The Wisconsin defense spent most of the day in the Iowa backfield racking up six sacks and forcing the Hawkeyes to go three-and-out on four of their first six drives, with the other two drives ending on turnovers.
Heartland Trophy is back home pic.twitter.com/7RDDWIjfSk— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) October 30, 2021
Leading the way defensively for the Badgers was none other than Leo Chenal, who recorded nine tackles (four solo), one solo tackle for loss, two assisted tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks.
OLB Nick Herbig recorded 2.5 sacks in the game.
Iowa recorded their first first down in the game with 1:15 left in the first half, but its offensive woes did not end there. The Hawkeyes finished the game with 156 total yards and were only 2-of-13 on third down and 0-of-2 on fourth down in the game. Iowa also turned the ball over three times, with Wisconsin converting those miscues into 10 points.
Offensively, Wisconsin was paced by freshman running back Braelon Allen, who recorded his fourth-consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 20 carries for 104 yards. Graham Mertz, who was hot early, finished the game 11-of-22 for 104 yards and a touchdown pass while rushing for two touchdowns on an efficient two yards on three carries.
Mertz’s only touchdown pass of the day went to Jake Ferguson, who was wide open in the back of the end zone, following a play-action that had Iowa crashing the line hard. Mertz was a perfect 5-for-5, for 52 yards on the 8-play, 65-yard scoring drive that put Wisconsin up early.
With the win, Wisconsin puts itself in prime position in the Big Ten West, only trailing Minnesota (5-2 overall, 3-1 Big Ten), who the Badgers play in the final game of the regular season.