The Wisconsin Badgers moved one step closer to winning the Big Ten’s West Division and earning a spot in the Big Ten Championship game by holding off the Iowa Hawkeyes 26-24 in Iowa City. It sets up a winner-take-all matchup with the Minnesota Golden Gophers for the West Division title at Camp Randall Stadium this Saturday.
The Badger defense has been the rock all season long and entered Saturday’s game as the top ranked defensive team in the nation. But on this day, it would be the Badgers offense that would lead Wisconsin to victory.
After a slow start in the first half, Melvin Gordon picked up steam in the second half, rushing for 200 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 64 yards.
Joel Stave had his best game of the season, completing 11 of 14 for 139 yards. He was 4 of 5 on third-down passes, which has been a problem for the Badgers for much of the season.
Iowa scored 13 points in the fourth quarter but the Badgers were able to hold them off for the win.
Saturday’s win was the Badgers’ first in a one-score game since Week 3 of the 2012 season, when Wisconsin beat Gary Andersen’s Utah State team by two-points in his final year with the Aggies.