No. 6 Wisconsin can wrap up B1G West by beating No. 25 Iowa
No. 25 Iowa (6-3, 3-3 Big Ten, CFP No. 20) at No. 6 Wisconsin (9-0, 6-0, CFP No. 8), Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
Line: Wisconsin by 11 ½.
Series record: Wisconsin leads 45-43-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
Winner gets a miniature statue of a bronzed bull called the Heartland Trophy. More importantly, Iowa needs a second straight victory over a Top 10 team to keep its longshot chance alive for a Big Ten West division crown. The Badgers can clinch a trip the league championship game and at least a share of the division title with a victory. They could use style points in their first game this season against a ranked opponent to pad their College Football Playoff resume, too.
Iowa defense against Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook. The Hawkeyes picked off Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett four times in the surprising 55-24 rout last week of the Buckeyes. Eight of Hornibrook’s nine interceptions this season have come in Big Ten play. He’s shown a penchant for bouncing back from picks, but the Badgers would be better off if they can limit mistakes against the ball-hawking Hawkeyes.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Iowa: QB Nate Stanley returns to his home state on a roll. Stanley, who grew up in Menomonie, Wisconsin, had five touchdown passes against the Buckeyes. He has thrown for 12 TDs without an interception in four games against ranked opponents this year. The Badgers’ defense is tied for fourth in the country with 14 interceptions.
Wisconsin: RB Jonathan Taylor. This is the most important game yet for the Big Ten’s leading rusher (152 yards per game), who boasts an impressive blend of strength, agility and speed for a freshman. Iowa is eighth in the league in run defense (147.3 yards).
FACTS & FIGURES
Visiting team has won last six meetings in series. Iowa has won two straight in Madison, last losing at Camp Randall Stadium in 2007, 17-13. ... Iowa’s three losses this season have been decided by one possession, with two coming on the game’s final play. ... LB Josey Jewell leads Big Ten with 11.3 tackles per game. ... Wisconsin DE Alec James has 3 ½ sacks over last two weeks. ... Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst just fourth coach in Big Ten history to win 30 games in first three seasons.
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