Jonathan Taylor helps No. 16 Wisconsin outlast No. 18 Iowa 24-22
MADISON — Jonathan Taylor rushed for a season-high 250 yards and Danny Davis ran for a touchdown and caught another as No. 16 Wisconsin outlasted No. 18 Iowa 24-22 on Saturday.
Taylor became the first running back this season to rush for more than 100 yards against Iowa as Wisconsin (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten, No. 13 College Football Playoff) held on to the Heartland Trophy, given each year to the winner of this game. Wisconsin has beaten Iowa four straight times.
Quintez Cephus caught five passes for 94 yards and a score to help Wisconsin stay in contention for the Big Ten West crown.
After trailing 21-6 at the end of the third quarter, the Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-3, No. 18 CFP) outscored the Badgers 16-3 in the fourth but couldn’t come all the way back. Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley was stopped short of the goal line on a potential game-tying two-point conversion attempt with 3:12 remaining.
Iowa’s rally included a nine-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 3-yard touchdown from Nate Stanley to Nico Ragaini that made it 21-13 with just over 14 minutes to play.
The Iowa defense then forced Wisconsin’s first turnover of the day, as Matt Hankins picked off a Jack Coan pass. The junior quarterback’s third interception of the season led to a 39-yard field goal by Keith Duncan that cut Wisconsin’s lead to 21-16 with 9:27 to play. The field goal was Duncan’s 22nd of the year, a single-season record for the Hawkeyes.
Collin Larsh’s 29-yard field goal extended Wisconsin’s lead to 24-16 with 3:29 left. Stanley found Tyrone Tracy for 75-yard score 17 seconds later, but Wisconsin stopped Iowa on the two-point conversion attempt.
Stanley finished 17 of 28 for 208 yards and two scores.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes entered the day allowing only 10.1 points per game, the lowest average in coach Kirk Ferentz’s 21 seasons at Iowa. But the Hawkeyes allowed a season high in points and were outgained 473-295. Iowa fell to 0-3 this season against ranked teams. The Hawkeyes also lost to Michigan and Penn State earlier in the year.
Wisconsin: The Badgers got back on track in the friendly confines of Camp Randall Stadium after back-to-back road losses at Illinois and Ohio State.
Iowa could find itself on the outside of the AP Top 25 and CFP rankings next week. Wisconsin positions itself nicely with winnable games against Nebraska and Purdue remaining and a showdown at No. 13 Minnesota (No. 17 CFP) on Nov. 30.
Iowa hosts No. 13 Minnesota on Nov. 16.
Wisconsin plays at Nebraska on Nov. 16.