AP NEWS

No. 18 Wisconsin looks to rebound at rival Iowa

September 20, 2018

No. 18 Wisconsin (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten) at Iowa (3-0, 0-0), 8:30 p.m. ET (FOX).

Line: Wisconsin by 3½.

Series record: Wisconsin leads 46-43-2.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Wisconsin’s playoff hopes are in trouble after last week’s upset loss to BYU at home, and losing to the Hawkeyes would be like pulling the plug. For Iowa, a win over the Badgers would be the biggest indicator yet that the Hawkeyes might have a chance to steal the West division back from Wisconsin.

KEY MATCHUP

Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor vs. Iowa’s defensive line/linebackers. Taylor is as good as it gets, topping 100 yards in each of the Badgers’ first three games. But so are the Hawkeyes, who rank second nationally with 42 yards a game allowed on the ground. Expect Iowa to load the box and dare QB Alex Hornibrook to beat them.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Wisconsin: Hornibrook. He threw for 190 yards and a pick in last week’s loss to BYU. For Wisconsin to go far in 2018, it’ll need more out of their junior, who threw 15 interceptions a year ago.

Iowa State: WR Nick Easley. After a slow start to the season, Easley caught 10 passes for 107 yards and TD in last week’s 38-14 win over Northern Iowa. Iowa desperately needs a consistent threat on the outside, and Easley is the best candidate to fill that role.

FACTS & FIGURES

The Badgers have won 17 of their last 18 trophy games with rivals Iowa (Heartland Trophy), Nebraska (Freedom Trophy) and Minnesota (Paul Bunyan’s Axe) since 2010. The Hawkeyes beat the Badgers in 2015 on their way to the West division title. ...Iowa sophomore A.J. Epenesa, the rare five-star recruit to commit to Iowa, has four sacks this season. That’s tied for fourth-best in America. .. The Badgers have won 15 straight regular-season Big Ten games, the longest such streak in school history.

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