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November 11, 2006
Donovan steps in, leads Badgers to 10th win
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Tyler Donovan stepped in for an injured John Stocco and threw for 228 yards and two touchdowns as No. 16 Wisconsin beat Iowa 24-21 on Saturday.
Luke Swan added 113 yards receiving and a TD for Wisconsin (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten), which snapped a four-game losing streak against Iowa (6-5, 2-5) and reached 10 regular-season wins for just the second time.
With the victory, coach Bret Bielema became the first Big Ten coach to win 10 games in his rookie year. Only Buffalo, which visits Camp Randall Stadium next week, stands in the way of the Badgers' first 11-win regular season.
Wisconsin scored the eventual game-winning score early in the fourth quarter on a 97-yard touchdown drive. Swan, whose 42-yard touchdown catch late in the first half gave the Badgers the lead, bailed them out again with a 48-yard, one-handed catch on third-and-11.
P.J. Hill's 1-yard TD run put Wisconsin ahead 24-14.
Hill lost his first career fumble on the Badgers' next possession, however, and Drew Tate hit Trey Stross on a 24-yard touchdown pass to pull the Hawkeyes within three with 10:20 left.
But fourth-quarter drops hurt the Hawkeyes. Scott Chandler stalled one drive by dropping a sure first-down catch, and wide-open Dominique Douglas misplayed yet another easy grab on fourth-and-7 with 2:32 left.
Tate threw three touchdowns for the Hawkeyes - who have lost five of seven - but completed just 10-of-31 passes.
Wisconsin blew an early 10-0 lead, but Donovan's TD pass to Swan with 39 seconds left in the first half put the Badgers ahead 17-14.
Iowa scored touchdowns on consecutive possessions to take a 14-10 lead. Tate set up the first score with a 64-yard completion to Chandler. A miscommunication by the Badgers' defense left Tony Moeaki wide open in the end zone, and his 4-yard TD catch brought the Hawkeyes within 10-7.
Tate followed with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Tom Busch.
The Badgers capitalized on an interception by Roderick Rogers and moved ahead by 10 late in the first quarter. Tate threw a floater that Rogers brought back to the Iowa 26, and Donovan threw a 3-yard TD pass to Travis Beckum.
Stocco, who has started 35 straight games, sat out with a shoulder injury suffered against Penn State last week.
Representatives from the Capital One, Champs Sports, Outback and Alamo bowls were in attendance. With Ohio State and Michigan both currently in line for BCS bids, Wisconsin is considered the front-runner for the Big Ten's Capital One slot. Iowa is likely headed to either the Alamo or Champs Sports Bowl.
Notes from UW Athletics Communications: