4:30 PM ET, November 20, 2004
Kinnick Stadium, IOWA CITY, IA
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) -- All season long, Iowa has thrived on swiping the ball. On Saturday, the Hawkeyes' thievery earned them a piece of the Big Ten title -- and Michigan a spot in the Rose Bowl.
The No. 17 Hawkeyes forced four turnovers, turning three of them into 13 second-half points en route to a 30-7 victory over No. 9 Wisconsin.
Ohio State's 37-21 victory over Michigan earlier in the day raised the stakes for the 80th meeting between the Badgers and Hawkeyes, putting the conference title on the line for both teams and a Rose Bowl berth in Wisconsin's grasp.
Iowa responded with their seventh straight win since losing to Michigan 30-17. For the second time in three years, the Hawkeyes (9-2, 7-1) shared ownership of the league title. But because of that loss to Michigan, the Wolverines claim the Big Ten's Bowl Championship Series spot and their second straight trip to Pasadena, Calif.
With a running game depleted by injuries, the Hawkeyes were forced all year to find other ways to win. In the last three games, Iowa recorded 20 takeaways despite a ground game that is ranked among the nation's worst.
"The turnovers were a big factor all season," said Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz, whose team led the Big Ten in takeaways. "They're always an important stat and they are critical to us having success."
For the Badgers (9-2, 6-2), a promising season has crumbled the last two weeks with two losses by a combined 79-21, including a humbling 49-14 defeat at Michigan State.
"We lost a lot of stuff today. We lost a trip to ... the Rose Bowl, a shot at the Big Ten title," Badgers safety Robert Brooks said. "It just wasn't a game today."
Iowa picked off John Stocco twice and recovered two fumbles.
The biggest came late in the third quarter when Sean Considine stepped in front of an overthrown pass deep inside Badgers territory.
Iowa scored eight plays later when Drew Tate fired a 12-yard TD pass to Scott Chandler, putting Iowa up 21-7 with 3:24 to go in the third quarter.
Two more turnovers set up short drives capped by Kyle Schlicher's two field goals, ensuring Iowa's 18th straight home victory, the nation's fourth-longest streak.
"What more can you ask for when we're getting interceptions, fumbles, forcing pressures on quarterbacks?" said cornerback Antwan Allen, one of several Hawkeyes swarmed by thousands of fans who flooded the field after the game.
Playing without leading rusher Anthony Davis, Wisconsin was held to just 41 yards rushing and 186 overall. Davis, who rushed for 894 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, was in uniform but stayed on the sideline with a thigh injury.
Stocco was 18-for-38 for 145 yards.
As Big Ten co-champs, the Hawkeyes appear to be in line for a bid to the Capital One Bowl, in Orlando, Fla., while the Badgers' postseason plans are unclear.
"I'm disappointed we didn't play better with so much on the line," said Badgers coach Barry Alvarez.
As he has all season, Tate fueled Iowa's one-dimensional offensive attack, throwing for 186 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions. Iowa rushed for just 76 yards, capping one of the worst rushing years in school history.
Despite throwing interceptions on Iowa's first two possessions, Tate settled down and helped Iowa score first when he rolled out and threw a 6-yard TD pass to Clinton Solomon in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, the Badgers had failed to capitalize on Tate's miscues. Wisconsin blew two early chances that were set up when safety Jim Leonhard intercepted Tate twice in Iowa territory.
Wisconsin failed to get a first down on both drives, and a muffed hold on a 47-yard field goal attempt thwarted the first scoring chance. Leonhard's interceptions gave him 21 in his career, tying him with Jamar Fletcher for a school record.
Wisconsin tied it just before halftime when Booker Stanley scored on a 4-yard run around right end.
Four plays later, Tate fired a 51-yard TD pass on the move to Solomon, putting Iowa up 14-7 at the half.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-18||5-15|
|4th Down Conversions||2-5||2-2|
|TD||4:22||CLINTON SOLOMON 6 YD PASS FROM DREW TATE (KYLE SCHLICHER KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 66 yards.
|TD||1:51||BOOKER STANLEY 4 YD RUN (MIKE ALLEN KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 43 yards.
|TD||1:00||CLINTON SOLOMON 51 YD PASS FROM DREW TATE (KYLE SCHLICHER KICK)|
Drive info: 3 plays, 60 yards.
|TD||3:54||SCOTT CHANDLER 12 YD PASS FROM DREW TATE (KYLE SCHLICHER KICK)|
Drive info: 6 plays, 32 yards.
|FG||1:37||KYLE SCHLICHER 31 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 7 yards.
|FG||10:59||KYLE SCHLICHER 21 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 25 yards.
|FG||6:50||KYLE SCHLICHER 34 YD FG|
Drive info: 4 plays, 8 yards.