overtime.

That dropped Wisconsin from No. 6 to No. 18 in the AP poll.

The Badgers have no time to dwell on that. Now comes what looks like the key game in the Big Ten West, with Wisconsin headed to play at Iowa for the Heartland Trophy on Saturday. It is the conference opener for both teams.

"You don't ever want to rely on losing as a source to go win," Wisconsin offensive lineman Michael Deiter said. "That's never going to end well. But if you do have hiccups ... it should be a feeling that you never want to feel again."

Iowa is 3-0, with wins over Northern Illinois, Iowa State and Northern Iowa. The Hawkeyes held Iowa State standout running back David Montgomery to 44 yards, and they rank tied for second in the country in rushing defense, allowing 42.0 yards per game.

That sets up a big-time matchup against Taylor, a sophomore who has rushed for 100-plus yards in all three games this season and ranks second in the country in rushing with 171.7 yards per game.

"We just played an outstanding running back two weeks ago. I mentioned he might be the best in the country. If he's not, it might be the one we're playing this week," said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz.

"This guy is just a tremendous football player, too. It's unusual when you play two guys of this caliber within a two-week span. That's what we're facing. They're not the same exact runner, but I can't imagine many guys in the country better than either of these guys. We witnessed this, how good Taylor was firsthand last year. He is really a great player."

Taylor rushed for 157 yards in last season's 38-14 victory over Iowa in Madison.

Iowa doesn't have a running back with Taylor's cache, but its pass offense started to click in last week's 38-14 win over Northern Iowa after average performances by quarterback Nate Stanley in the two first games. Though the Hawkeyes were playing an FCS team, Stanley threw with accuracy, completing 23 of 28 passes for 309 yards and one touchdown.

In the two previous games, he completed only 52.9 percent of his throws.

Last year against Wisconsin, Stanley was 8-of-24 passing for 41 yards and one interception.

"In this series, we kind of know who they are, I think they know who we are," Ferentz said of a typically strong Wisconsin defense that is 11th nationally in total defense (275.7 yards allowed per game).

"In the case of Wisconsin, they've got DNA that has been pretty consistent. At least from a preparation standpoint, when we look at film, we can say, 'OK, this is probably what we can expect.' Now the challenge is how do you crack the safe? It's hard because these guys are really good at what they do."

One of Stanley's favorite targets is junior Noah Fant, whose 14 career touchdown catches are the most in school history for a tight end. He has nine touchdowns in his past 10 games at Kinnick Stadium.

The Wisconsin defense is led by 2017 All-American linebacker T.J. Edwards, safety D'Cota Dixon and nose tackle Olive Sagapolu. Iowa's defensive crew is led up front by end Anthony Nelson and A.J. Espenesa, who is tied for first in the Big Ten with four sacks.

Given the strength of both defenses, this could be a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair, unless Stanley or Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook (43 of 68 for 595 yards, with three touchdowns and two interceptions) can find some magic through the air in this battle for early supremacy in the Big Ten West.

"We're going to approach this week of practice with a new mindset," Taylor said. "We know that we're going to have to work harder for everything we want."

