MADISON, Wis. — What a difference a week can make.
This wasn’t the Heartland Trophy homecoming Nate Stanley expected. Not even close.
Playing in his home state for the first time as Iowa’s starting quarterback, not much went right Saturday for the Hawkeye sophomore in a 38-14 loss to Wisconsin.
Harassed by the Badgers’ defense from start to finish, Stanley completed just 8-of-24 passes for a season-low 41 yards, was intercepted once, had a hand in two fumbles and was sacked four times.
"It’s a little disappointing. It was a tough day," he said. "There will be a lot to learn from it, and all we can do is try to push forward the next two weeks and get back on track."
The laborious performance against the sixth-ranked Badgers was particularly frustrating coming one week after Stanley orchestrated an offense effort that resulted in a season-best 487 yards and led the 25th-rated Hawkeyes to a 55-24 rout of third-ranked Ohio State.
Saturday, Stanley and the Hawkeyes settled for 66 yards.
"It was two totally opposite ends of the spectrum from one week to the next," Stanley said. "Last week, it seemed like everything worked. This week, that didn’t happen."
The yards were the fewest given up by a Wisconsin defense against a Big Ten opponent ever and the third-fewest by a team ranked in the Associated Press top-25 over the last 20 seasons.
Iowa managed just five first downs in the game and was unable to convert on any of its 13 third-down plays in the game.
Coach Kirk Ferentz indicated he remains confidence in the abilities of the quarterback who has led the Hawkeyes to a 6-4 start.
"Nate had a tough night, a rough deal, and that’s part of sports," Ferentz said. "It’s not something he wanted, a night as a quarterback where nothing is flowing. I’m proud that he’s our quarterback, and he’ll learn from it."
With several hundred friends and family members from his northern Wisconsin hometown of Menomonie among the crowd of 80,462 at Camp Randall Stadium, Stanley said he felt a few extra nerves prior to the game.
"But after the opening kickoff, it was just like any other game," Stanley said. "I’m a little disappointed with the way I played."
He said the Wisconsin defense didn’t challenge Iowa with anything it wasn’t prepared to see.
"They just executed a little better than we did," Stanley said. "They played super well, played a great game. It’s frustrating that we didn’t execute the way we are capable of today. We’ll watch film, learn from it and move on. That’s really all we can do."