IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) – Cooper DeJean returned an interception for a touchdown and set up another score with a 41-yard punt return as Iowa defeated Wisconsin 24-10 on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) moved into a tie for the Big Ten West lead with their third consecutive win. Iowa, ranked 129th nationally in total offense, had just 142 yards and averaged 2.1 yards per play, but took advantage of plays made by its defense and special teams.
DeJean, a sophomore cornerback who also had 10 tackles, had a 32-yard interception return late in the first half that gave Iowa a 14-3 lead. Then, with the Hawkeyes holding a 14-10 lead in the third quarter, DeJean’s punt return gave Iowa the ball at the Wisconsin 18-yard line. Five plays later quarterback Spencer Petras scored on a 1-yard dive.
Iowa’s first touchdown also followed a special teams play in the second quarter. Deontae Craig blocked a punt by Wisconsin’s Andy Vujnovich and Jay Higgins recovered at the Badgers’ 17-yard line. Kaleb Johnson scored on a 4-yard run two plays later to give Iowa a 7-3 lead.
Wisconsin (5-5, 3-4), which had 227 yards of offense, scored first on a 32-yard field goal from Nate Van Zelst. Graham Mertz threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Keontez Lewis with 52 seconds left in the first half to cut Iowa’s lead to 14-10.
Iowa’s Drew Stevens had a 44-yard field goal with 2:54 left in the game for the final points.
Petras, who threw for just 94 yards, was sacked six times. Mertz threw for 176 yards but was sacked four times.