IOWA CITY – It started out so well. It ended so badly.
So it goes in 2013 for the Iowa Hawkeye football team.
After making the first quarter a one-sided affair with the 24th-ranked team in the nation on Saturday, Iowa saw the tables turned on them again in the second half. Not only did Wisconsin flip the roles of the two teams from the first half to the second, they did so at the expense of the Hawkeyes sophomore starting quarterback.
Jake Rudock not only threw a critical interception out of his own end zone in the third quarter, setting up an instant touchdown strike by the Badgers, but the Hawkeye signal caller also hurt his knee on the play. Freshman backup C.J. Beathard completed just four of 17 passes in relief of Rudock and also threw a big interception that Wisconsin almost instantly capitalized on for another touchdown in the fourth quarter.
It all added up to a 28-9 win for the Madison visitors in the renewal of the ‘Heartland’ trophy game. The Badgers keep the Golden Bull, a winning streak and plenty of confidence after winning in a hostile environment with almost 70,000 fans providing a very noisy distraction.
“First of all, that’s a big time college football game,” Wisconsin head coach Gary Andersen said after his first win in Iowa City. “There were great kids on both sides of the ball with a lot of fight and that’s what it should be like.”
“There will be some sore men in the morning, that’s for sure. I’m proud of the young men of this program for how they played. They kept on fighting and battling.”
Not that Iowa didn’t answer the Badgers fight, even after the losing Rudock midway through the third quarter. With Beathard at quarterback, Iowa looked to its bench for even more offensive production as Jordan Canzeri stepped up when he was called upon in the second half.