After years of being on the losing end, No. 9 Wisconsin is finally starting a streak of its own against Iowa.
Ron Dayne ran for 164 yards and a touchdown and the Badgers smothered Iowa's offense to beat the Hawkeyes 31-0 Saturday, their second consecutive victory in what had been a lopsided series the past 28 years.
Wisconsin (8-0, 5-0 Big Ten) had lost 17 of its past 19 games to Iowa (3-5, 2-3) and hadn't won in Iowa City since 1974.
"This game was about us and the current Hawkeye team," Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez said. "I think this team has gotten better every week. We've shown good composure."
Dayne, a 253-pound junior, now has 4,564 yards in his career and is chasing Archie Griffin's Big Ten record of 5,589. Dayne, who had 39 carries, moved past Minnesota's Darrell Thompson for fourth place on the league's career rushing list.
"Everybody was clicking and we just kept pounding," Dayne said. "You could see it wearing out on the guys. The offensive line just kept pushing them off the ball."
The Badgers, 10th in the nation in total defense with a 271-yard average, held the Hawkeyes to 138 yards and had a 15-minute advantage in time of possession.
Iowa got past midfield just twice and netted only 30 yards on the ground against he nation's No. 1 rushing defense.
"We just couldn't fire a shot against them," Iowa coach Hayden Fry said. "Wisconsin has one of the better defenses in the nation, and they are the biggest team that we have seen. We were outclassed.
"Our defense played well for a while," Fry said. "Our players tried hard, but it was a mismatch."
Dayne, who has run for more than 100 yards in seven of the eight games he's played this year, finally got untracked against the Hawkeyes. He was held to 62 yards as a freshman and left the game early with an injury in the first quarter last season after gaining 25 yards.
"They had to be aware of Ron first, and that's the key for me," said quarterback Mike Samuel, who ran the option game to perfection for Wisconsin.
Samuel ran for 71 yards on 15 carries, including a 37-yard run down the right sideline that set up a 38-yard field goal by Matt Davenport with 4:53 left in the second quarter that gave the Badgers a 10-0 halftime lead.
Dayne's 2-yard plunge with 3:29 left in first quarter gave his team its first touchdown.
The Hawkeyes unraveled in the third quarter. A 55-yard punt by Kevin Stemke pinned Iowa on its 3. Two plays later, quarterback Randy Reiners went into the end zone while rolling right, was hit by Donnel Thompson, and fumbled the ball out of the end zone for a safety.
Nick Davis returned the ensuing free kick 50 yards and an Iowa penalty gave the Badgers possession at the Hawkeyes 21. Davenport kicked a 21-yard field goal that gave his team a 15-0 edge with 3:06 remaining in the period.
On the Hawkeyes' next series, quarterback Kyle McCann, in relief of the ineffective Reiners, botched the snap while in shotgun formation. Ross Kolodziej recovered at the Iowa 19 and Samuels kept the ball on the option to score on a 14-yard run and give the Badgers a 22-0 cushion 8 seconds left in the quarter.
Reiners was 4-of-15 for 40 yards. Reiners also played poorly against the Badgers last year, hitting just 7-of-17 for 127 yards in Wisconsin's 13-10 victory at Madison.
Davenport pushed the lead to 25-0 with a 26-yard field goal midway in the fourth quarter and the Badgers closed out the scoring with a 1-yard run by Eddie Faulkner with 26 seconds remaining.
A bright spot for Iowa was Ladell Betts, who gained 50 yards on 14 carries to give him 576 yards this season, eclipsing Sedrick Shaw's school freshman rushing record of 561 yards.
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