Nate Stanley, A.J. Epenesa disappointed with outcome, not with effort
Iowa had its chances on Saturday, but couldn’t capitalize. Rather than keeping its hopes alive for the B1G West title, though, the Hawkeyes fell to 6-3 on the season with no hopes of winning a division title.
Wisconsin downed Iowa 24-22 in a critical B1G West matchup in Madison, making it the fourth straight year in which the Badgers have knocked off the Hawkeyes. And this one, as you can imagine, was just as heartbreaking.
“A bunch,” Nate Stanley told Marc Morehouse of The Gazette, when asked how much the loss stings. “You really can’t put it into words.”
Aside from a 3-0 lead early in the game, Iowa was playing from behind for most of the afternoon. Wisconsin owned a 14-6 lead at halftime and built a 21-6 advantage entering the fourth quarter. But Iowa stormed back, having a chance to tie the game on a two-point conversion with the score 24-22 following a Tyrone Tracy touchdown catch from Nate Stanley.
A quarterback keeper was stuffed at the goal line, and ended up being the difference in the game.
It was a hard-fought, grind-it-out game between Iowa and Wisconsin, typically what you see between the two B1G West powers. A.J. Epenesa said it was a battle from start to finish.
“Offensively and defensively, we were scratching for every inch,” Epenesa said. “That’s the definition of fighting. Defense didn’t play to our standards. I thought the offense took a step forward and they never gave up and that really showed.”
Iowa now drops to 6-3 with the loss with games against Minnesota, Illinois and Nebraska still remaining. The Hawkeyes may not have a division crown to play for any longer, but they can still spoil a few seasons in the final three-game stretch.