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Wisconsin Badgers Football Biggest Pregame Storylines vs. Iowa

Here’s a look at the top storylines surrounding Wisconsin Badgers vs. Iowa.



Wisconsin Badgers football outside linebacker Darryl Peterson
Nov 12, 2022; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Wisconsin Badgers linebacker Darryl Peterson (17) and linebacker Jordan Turner (54) react as Iowa Hawkeyes quarterback Spencer Petras (7) looks on during the game at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Luke Fickell and the Wisconsin Badgers football team (4-1, 2-0 B1G) mostly took care of business against Rutgers at Camp Randall Stadium, defeating Greg Schiano and the Scarlet Knights 24-13.

But Week 7 brings a new and formidable challenge, with Kirk Ferentz’s Iowa Hawkeyes visiting Madison for a matchup that has significant Big Ten West implications.

Now, let’s delve into some of the most intriguing pregame storylines ahead of the Wisconsin Badgers Saturday afternoon clash with Iowa.

Wisconsin Football Welcomes Back an Old Friend

In case you’ve been living under a rock, former Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Deacon Hill, who transferred in the offseason, is the Hawkeyes QB1.

Hill completed just 6-of-21 passes in a win last weekend — none of which went to an actual WR (that’s SO Iowa it hurts.)

There’s no bad blood between the two, but shutting down Hill and keeping the Hawkeyes’ offense one-dimensional will be the key to a Badgers victory on Saturday.

If Mike Tressel & his defense can apply pressure — there’s a good chance he’ll crumble. Hill is completing 34.8% of his passes under pressure this season and averaging just over 5 yards per attempt.

Hell, he’s only completing 53.7% of his passes when the pocket is kept clean — so maybe it doesn’t matter.

The Drive for 325

Even as a Wisconsin Badgers football fan, my favorite storyline this season is Iowa’s “Drive to 325.”

Kirk Ferentz’s son, Brian, is the Hawkeyes’ offensive coordinator, and to put it mildly, he’s horrible at his job (sometimes nepotism doesn’t pay off). 

After averaging just 17.7 points per game a year ago — and finishing No. 123 nationally in total offense the athletic department amended his contract to include two performance objectives: Iowa needs to average at least 25 points per game, and they must also win seven games. 

Talk about a low bar.

But Brian Ferentz still sucks at calling Iowa’s offense. The Hawkeyes are currently dead last in Division One in total offense (No. 130), averaging a pathetic 249.2 yards per game. 

However, Iowa is No. 105, scoring offense averaging 21.8 points. Hopefully, the Wisconsin Badgers can keep their track record of holding opponents to 17 points or less in wins intact against an inept offensive team. 

Can the Badgers Defense Build on Its Strong Performance?  

Wisconsin football put together its best defensive outing of the season against Rutgers. Gone were the tackling issues, allowing of chunk plays, and, most importantly, the Badgers shut down the opponent’s run game.

Following the bye week, it was highly encouraging to witness the adjustments implemented by Mike Tressel. But it’s just one week, and I’m not entirely convinced this will become a weekly occurrence. 

That said, if the Wisconsin Badgers football team manages to deliver a similar performance against Iowa, it would certainly bolster my confidence in the potential for this to become an above-average defense in 2023.

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Dillon Graff is a Substack Newsletter Best Selling Author and the Owner of, your go-to source for in-depth coverage of the Wisconsin Badgers. His work has been featured in top media publications like USA Today, Bleacher Report, Verbal Commits, B5Q, Saturday Blitz, and Fansided.