Football: Get to know the Wisconsin’s next opponent, Iowa

first_imgThe Wisconsin football team will put its three-game winning streak and the Heartland Trophy on the line against Iowa Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium when the Hawkeyes come to Madison for the first time in six years.That instance also marked the last time Iowa beat Wisconsin, a 20-10 victory. Last season, the Badgers escaped Iowa City with a 26-24 win behind Melvin Gordon’s 200-yard rushing performance.This year though, the Hawkeyes have started the year 4-0 for the first time since that 2009 season.Redshirt junior quarterback C.J. Beathard took over the starting role in 2015 when Jake Rudock transferred to Michigan, and hasn’t disappointed yet. In four games, Beathard has thrown for six touchdowns and 962 yards with only one interception at a 157.8 efficiency rating.Beathard can also make plays with his feet. He’s scored three times on the ground and averages 5.6 yards per carry.UW outside linebacker Joe Schobert sees a little bit of former UW quarterback Russell Wilson in Beathard, and not because they share the same number (16).“He’s got a good arm,” Schobert said. “He’s put the ball in the right spots. We just gotta try to get after it and force him to make rushed decisions.”Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst knows first-hand Beathard’s playmaking abilities. While at Pittsburgh last year, Chryst watched from the sidelines as Beathard took every offensive snap in the second half and rallied the Hawkeyes from a 17-7 deficit to a 24-20 win, completing 7-of-8 passes for 98 yards.“I don’t want to say a big part because I think they have a lot of parts working for them,” Chryst said. “But certainly a big contributor in their success to this point.”Speculation surrounds Iowa running back LeShun Daniels’ status for Saturday’s game, but should he play he’ll most likely get the bulk of the carries.If Daniels can’t go, Jordan Canzeri will shoulder the load in the backfield for the Hawkeyes. Last season against the Badgers, Canzeri finished with 32 rushing yards on eight carries.After entering the last game ranked last in the Big Ten in rushing, the Badgers have leapfrogged all the way to the top of the league (320.1 yards per game). Iowa ranks sixth in rush defense (168.3 yards per game).That should make for a great matchup, Chryst said.“That’s what I like when you play against a team like Iowa,” Chryst said. “You’ve got to earn everything you get, and you’ve got to go win it. They’re not going to hand it to you. It’s good football.”last_img

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