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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, May 24, 2024
Leon Jacobs has been one of UW's best defensive players this season. 

Leon Jacobs has been one of UW's best defensive players this season. 

Jacobs continues to shine on Wisconsin's dominant defense

The last three meetings between the Wisconsin Badgers and the Iowa Hawkeyes have been absolute wars. Many expected this year’s matchup to be no different, as the Hawkeyes came off an impressive performance against the Ohio State Buckeyes. Still, Wisconsin ultimately won and improved to 10-0, the best start in program history, primarily resulting from superb defensive play.

The Wisconsin offense turned the ball over six times on the day and the Badger’s defense had to respond to the offenses sloppy play. They did just that, not allowing the Hawkeyes to score a single offensive touchdown all game.

For a second week in a row, the story of the game was the impressive Badger pass rush and athletic secondary. Wisconsin shut down Nate Stanley, the Hawkeyes quarterback, by only allowing him to throw for 42 yards on 24 attempts and sacking him four times. Even more impressive, however, is that Iowa only rushed for 25 yards on the game.

Although the entire defense was stout, Leon Jacobs headlined the Badgers’ defensive dominance.

With the Badgers clinging to a three-point lead in the third quarter and Iowa looking to mount a drive to take the lead, Stanley let a snapped ball hit him and fall to the ground. The ensuing scrum caused the cold football to squirt around like a fish fresh out of water. As the ball rolled around, Leon Jacobs was on the back-end of the scrum and as the ball fell to his feet, he grabbed it and ran to the house, extending the Badgers lead to 10 points.

After Wisconsin tacked on another touchdown the Hawkeyes again looked to respond to the Badgers widening the gap. As Stanley dropped back to throw, junior linebacker Ryan Connelly stripped sacked Iowa’s quarterback, and Jacobs was there again to pounce on the loose ball and all but secure the Badger victory with his second fumble recovery on the day.

Jacobs was also responsible for a sack and two quarterback hurries. Without Jacobs’s key defensive touchdown, the Hawkeyes might’ve drove down the field and taken the lead, putting the Badgers in a precarious spot. Instead, his touchdown proved vital. That play, along with a multitude of other contributions, earned Jacobs the MVP of the game.

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