Game 35: Iowa @ Wisconsin

The last time I saw Iowa play Wisconsin, I learned a lesson. I understood why Badger fans have such a sour feeling for the Hawkeyes. Wisconsin coach, Barry Alvarez worked for Iowa coach Hayden Frye and the student had yet to beat the teacher. In fact, Wisconsin hadn’t defeated Iowa since 1976 – an ugly streak.

The game itself wasn’t too pretty. For most of this game, neither the Badgers nor the haughty Hawkeyes had much to flaunt. A defensive battle saw fumbles, missed field goals, and injured players. The largest scare was the loss of running back Ron Dayne on the first drive. He suffered an injury that kept him out for the remainder of the game. Eddie Faulkner stepped in and scored a critical touchdown in his absence. An interception by Iowa’s defense could have turned the game around. But, even that turned into a Wisconsin highlight when quarterback Mike Samuel (who threw the INT) picked himself up and tackled the would-be defensive scorer. The Hawks settled for three points.

Even with all the dramatic victories that Wisconsin pulled out over the 1997 season, this one was the most impressive. They succeeded without their offensive leader and the defense rose to the top when it mattered the most. Wisconsin broke the twenty-two year winless streak to Iowa with a 13-10 victory. The dedicated Badger fans that packed a wild Camp Randall Stadium finally could celebrate a win over hated Iowa. Alvarez taught his teacher a lesson or two in this game and hopes for a Big Ten title surfaced again. But, the final exam would be next week, against top ranked Michigan…

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