Hawkeye Gameday: Wisconsin at Iowa




SERIES: Wisconsin 49-44-2


Allen’s yards: A rushing 119 yards last week in the Badgers’ 23-10 win over Maryland, Wisconsin sophomore Braelon Allen has rushed for 989 yards this season, fourth among Big Ten backs, and takes the field on Saturday, requiring 11 Yards to become fifth Badger ‘back to run for 1,000 yards in both his freshman and sophomore seasons. The 6-foot-2, 235-pounder averages 5.8 yards per carry.

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Johnson’s encore: After becoming only the third Big Ten player and the third freshman in the nation to rush for 200 yards in a game this season, Iowa’s Kaleb Johnson will get additional help Saturday. Leshon Williams and Gavin Williams, both suspended with injuries last week, have been cleared for extra work this week. Johnson, who matches Allen’s 5.8 yards per carry, has rushed for 553 yards this season and is 85 yards from beating Tyler Goodson’s Iowa freshman rushing record.

Mertz’ Touch: Wisconsin quarterback Graham Mertz has been a little up and down this season. After completing 55 of 74 passes in his last three games, the 6-foot-3 junior netted on just 5 of 18 attempts in windy, rainy weather against Maryland last week. He was picked up just once in the four games and ranks second in the Big Ten this season with 17 touchdown passes.

Campbell’s collection: Iowa senior Jack Campbell continues to lead the Big Ten averaging 9.9 tackles per game. The Cedar Falls linebacker, now 25th on Iowa’s career tackle chart with 266 stops, is nine tackles away from making the top 20. He leads a defense that limits opponents to a national-best 3.9 yards per game and allows 14.3 points per game, the fifth-best defense in the country.

Torchio’s Takeaways: With five interceptions, Badgers safety John Torchio is level on points with the national lead in picks and has returned two for touchdowns, a first for Wisconsin since Aaron Henry in 2010. As a team, Wisconsin ranks second nationally with 15 interceptions this season and has picked up at least one pass in eight games. Torchio is among 10 Badgers to intercept passes, including a pair from Kamo’l Latu.


IOWA (5-4, 3-3)


Spencer Petras;127;228;5;1,401;5

Kaleb Johnson;96;553;5.8;4

Leshon Williams;85;312;3.7;2

Gavin Williams;34;106;3.1;0

Arland Bruce IV;11;47;4.3;1

Sam LaPorta;44;458;10.4;1

Nico Ragaini;21;279;13.3;1

Arland Bruce IV;17;177;10.4;1

Luke Lachey;12;191;15.9;2

INTERCEPT: Cooper DeJean 3, Kaevon Merriweather 3

BAGS: Luke Van Ness 5.5, Joe Evans 5, Deontae Craig 3, Aaron Graves 2.5, Logan Lee 2.5

TACKLE: Jack Campbell (89), Seth Benson (71), Cooper DeJean (50), Quinn Schulte (50), Kaevon Merriweather (38), Riley Moss (38).

POINT RETURN: Arland Bruce IV 17-125-7.4

KICKOFF RETURNS: Kaleb Johnson 11-271-24.6, Riley Moss 4-93-23.3

WISCONSIN (5-4, 3-3)


Graham Mertz;123;205;6;1.701;17

Braelon Allen;172;989;5.8;10

Isaac Guerendo;42;280;6.7;5

Chez Mellusi;56;223;4.0;1

Skyler Bell;10;105;10.5;0

Chimera Dyke;35;555;15.9;6

Skyler Bell;22;367;16.7;4

Braelon Allen;10;100;10.0;0

Tone Cundiff;9;142;15.8;2

INTERCEPT: John Torchio 5, Kamo’l Latu 2

BAGS: Nick Herbig 8, Keenau Benton 3, CJ Goetz 2

TACKLE: Maema Njongmeta (60), John Torchio (45), Jordan Turner (44), Kamo’l Latu (42), CJ Goetz (37), Nick Herbig (34).

POINT RETURN: Dean Engram 16-66-4.1

KICKOFF RETURNS: Isaac Guerendo 16-403-25.2, Chimere Dyke 2-41-20.5


Wisconsin LB Nick Herbig vs. Iowa QB Spencer Petras: The Badgers’ 6-foot-2, 228-pound junior has performed well in opponents’ backcourt this season. Herbig leads the Big Ten with eight sacks and 12.5 tackles to a loss and has recorded a tackle to a loss in 12 of his last 14 games. He enters this week’s game after coming off a career-high three tackles for a loss to Maryland. Petras, who completed 64.2 percent of his 53 passes during Iowa’s modest two-game winning streak, has been sacked 24 times this season, including three in last week’s 24-3 win at Purdue.

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