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Studs and Duds: Wisconsin Football Reaches New Low Against Iowa



Wisconsin Badgers football inside linebacker Jordan Turner
Wisconsin linebackers Jordan Turner and Maema Njongmeta (55) celebrate after Turner sacks Iowa quarterback Deacon Hill on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Iowa won the game, 12-6.

Madison, Wis. – The Wisconsin football team suffered another defeat in the 2023 season as the Iowa Hawkeyes handed the Badgers a humiliating 15-6 loss at Camp Randall Stadium.

Wisconsin entered the 2023 season with high hopes and plenty of expectations after hiring a premier coach in Luke Fickell. However, the team has not seen the same success Fickell maintained in Cincinnati just yet. The Badgers not only lost to the Hawkeyes, but they also failed to score a touchdown.

With an injury to starting quarterback Tanner Mordecai, the already struggling offense might fall even farther. Illinois and Ohio State will be stronger opponents as well, which may pose a threat to the Badgers.

Wisconsin Football Needs Crucial Wins to Save Season

Wisconsin football head coach Luke Fickell

Wisconsin head coach Luke Fickell argues with an official after a penalty during a game against Iowa on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Iowa won the game, 12-6.

There is no doubt that Wisconsin Badgers fans are furious following the loss to the Hawkeyes.

Wisconsin had high hopes in year one after seeing the hype and talent that surrounded Luke Fickell. Despite the harsh opinions of most fans, Fickell is a talented coach with an impressive track record on and off the field. However, the Badgers’ first year coach has struggled to translate his success elsewhere into Madison thus far.

For this edition of ‘Studs and Duds’, the Wisconsin football team may have struggled mightily but there were still some bright spots.

Wisconsin Badgers Studs: CJ Goetz, Jake Chaney, Will Pauling

Wisconsin football; Badgers inside linebacker Jake Chaney

Oct 14, 2023; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Leshon Williams (4) runs the ball against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tork Mason-USA TODAY Sports

While it may have been hard to choose any studs after their abysmal performance, the Badgers still had three players worthy. On the defensive side of the ball CJ Goetz and Jake Chaney were both lethal. Goetz recorded four tackles and one pass defense against the Hawkeyes, with three of his tackles being defensive stops. Chaney added seven tackles, six of which were defensive stops, as he recorded a 79.7 defensive rating against the Iowa offense.

On the offensive side of the ball, the only true bright spot for Wisconsin football was wide receiver Will Pauling. Pauling hauled in eight of the 12 passes he was targeted on for 61 yards. While the offense looked rather awful against Iowa with both Braedyn Locke and Tanner Mordecai at quarterback, Pauling made a difference. The young wide receiver was consistently open against the Hawkeyes, which has been a trend so far this season.

Wisconsin Badgers Duds: Braelon Allen, Braedyn Locke, Jordan Turner

Wisconsin Badgers inside linebacker Jordan Turner

Wisconsin linebacker Jordan Turner (54) sacks Iowa quarterback Deacon Hill (10) on Saturday, October 14, 2023, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Iowa won the game, 12-6.

Once again this season, it was difficult to pick out only three duds from this Wisconsin football performance. However, three players disappointed more than usual in particular, which has earned them a dread spot on the ‘Duds’ list.

Star running back Braelon Allen fumbled for the second week in a row, and while he did not lose the fumble, it is still concerning. Allen is known for being a powerful, physical runner. For a player as consistent and strong as Allen to develop a fumbling issue, it is a major concern. Wisconsin football needs their best player to step-up before the season is truly lost since Allen has not been nearly effective as he usually is.

Along with Allen, his backup quarterback Braedyn Locke also struggled against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Wisconsin football team started the game with Tanner Mordecai and plenty of hope. However, when Mordecai went down there still was not much concern. Locke started off the game with poise and looked solid. After the pressure was applied to the quarterback, he began to crumble and finished the game with an interception and two fumbles.

On the defensive side of the ball, linebacker Jordan Turner struggled for the Wisconsin football team. Turner recorded one solo tackle, but missed four, including two missed tackles on third down. Wisconsin is having a difficult time finding their identity, and seeing veteran players struggle has only added to that difficulty.

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Jarrett Guerrera is a graduate of Western New England University with a Bachelor's in English. Jarrett played rugby at the collegiate level, and has been a sports fanatic all his life. Jarrett is also a contributor for Wisconsin Sports Heroics.