(WQOW) -- The old cliche about defense winning championships holds true today.
Wisconsin wins the Big Ten West as the Badgers hold Iowa's offense to zero points, and just five first downs and 66 total yards.
"Heck of a performance by our defense, and a credit to the coaches for the plan, and then players went out and executed it," says Wisconsin head coach Paul Chryst, "They played with confidence, put in some tough situations, but they were a lot of fun to watch today, and so many different guys stepped up and made plays."
The Badgers make life miserable for Menomonie's Nate Stanley. They sack him four times, and limit him to 8 of 24 passing for 41 yards and an interception.
"Our safeties did a great job disguising their coverages, and when they were showing," junior linebacker T.J. Edwards explains, "The quarterback from Iowa does a great job of calling out where the rotation is, so we had to make that adjustment so that he couldn't check and I thought that Joe Ferguson did a great job of that today."
"Their d-backs, they had a great game, and you know they just came back with their whole unit playing really good games," says Stanley, "They push the pocket a little bit, and we're able to take away some reads that we had."
"You know if you're a quarterback, not that you want to get used to it, but it's going to happen to you," explains Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, "It's just the way it goes sometimes. So it was a tough night for him, really nothing was flowing at all, he probably didn't play his best game, but I tell you, he's a quality guy. I'm so glad he's our quarterback, and he'll learn from this just like all of us will, and he'll grow from it, and we'll get better as a result of it."
The Badgers haven't had a signature win this season, but this one would seem to qualify.
"Obviously you guys seem to know a little more than me about that, we were just playing Iowa, that's all we were thinking about. But it was a good win," says quarterback Alex Hornibrook.
"I definitely think our team can compete with anyone in the country," says running back Jonathan Taylor, "That's why we just take every game one by one, focus on that opponent, and try to come out with a win every single game."
By GENARO C. ARMAS
AP Sports Writer
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Receiver Kendric Pryor scored twice, and No. 6 Wisconsin relied on stifling defense to overcome four turnovers and Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson's two touchdowns in a 38-14 win Saturday over the Hawkeyes.
The win allowed the Badgers (10-0, 7-0 Big Ten, CFP No. 8) to clinch a trip to the league conference title game as West champions. Credit their defense for another overpowering outing at chilly Camp Randall Stadium.
Leon Jacobs recovered two fumbles -- one returned for a score -- and fellow linebacker T.J. Edwards had an interception for the Badgers, who shut down an Iowa offense that had overwhelmed Ohio State last week.
The Hawkeyes (6-4, 3-4, CFP No. 20) were held to 66 total yards and five first downs, including just 15 yards and one first down in the first half.
Wisconsin turnovers kept the Hawkeyes in the game. Remarkably, Jackson accounted for all their points . The junior scored on interception returns of 43 and 52 yards, the latter coming with 11:18 left in the third quarter to get the Hawkeyes within 17-14.
The Badgers' defense wanted to get in on the fun, too. Jacobs scooped up a loose ball about 4 minutes later after a bad snap on third-and-10, running 21 yards to the end zone to give Wisconsin another 10-point lead.
League-leading rusher Jonathan Taylor had 157 yards on 29 carries, but fumbled twice, losing one. Alex Hornibrook was 11 of 18 for 135 yards with two touchdowns and the three interceptions.
Iowa: Don't throw at Jackson, the junior who came into the afternoon leading the country with 20 passes defended. A week after tying the school record with three interceptions in a game, Jackson tied another Iowa record with two interceptions returned for touchdowns in a game.
Wisconsin: Hornibrook has now thrown 11 interceptions in Big Ten play, which isn't ideal especially for a run-first offense. Taylor had a second fumble recovered by a teammate near the goal line in the fourth quarter with the game out of reach. The Badgers continue to get bogged down by mistakes in spite of a season-long effort by coach Paul Chryst to get the offense to cut down on miscues. Imagine how good Wisconsin might be without the turnovers.
Iowa: Hosts Purdue next Saturday.
Wisconsin: The Badgers face another ranked team in No. 21 Michigan at Camp Randall next week.