Halftime reactions – Wisconsin vs. Iowa

With Iowa and Wisconsin deadlocked, 7-7, at halftime, the Daily Iowan gives its reactions (as well as some from Twitter) on the first half.


Nick Rohlman

Iowa tight end Noah Fant catches a touchdown pass in the first half of Iowa’s game against Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Sep 22, 2018. The score is tied 7-7 at the half.

Adam Hensley and Pete Ruden

Iowa’s run defense looked better on last two Wisconsin possessions, but it has been shaky otherwise.

After holding opponents to just 42 yards per game on the ground in nonconference action, Iowa gave up 100 rushing yards in the first half.

Jonathan Taylor has averaged 5.3 yards per carry, racking up 80 yards in the first two quarters. Taiwan Deal added 14 yards on 3 carries.

Iowa’s inability to consistently defend the run can be seen in time of possession; Wisconsin has eaten up 18:07 minutes in the first half.

However, toward the end of the second quarter, Iowa got things together — a positive sign heading into quarter No. 3. On Wisconsin’s final two possessions, the Hawkeyes held Taylor to just 3 yards on 3 carries, forcing the Badgers into long third-down attempts. If Iowa keeps it up, this game could easily swing the Hawkeyes’ way.

Adam Hensley

Iowa’s offense showed up in the first half.

Iowa needed its offense to provide a spark if it wanted to beat Wisconsin, and it has done that through one half.

After falling flat in the first two weeks of the season, the Hawkeye offense showed life following its tune-up game against Northern Iowa.

Iowa went 80 yards on its opening drive, taking it down to the Wisconsin 5. The Hawkeyes elected to go for it on fourth down instead of taking 3 points, and quarterback Nate Stanley was stopped short of the first.

Despite not making the play, Stanley has been impressive. The Menomonie, Wisconsin, native is 5-of-7 passing with 110 yards and a touchdown.

His best action came on a third-down broken play, in which he scrambled around in the backfield and chucked a deep pass to tight end T.J Hockenson, who came down with the ball for a 46-yard gain despite the defense hanging all over him.

He then threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Noah Fant to tie the game at 7.

Iowa has also been solid in the ground game, with Ivory Kelly-Martin leading the attack at 61 yards on 8 carries. The Hawkeyes have also made an effort to get their playmakers into open space; Ihmir Smith-Marsette and Kyle Groeneweg have both been called on for jet sweeps, with Smith-Marsette’s going for 20 yards and Groeneweg’s for 3.

Iowa outgained Wisconsin, 203-184. If the Hawkeyes can stop Taylor on defense without taking a step back on the offensive side of the ball, Iowa could be in for a big second half.

Pete Ruden

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