Status report: Iowa's win a homecoming for Kittle

Rick Brown
Iowa tight end George Kittle celebrates his touchdown during the Hawkeyes' game against Wisconsin at Camp Randall in Madison on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015.

MADISON, Wis. — The last time Iowa beat Wisconsin was a 20-10 decision in 2009 at Camp Randall Stadium. George Kittle, then a high school sophomore, watched from the stands.

On Saturday, Kittle caught the only touchdown pass of the game, then celebrated with Iowa fans in the stands afterward.

"Everyone wants to go in the same direction," Kittle said of his teammates after Iowa improved to 5-0 with a 10-6 victory. "Everyone wants to be in the same boat."

Saturday marked the first time Iowa had defeated a Big Ten foe and not scored in the second half since beating Minnesota 21-16 at Kinnick Stadium in 2007. This also snapped Wisconsin's 10-game winning streak on its home field.

The Badgers are now 71-8 in their last 79 home games. Three of those losses are to Iowa. The visiting team has lost five straight games in this series. The Badgers had won nine straight trophy games since that loss to Iowa in 2009.

Pass offense: A quiet day for the gunslinger

C.J. Beathard passed for a season-low 77 yards, completing nine of 21 passes with a touchdown and his second interception of the season. Another interception was wiped out by a Wisconsin penalty.

Iowa was without big-play wide receiver Tevaun Smith, who is expected to be out until at least the Maryland game Oct. 31 (following a bye week) with a knee injury. Smith had four catches for a game-high 78 yards in last season's 26-24 loss to Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium.

Wide receiver Matt VandeBerg was Beathard's go-to guy Saturday, with six catches for 61 yards.

VandeBerg now has a team-high 31 receptions this season. He had 22 for his career entering this season.

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Rush offense: Canzeri reaches century mark again

Senior Jordan Canzeri finished with 125 yards on a career-high 26 carries. He also rushed for 115 yards against North Texas and 124 yards against Iowa State. Iowa had a player rush for at least 100 yards just twice last season.

Canzeri's game Saturday might have been his most impressive. Wisconsin had allowed its previous three foes, Miami of Ohio, Troy and Hawaii, a total of 93 rushing yards. The Badgers entered Saturday's game 11th nationally in rush defense at 82.8 yards a game.

With Canzeri doing most of the work behind an offensive line that saw Cole Croston make his first career start for Boone Myers at left tackle, Iowa finished with 144 yards in 40 carries.

"I'm so damn proud to do this as a team," Canzeri said of walking across the field and collecting the Heartland Trophy. "It was good to go get it."

Iowa gets validating win at Wisconsin, improves to 5-0

Pass defense: In survival mode

Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave threw 38 passes, a week after North Texas quarterback Andrew McNulty had 43 attempts. Stave's 234 yards was the second-most against Iowa's secondary this season.

Iowa cornerback Desmond King had a pair of interceptions to give him five for the season. He also had two picks against Pittsburgh.

"We gave up some big passes to their tight ends and backs out of the backfield," King said. "But we still played solid defense."

Running back Dare Ogunbowale had four catches for 43 yards, with a long of 27. Wide receiver Robert Wheelwright also had four catches for 33 yards. Wisconsin's leading receiver, Alex Erickson, had three catches for 30 yards but was knocked out of the game after a hard tackle by King early in the third quarter.

Erickson entered the game with a team-best 23 catches (for 320 yards), more than double any other Badger.

Rush defense: Still perfect

Iowa entered the game as one of two teams nationally that hadn't allowed a rushing touchdown this season, and that streak remains alive. It was in serious jeopardy in the fourth quarter, when Wisconsin was a yard away from the end zone. But on a second-and-goal play, Stave got stepped on and missed the exchange with Ogunbowale, and Iowa's Faith Ekakitie recovered the fumble.

Iowa entered the game ranked 12th nationally in rushing defense at 84 yards a game. Wisconsin managed just 86 yards in 34 carries.

Iowa senior linebacker Cole Fisher had a career-high 14 tackles. He also shared a sack with sophomore linebacker Ben Niemann.

Iowa senior defensive end Drew Ott also had a sack and 2.5 tackles for a loss.

Wisconsin's Taiwan Deal finished with 59 yards rushing in 15 carries. Ogunbowale had 28 yards in 11 carries.

Iowa's defense was up to the task on the ground.

Special teams: A rare miss from Koehn

A week after missing the first point-after touchdown kick of his career, Marshall Koehn fanned a 27-yard field goal wide right in the second quarter. He rebounded with a 33-yarder with 1:03 remaining in the first half that would prove to be Iowa's final points of the game.

The missed field goal snapped a string of eight straight for Koehn.

He has been perfect in all four attempts of 40 yards or longer this season (40, 49, 43, 57). It was just his second miss in his past 17 field-goal attempts. His other miss in that streak came at Illinois on Nov. 15, 2014.

Dillon Kidd averaged 41.2 yards on five punts, and didn't hit the ball as well as he had while averaging 47.9 yards over the first four games.

King never got a chance to return a punt. He is averaging 18.7 yards a punt on returns this season.