Dec 12, 2020; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes place kicker Keith Duncan (3) kicks a field goal as punter Ryan Gersonde (2) holds during the first quarter against the Wisconsin Badgers at Kinnick Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

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No. 16 Iowa tops Wisconsin to extend win streak

Ihmir Smith-Marsette had seven receptions for a career-high 140 yards and two second-half touchdowns to help No. 16 Iowa increase its winning streak to six games with a 28-7 victory over visiting Wisconsin on Saturday at Iowa City.

Iowa quarterback Spencer Petras was 14 of 25 for 211 yards and two TDs, while Tyler Goodson had 80 of his 106 yards came on a late scoring run for the Hawkeyes (6-2, 6-2 Big Ten).

Iowa has not lost since falling to both Purdue and Northwestern to open the season by a combined five points. Iowa held short-handed Wisconsin to 225 total yards while snapping a four-game slide between the rivals, while defeating the Badgers at home for the first time since 2008.

The Badgers (2-3, 2-3), minus leading rusher Jalen Berger and key receivers Kendrick Pryor and Danny Davis, have scored 20 total points during a three-game losing streak. Wisconsin’s Graham Mertz was 20 of 38 for 169 yards with an interception.

The teams combined for 178 total yards – 66 from Wisconsin — and 13 punts in the first half, with Iowa leading 6-0 at the break. Each showed some life out of the gate in the second half.

The Badgers marched to the Hawkeyes’ 29-yard line on their first drive of the third quarter, but Collin Larsh’s 47-yard field-goal attempt came up short.

Iowa took over possession and Petras connected with Brandon Smith for a 14-yard pass play and then hit Smith-Marsette for a 38-yard reception. On third-and-10, Petras found Smith-Marsette in the corner of the end zone from 19 yards with 8:49 left in the third.

Wisconsin, though, took advantage of a muffed punt by Iowa’s Charlie Jones muffed punt, recovering it at the Hawkeyes’ 25. Three plays later, Nakia Watson scored the Badgers’ first touchdown in 10 quarters from 1-yard out to make it 14-7 with 5:42 to play in the third quarter.

Iowa found some breathing room when Petras and Smith-Marsette hooked up on a 53-yard TD for a 21-7 lead with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter, on a score that concluded with the receiver doing a flip into the end zone. Smith-Marsette apparently injured his ankle on the play and did not return.

Goodson broke free for the long insurance touchdown run for the Hawkeyes after Mertz was intercepted in the end zone on Wisconsin’s prior drive.

Keith Duncan’s 30-yard field goal opened the scoring for Iowa with 7:12 to play in the first quarter. Duncan then hit from 45-yard field-goal, banking it in off the upright, with one second left in the first half.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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