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Leshon Williams helps Iowa slip past Wisconsin

Leshon Williams scored on an 82-yard run and Iowa’s dominant defense kept Wisconsin out of the end zone as the Hawkeyes pulled out a 15-6 victory Saturday in the Big Ten at Madison, Wis.

Iowa (6-1, 3-1 Big Ten) moved into the driver’s seat in the Big Ten West with no ranked teams remaining on the schedule. Wisconsin (4-2, 2-1) hosts No. 3 Ohio State on Oct. 28. Each of the other teams in the West Division has at least two conference losses.

Williams finished with a career-high 174 yards on 25 carries.

Drew Stevens, who entered 1-for-4 from 40-49 yard this season, drilled a 48-yarder from the left hash with 13:08 remaining to put the Hawkeyes up 10-6.

On the ensuing series, Wisconsin reserve quarterback Braedyn Locke fumbled in the end zone, resulting in a safety to put Iowa in front 12-6.

With just over three minutes remaining, Iowa recovered a Locke fumble at the Wisconsin 39-yard line. Stevens hit a 40-yard field goal to make it 15-6 with 1:55 left.

Wisconsin, which trailed 7-0 at the half, opened the third quarter with a 13-play, 60-yard drive culminating in Nathanial Vakos’ 36-yard field goal.

After the Hawkeyes’ sixth straight three-and-out, the Badgers pulled within 7-6 on Vakos’ 52-yard field goal with 3:58 left in the third quarter.

Wisconsin quarterback Tanner Mordecai suffered an apparent injury to his throwing hand late in the second quarter and did not return. He was replaced by Locke, a redshirt freshman who had completed his only previous attempt this season. Mordecai completed 12 of 20 passes for 106 yards. Locke was 15-for-30 passing for 122 yards and one interception.

Tight end Erick All, Iowa’s leading receiver, was injured on the Hawkeyes second series and also did not return.

Williams put the Hawkeyes in front 7-0 with an 82-yard touchdown run with 11:49 left in the second quarter. Williams went up the middle, ran through a pair of tackles, and then outran the secondary to the right corner.

Iowa quarterback Deacon Hill, who transferred after two seasons at Wisconsin, completed 6 of 14 passes for 37 yards in his second start in place of injured Cade McNamara.

Hawkeyes punter Tory Taylor also had a huge role, averaging 50.6 yards on 10 punts to help keep Wisconsin bottled up.

–Field Level Media

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