Iowa Hosts Wisconsin In B1G West Elimination Game

The Iowa Hawkeyes host the Wisconsin Badgers in what is essentially a Big Ten West Division title elimination game Saturday at Kinnick Stadium. The Heartland Trophy — which currently resides in Iowa’s Football Performance Center — will be at stake.

The Iowa-Wisconsin rivalry has grown very intense over the past few years — especially since former Hawkeyes assistant Barry Alvarez took over the Badgers program and restored it to respectability and national prominence — much like what Hayden Fry did for the Hawkeyes. Many fans might say it’s now Iowa’s biggest rivalry — albeit not involving the most coveted trophy which certainly remains Floyd of Rosedale. But the Bull isn’t far behind the bronze pig.

The Heartland Trophy has been at stake since 2004 and the series is tied 5–5 since then. Iowa now holds it following its thrilling 10–6 win last year in Madison. That victory broke a three-game Badgers win streak.

This series began all the way back in 1894 and is about as close as it can get. Wisconsin holds a 44–43–2 advantage going into Saturday’s game. Iowa holds a 24–18–1 advantage in games played in Iowa City despite the fact the Badgers have won the last three games played at Kinnick Stadium.

From 1977–1996 The Hawkeyes defeated Wisconsin 17 times and tied once. Since then Wisky is 10–7 against Iowa — and almost all of those games have been close. The last six contests have been decided by an average of 6.5 points. This year’s game should be another slobber-knocker — something fans of both teams have become accustomed to.

Iowa is 5–2 overall, 3–1 in Big Ten play. The 10th-ranked Badgers are 4–2 overall and 1–2 in conference games. Wisconsin has played a much tougher schedule than Iowa — or for that matter any other Big Ten team. It has defeated LSU as well as Akron, Georgia State, and Michigan State — while losing at Michigan and to Ohio State last Saturday in overtime.

Kirk Ferentz is in his 18th year as Iowa Head Coach with a record of 132–89. He is seventh all time in the Big Ten in overall coaching victories as well as in conference wins.

Paul Chryst has long been associated with the Wisconsin program. He quarterbacked for the Badgers from 1985–87 and was an assistant coach for eight seasons. He is in his second year as Wisconsin’s Head Coach with a record of 14–5. Prior to returning to Madison, he was head coach at Pitt for three seasons.

The game will kickoff at 11:00 AM and will be a national telecast on ESPN with announcers Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Todd McShay.

As usual you can listen to the broadcast on the Hawkeyes Radio Network with Gary Dolphin, Ed Podolak, and Rob Brooks — and on satellite radio XM channel 81 or Sirius channel 81.

Iowa has its bye week after Saturday’s game. The Hawkeyes will next play November 5th at Penn State. Wisconsin hosts Nebraska next Saturday in Madison.

Tidbits & Nuggets

Iowa has won six straight trophy games and currently hold all of their rivalry game trophies. The Hawkeyes have successfully defended the Cy-Hawk Trophy and Floyd of Rosedale this season. The Heartland Trophy will be up for grabs Saturday — and then the Heroes Trophy at the end of the regular season vs. Nebraska.

Wisconsin has won 11 of its last 12 trophy games against rivals Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska — dating back to the 2010 season. The Badgers Big Ten record since 2004 is 68–31. Only Ohio State has compiled a better record during that time. Wisconsin is also one of just 15 Power Five programs to win 100 or more games since the start of the 2005 season — with a record of 112–40. And Wisconsin has gone 11–3 since losing to Iowa last season.

Iowa’s last home win over a nationally-ranked opponent was 24–16 over #13 Michigan in 2011. Its last victory in Kinnick Stadium over a top-ten team was against Michigan State in 2010. When the Hawkeyes won last year in Madison, Wisconsin was ranked 18th at the time.

Saturday’s contest is the sixth annual America Needs Farmers game. Former Iowa and NFL star tight end Dallas Clark is being honored as the fifth member of the ANF Wall of Honor. Previous recipients are Casey Wiegmann, Jared DeVries, Bruce Nelson, and Robert Gallery.

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