Pinstripe Bowl Football

Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor breaks a tackle by Miami defensive back Romeo Finley during the first half of last year's Pinstripe Bowl. The junior ranks second in the Big Ten in rushing heading into Saturday's game against Iowa.

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IOWA AT WISCONSIN

WEEK 9: 3 P.M., CAMP RANDALL STADIUM

TV: KLJB

RADIO: WOC 1420 AM

LINE: Wisconsin by 10

SERIES: Wisconsin 47-43-2

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH

Jonathan Taylor’s yards

Held below his career average of 6.6 yards per carry in his last three outings, the junior running back will be looking to regain his footing following a bye week. The Big Ten’s second-leading rusher averages 121.6 yards per game, but has averaged 88 yards and 3.56 yards per carry in a game against Michigan State and in losses to Illinois and Ohio State in his last two starts.

Nate Stanley’s poise

Wisconsin is the only Big Ten West Division team Iowa’s senior quarterback has not beaten in his three seasons as a starter and today, the Menomonie, Wisconsin, native returns to the site of his most ineffective game as a starter. Stanley completed 8-of-24 passes for 41 yards against the Badgers’ 3-4 defense two years at Camp Randall Stadium.

Defensive-line play

The Badgers and Hawkeyes feature two of the most powerful defensive lines in college football. Wisconsin leads the country in allowing just 223.5 yards per game and ranks in the top five nationally in scoring defense (11.4 ppg), rushing defense (84.1 ypg) and passing defense (139.4 ypg). Iowa ranks in the top 10 in scoring defense (10.1 ppg) and rushing defense (87.8 ypg) and is 12th in pass defense (178.1 ypg).

Reception connections

Pass plays resulted in all five touchdowns in Wisconsin’s 28-17 win at Iowa a year ago. Tight end Jake Ferguson, who has 21 receptions this season, led the Badgers with four catches for 58 yards in the win. Iowa’s top receiver in that game was Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who shared the team lead with three catches for 58 yards and currently has 30 receptions.

Wisconsin’s pass rush

Led by inside linebacker Chris Orr and outside linebacker Zack Baun, Wisconsin ranks sixth in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 32 sacks. Orr leads the Badgers with nine sacks while Baun, named earlier this week as a Butkus Award semifinalist, has 7.5. The pair have combined for 21 tackles for a loss, 14 quarterback hurries and four forced fumbles.

— Steve Batterson

STATISTICAL LEADERS

Iowa (6-2, 3-2)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;YDS;TD;INT

Nate Stanley;159;262;1,950;10;5

RUSHING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Mekhi Sargent;98;443;4.5;4

Toren Young;62;366;5.8;1

Tyler Goodson;64;316;4.9;1

Ihmir Smith-Marsette;5;43;8.6;1

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Brandon Smith;33;407;12.3;4

Nico Ragaini;31;284;9.2;0

Ihmir Smith-Marsette;30;463;15.4;3

Tyler Goodson;19;137;7.2;0

INTERCEPTIONS: Michael Ojemudia 2, Djimon Colbert 1, Chauncey Golston 1, Riley Moss 1, Geno Stone 1

SACKS: A.J. Epenesa 3.5, Daviyon Nixon 3, Cedrick Lattimore 2.5

TACKLES: Kristian Welch 47, Jack Koerner 43, Djimon Colbert 40, Geno Stone 39, Chauncey Golston 31

PUNT RETURNS: Nico Ragaini 9-96-10.7, Max Cooper 1-2-2.0

KICKOFF RETURNS: Ihmir Smith-Marsette 9-199-22.1

Wisconsin (6-2, 3-2)

PASSING;COMP;ATT;YDS;TD;INT

Jack Coan;137;184;1,491;10;2

RUSHING;NO.;YDS;AVG;TD

Jonathan Taylor;177;1,009;5.7;15

Nakia Watson;55;247;4.5;2

Garrett Groshek;24;111;4.6;1

Bradrick Shaw;12;90;7.5;1

RECEIVING;NO;YDS;AVG;TD

Quintez Cephus;27;410;15.2;3

Jake Ferguson;21;247;11.8;2

Danny Davis;21;176;8.4;0

Garrett Groshek;19;147;7.7;0

INTERCEPTIONS: Eric Burrell 2, Zack Baun 1, Noah Burks 1, Jack Sanborn 1 John Torchio 1, Collin Wilder 1, Rachad Wildgoose 1

SACKS: Chris Orr 9, Zack Baun 7.5, Jack Sanborn 3.5

TACKLES: Jack Sanborn 46, Chris Orr 44, Zack Baun 40, Eric Burrell 29, Reggie Pearson 22

PUNT RETURNS: Jack Dunn 20-180-9.0, Danny Davis 4-37-9.2

KICKOFF RETURNS: Aron Cruickshank 9-224-24.9

MARQUEE MATCHUP

IOWA DE A.J. EPENESA VS. WISCONSIN QB JACK COAN: The ability of Iowa to rattle the Badgers’ first-year starting quarterback will only help the Hawkeyes. Epenesa and Chauncey Golston at the end positions have combined for 11 sacks, 14 quarterback hurries and three pass break-ups. Coan, a junior, has completed 74.5 percent of his passes, has been intercepted just twice and has been sacked only 15 times behind a line anchored by all-American center Tyler Biadasz.

BY THE NUMBERS

49.5: The Wisconsin defense has forced opponents to go three-and-out on a nation-leading 49.5 percent of its possessions.

9: Touchdowns allowed by Iowa’s defense this season, the second fewest allowed by a Big Ten team and one more than Ohio State’s total

QUOTABLE

"It means something. It’s my home state school, but mostly I want to win it because it’s the next chance for our team to win a game." — Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley

This article originally ran on qctimes.com.

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