Halftime reactions | Wisconsin leads No. 9 Iowa, 20-0

Iowa’s offense only accounted for one first down in the first half.


Jerod Ringwald

Wisconsin wide receiver Chimere Dike pushes down Iowa defensive back Jerami Harris after catching a pass during a football game between No. 9 Iowa and Wisconsin at Camp Randall Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. (Jerod Ringwald/The Daily Iowan)

Robert Read and Austin Hanson

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin had more points (20) than No. 9 Iowa has yards (17) in the first half of Saturday’s contest at Camp Randall Stadium.

The Badgers lead the Hawkeyes, 20-0, at the break.

Iowa’s offense picked up one first down in 30 minutes of first-half action. The Hawkeyes have also turned the ball over twice and given up four sacks, all while rushing for -13 yards. The Badgers have compiled 192 yards of total offense and scored two touchdowns and two field goals.

DI Pregame Editor Robert Read and Sports Editor Austin Hanson are in the press box covering the game. Here are their reactions to the first half.

Hawkeye defense looking very un-Iowa

Don’t worry, we’ll get to the offense in a minute. Austin will rip that unit to shreds a couple paragraphs down. But we knew Iowa’s offense was going to be bad, right? Let’s take a minute to discuss Iowa’s relatively disappointing defensive display in the first half.

Wisconsin had the 11th-best scoring offense in the Big Ten and were in the bottom half of the conference in yards per game. Iowa came in with the third-best total defense in the conference. But the Badgers were in control when their offense was on the field in the first half.

Badgers quarterback is looking the best he has all season, delivering accurate passes and allowing Wisconsin to go evenly between the run (102 rushing yards in the first half as a team) and the pass (92 passing yards).

Iowa’s defense has allowed two touchdowns and two field goals. Iowa’s offense hasn’t done anything to help its defense out, but still. The Hawkeye defense has allowed the Badgers drive down the field on multiple occasions. Iowa couldn’t come up with any timely turnovers, either.

The only positive for Iowa fans going into halftime is that this game is getting closer to being over.

– Robert Read, Pregame Editor

No need to play a second half, I’ve seen enough from Iowa’s offense

As the old adage goes, defense wins championships. Iowa is in the process of disproving that theory.

The Hawkeyes’ defense has done its job, holding Wisconsin to about 200 yards of total offense in the first half. Yes, the Badgers have scored 20 points, but seven of those are a product of a turnover Iowa’s offense committed at its own 1-yard line via an Ivory Kelly-Martin fumble.

Three more of those points were a result of a punt the Hawkeyes muffed late in the first half.

Iowa’s offense, however, isn’t holding up its end of the bargain. Iowa has picked up one first down and punted five times. The Hawkeyes gained 17 total yards on offense.

Hawkeye quarterback Spencer Petras’ QB rating currently sits at 65.2. He’s completed four of his 10 passes for 30 yards. The Californian’s longest completion went for 12 yards to TE Sam LaPorta. Petras was sacked four times in the first half.

Iowa’s run game has been overwhelmed by Wisconsin’s defense too. In total, the Hawkeyes lost 13 yards rushing on 13 first-half runs.

The Hawkeyes possessed the ball for just over 10 minutes in half No. 1. Iowa averaged .74 yards per play in the first half. The Hawkeyes were 1-of-7 on third down.

With nowhere to run (literally) and nowhere to hide (figuratively), I’m not sure if Iowa’s offense will find a spark in the second half. I’m not sure if the Hawkeyes’ offense will even pick up a first down, or even score for that matter, in the second half.

So, it might be time to close the book on this game and chalk it up as a Hawkeye loss because Iowa’s offense isn’t moving the ball anywhere.

– Austin Hanson, Sports Editor

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