Well, we should all know the script by now...slow start and mistakes on offense, defense giving up a couple of long drives, getting down early, then making incredible adjustments at halftime, get the run game going, and buckling down on D. In the end, it's the recipe for another Hawkeye victory.
Stars of the Game:
Offense - Tony Moeaki
I could easily make an argument for Stanzi or DJK who both had great games. (Stanzi was 17/23 for 218 yards, 1 TD and 0 INT...that's right no interceptions. DJK had a his best game of the year with game high 8 reception for 113 yards.) Moeaki though came up with a couple of huge plays that really impacted the outcome of the game. On two third downs in the second half, Moeaki made big catches...the first was a 24 yard touchdown on a 3rd and 7 that allowed Iowa to tie the score at 10 a piece. The second was a 27 yard pickup on a 3rd and 13 that kept a drive going that ultimately ended with a field goal that put the Hawks up by 10 sealing the deal.
Defense - Amari Spievey
It's nothing new for Spievey to have an excellent game...he has been doing so all year. But today he came up with his first and second interception of the season (the second was particualrly spectacular and ended any hopes for Wisconsin late in the 4th quarter). He was also excellent in run support racking up 6 tackles.
Keys of the Game:
Third Down Conversions
In the second half, Iowa was excellent converting on 3rd downs getting 5 of 9 in the half after converting just 1 of 6 in the first half. Moeaki's touchdown catch was on a 3rd down, and Iowa converted 3 other 3rd and longs including the other long Moeaki catch.
Iowa's defense was also very good on 3rd down holding Wisconsin to just 3 of 12. Whether it was a sack (Iowa has 4 in the game), an interception, or just an incomplete pass...Iowa found a way to stop the Badgers on 3rd down.
Half Time Adjustments
I don't know what the coaches say at halftime, but it seems every week Iowa makes great adjustments at the break. After giving up 89 rushing yards and 172 total yards in the first half, the defense stepped up and held the Badgers to -2 rushing yards in the second half (yes negative rushing yards for the Big Ten's best running team) and just 58 total yards. Wisconsin only had 3 first downs the entire second half and didn't score a point.
The offense also played much better in the second half. The offensive line got it going a little bit after a terrible first half and Adam Robinson had a couple of nice runs, including the 10 yard go ahead touchdown. Stanzi also had an amazing second half, maybe his best half of the season. He was 11 of 13 for 162 yards with 1 touchdown. That's a QB rating of 214.7. Second-half Stanzi struck again and it amazes me that the trend just keeps on going. One of these days he's going to put together a complete game...and watch out, it could be a blow out.