Danny Davis first-down catch

Wisconsin Badgers wide receiver Danny Davis III (6) makes a first-down catch along the sideline during the fourth quarter of the Badgers' win over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison.

M.P. KING, STATE JOURNAL

Offense: C-plus

Alex Hornibrook's two pick-sixes were poor throws. That can't continue. Neither can Jonathan Taylor's fumbles. He had two, losing one. Otherwise, the offense was solid. Kendric Pryor has become a playmaker. Danny Davis stepped into the go-to role in Quintez Cephus' absence. His acrobatic sideline catch was huge.

Defense: A-plus

Iowa's offense totaled 66 yards, five first downs, no third-down conversions and no points -- a week after dropping 55 points on Ohio State. Leon Jacobs had a sack and recovered two quarterback fumbles, returning one for a touchdown. Ryan Connelly had a strip-sack and T.J. Edwards made an athletic interception.

Special teams: A-minus

Anthony Lotti had wind-aided punts of 59 and 62 yards, both of which pinned Iowa inside the 10. He came back strong after getting benched last week. Nick Nelson's 20-yard, straight-up-the-field punt return set up a touchdown at the end of the first half. The kickoff and punt coverage units were strong all day.

Coaching: A-minus

The defense had a great game plan and executed it perfectly. Jim Leonhard took away Iowa's best weapons: Tight ends T.J. Hockensen and Noah Fant had one catch for 6 yards. UW kept getting pass rushers in Nate Stanley's face with stunts. Replay challenges are too valuable to spend on an obviously correct call.

Overall: A-minus

UW spotted Iowa seven points in each half and still dominated the game, clinching the Big Ten West title. If the offense hadn't turned the ball over four times, the Badgers would have beaten the 20th-ranked team in the CFP standings by at least 52-0. Surely, that sent a message to the CFP selection committee.

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