It’s a Big Ten West elimination game on Saturday in Madison.
The Hawkeyes and Badgers with identical 3-2 records in conference play. Both teams need a win to keep pace with unbeaten Minnesota in the league race.
“Last week during our bye week, we allowed ourselves to look at the big picture a little more,” said Iowa senior quarterback Nate Stanley. “I think everyone is aware of that, but this week it’s all about just this game and not worrying about the rest of the Big Ten or the rest of our games this year.”
Translation: It’s win or kiss those Big Ten West title hopes goodbye.
“We’ve been talking, it’s November football,” said Iowa freshman center Tyler Linderbaum. “Each game that we play now is going to have an impact on where we want to be at the end of the season. That’s why that bye week was huge, just getting the preparation down and getting the game plan down.”
“We know this game holds a little bit more weight, especially off the history of this game, in past years we haven’t been able to get them,” said Iowa sophomore linebacker Djimon Colbert. “It kind of is an elimination game too, so if you’re a competitor, you love games like these.”
Wisconsin has had the Hawkeyes number recently. The Badgers have won six of the last seven games, including three straight. Iowa’s only two victories since 2009, however, have both come at Camp Randall Stadium.
“We definitely know that the opportunity is in front of us, and if we want the Big Ten West, this is the opportunity to take it,” said Iowa senior cornerback Michael Ojemudia. “This is the week to take it. In years past, they’re the people that stood in front of us, so if we want the Big Ten West, this is who we have to go through.”