Football Game Watch #10
Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Wisconsin Badgers
Saturday, November 11, 2017,12:30 p.m. Pacific time.
Barney’s Beanery (2 locations: Santa Monica and Redondo Beach)
Half-time raffles at both Santa Monica and Redondo Beach locations this week!
IOWA vs. WISCONSIN
Here’s the game preview by Tanner Lafever.
I’ll be totally honest with you. I’m still not entirely sure where I am, nor have I regained total feeling in all of my extremities following last weekend’s emotional bonanza at Kinnick Stadium.
Our now 20th ranked (!) Iowa Hawkeyes (6-3, 3-3) pulled off one of the most improbably dominant performances in recent college football memory. I can only hope that every fan out there was able to bask in the moment of glory much like the entire student population in Iowa City did on Saturday night.
It was a monumentally joyous occasion to be sure, but in this sport you’ve only got so much time to celebrate. On the horizon is another showdown with a top 10 opponent, this time on the road against the undefeated #8 Wisconsin Badgers at 12:30PM PST on ABC.
None of us will ever forget the elation brought on by lambasting Ohio State, but this team has a chance to multiply those good feelings tenfold if it can show the football world that last Saturday wasn’t just a one-off for the Black & Gold.
Trips to Madison, Wisconsin are never particularly cheerful. Sure the Hawkeyes have won each of their last two trips to the state capital of our inhospitable northern neighbors, but Camp Randall Stadium is no place for the faint of heart.
In a series that will see the 91st overall meeting between the two schools take place on Saturday, you can be sure that Iowa will need to absorb just as many blows as it dishes out. There’s a reason that the all-time series record splits by the slimmest of margins (Wisconsin leads 45-43-2). To expect this year’s contest to be any different would be a foolish endeavor.
Now being that Badgers are notorious for their inability to fly (I think?), this Wisconsin team is once again predisposed to attack its opponents on the ground when it possesses the football. Freshman phenom Jonathan Taylor leads the way, having already piled up 1368 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns with three games left to play in the regular season.
On defense, an aggressive unit enters this week’s contest allowing barely 13 points/game and fewer than 90 yards rushing each time it takes the field.
The Hawkeyes are sure to be tested in the trenches on both sides of the ball. It’ll be up to Josey Jewell & Co. to put the Badger offense in uncomfortable positions, and Nate Stanley and the improving Iowa receiving corps to extend their aggressive defense much like we saw against the Buckeyes to great effect this past weekend.
Stanley sits just five touchdowns passes away from tying the legendary Chuck Long’s single season school record (27), and based on his performance against Ohio State that might be worth keeping an eye on this week (fingers crossed). But likely more significant is the Wisconsin native’s drive to help the Hawkeyes get a win back in his home state in front of friends and family.
And on a final note I’d be remiss not to mention what truly amounts to the highest stakes for Saturday’s match-up. As Iowa football fans we’ve developed a hankering for trophies of all shapes and sizes. Victory over Wisconsin would mean another notch on 2017’s belt in that regard.
We’ve already paid next year’s rent for the Cy-Hawk trophy. Good ‘ol Floyd is staying in an Iowa pen (and hopefully away from an Iowa frying pan) through 2018. So now it’s time to reclaim from those filthy Badgers the brass bull that is the Heartland Trophy, and bring it back to Hawkeye pastures for the foreseeable future.
Last weekend was just so much fun. And as a decidedly pro-fun Iowa supporter I’d like to cast my vote for having more fun the rest of this season, starting on Saturday in Madison.
Also, just to satisfy my own curiosity I’d love to see if anything but charred remains would exist of downtown Iowa City if this team were to pull off a second consecutive upset of a top eight ranked team.
See you all on Saturday, and let’s give ‘em hell. Because why not? It’ll be fun.
Look for more stories from Tanner in the upcoming weeks, and if you would like to drop Tanner a line or two of support; email us at firstname.lastname@example.org