It’s cold, it’s windy and it’s October. What does that mean? Of course, Iowa and Wisconsin playing a football game. Physicality was brought up over and over again by the Hawkeyes, and it’s safe to say they’re expecting nothing short of a fist-fight in Madison.
“We kind of have similar qualities of our teams,” left tackle Mason Richman said. “Both are really tough, really physical, really smart. So we have to be able to bring our ‘A’ game and hit the weight room a couple more times before we get out there on the field.”
“It’s just the size and the way they’ve done things over the years,” Logan Lee said. “They are a hard-nosed group. They have a big offensive line there. They have big running backs — very athletic, explosive running backs that are able to run.”
“It’s a rivalry game. It’s a Big Ten West matchup,” quarterback Deacon Hill said. “I think it is a big game in itself.”
“It’ll be a physical game,” linebacker Jay Higgins said. “We know that. The Iowa versus Wisconsin game has usually been a physical one.”
“It’s a border battle — when I got here in ’81 it was a big game back then,” head coach Kirk Ferentz said. “It’s always been that way. It’s been a pretty good series over time. We both have one loss right now. They’ve got a really good team. We’re trying to become a good team.”
Iowa hasn’t come back from Madison with a victory since 2015. The Heartland Trophy was won in Iowa City last year after the Badgers had won five of the last six matchups.
The eventual Big Ten West champion has been either Wisconsin or Iowa six times since geographic divisions began in 2014. Both teams have just one loss on the season, and the winner of this game might have the upper hand in determining who wins the division in its final year.