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
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
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
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
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
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.
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