Copyright 2018 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

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Scoring Summary
No Scoring Plays
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18 Wisconsin 2-1 -----
Iowa 3-0 -----
0 AVG PASS YDS 0
0 AVG RUSH YDS 0
0 AVG TOTAL YDS 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
A. Hornibrook 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
-% - - - -
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
63.2% 595 3 2 145.4
A. Hornibrook 43/68 595 3 2
D. Vanden Boom 15 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
-% - - - -
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
100% 3 1 0 455.2
D. Vanden Boom 1/1 3 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Taylor 23 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
77 515 5
J. Taylor 77 515 5 47
T. Deal 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
23 125 2
T. Deal 23 125 2 16
G. Groshek 37 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
10 69 0
G. Groshek 10 69 0 31
A. Ingold 45 FB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
9 65 2
A. Ingold 9 65 2 39
K. Pryor 3 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 40 0
K. Pryor 2 40 0 21
C. James 5 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
8 39 0
C. James 8 39 0 9
A. Cruickshank 1 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 11 0
A. Cruickshank 1 11 0 11
M. Stokke 34 LB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 6 0
M. Stokke 2 6 0 3
A. Hornibrook 12 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
9 -15 0
A. Hornibrook 9 -15 0 16
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
A. Taylor 4 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 250 1
A. Taylor 12 250 1 44
J. Ferguson 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 108 0
J. Ferguson 8 108 0 27
G. Groshek 37 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 79 1
G. Groshek 6 79 1 43
K. Pryor 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 62 1
K. Pryor 5 62 1 22
D. Davis III 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 40 0
D. Davis III 4 40 0 18
J. Dunn 16 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 20 0
J. Dunn 1 20 0 20
J. Taylor 23 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 14 0
J. Taylor 3 14 0 10
T. Deal 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 10 0
T. Deal 1 10 0 10
A. Krumholz 24 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
A. Krumholz 1 5 0 5
K. Penniston 49 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 4 0
K. Penniston 1 4 0 4
Z. Neuville 85 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 3 0
Z. Neuville 1 3 0 3
T. Mustapha 81 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 3 1
T. Mustapha 1 3 1 3
Defense T-A SACK INT
F. Hicks 20 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
F. Hicks 0-0 0.0 1
M. Cone 31 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
M. Cone 0-0 0.0 1
S. Nelson 9 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
S. Nelson 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Gaglianone 27 K
IN-GAME FG XP
-/- -/-
SEASON FG XP
3/4 13/13
R. Gaglianone 3/4 0 13/13 22
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
N. Stanley 4 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
-% - - - -
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
63.3% 583 3 2 132.7
N. Stanley 50/79 583 3 2
P. Mansell 2 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
-% - - - -
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
80% 64 0 1 147.5
P. Mansell 4/5 64 0 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
T. Young 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
43 234 2
T. Young 43 234 2 40
M. Sargent 10 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
38 137 3
M. Sargent 38 137 3 11
I. Kelly-Martin 21 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
16 62 1
I. Kelly-Martin 16 62 1 10
H. Geil 30 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 37 0
H. Geil 15 37 0 7
B. Ross 36 FB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 12 0
B. Ross 4 12 0 4
K. Groeneweg 14 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 11 0
K. Groeneweg 1 11 0 11
N. Stanley 4 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
11 10 0
N. Stanley 11 10 0 11
P. Mansell 2 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 7 1
P. Mansell 3 7 1 13
I. Smith-Marsette 6 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
- - -
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
I. Smith-Marsette 1 5 0 5
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
N. Fant 87 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 140 2
N. Fant 12 140 2 43
T. Hockenson 38 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
12 113 0
T. Hockenson 12 113 0 24
I. Smith-Marsette 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 73 0
I. Smith-Marsette 4 73 0 45
B. Smith 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 54 0
B. Smith 3 54 0 30
M. Sargent 10 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 54 0
M. Sargent 2 54 0 48
N. Wieting 39 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 30 0
N. Wieting 1 30 0 30
T. Tracy, Jr. 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 22 0
T. Tracy, Jr. 1 22 0 22
M. Cooper 19 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 15 0
M. Cooper 3 15 0 7
B. Ross 36 FB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 14 0
B. Ross 2 14 0 10
N. Ragaini 89 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 7 0
N. Ragaini 1 7 0 7
K. Groeneweg 14 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
K. Groeneweg 1 5 0 5
T. Young 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
- - -
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 2 0
T. Young 1 2 0 2
Defense T-A SACK INT
M. Ojemudia 11 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
M. Ojemudia 0-0 0.0 1
A. Hooker 27 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
- - -
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
A. Hooker 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Recinos 91 K
IN-GAME FG XP
-/- -/-
SEASON FG XP
4/7 10/10
M. Recinos 4/7 0 10/10 22
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD