Montee Ball scores late TD to rally Wisconsin by Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema has a Hawkeyes tattoo on his leg and, apparently, a trick up his sleeve.

The former Iowa player and assistant coach stunned his alma mater with a fake punt midway through the fourth quarter, and Montee Ball ran 8 yards for a touchdown with 1:06 left as the Badgers (No. 13 BCS, No. 10 AP) rallied to beat the Hawkeyes (No. 15, No. 13) 31-30 on Saturday.

Scott Tolzien threw for 205 yards and a touchdown and John Clay added a pair of touchdowns for the Badgers (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten), who pulled out a special teams gadget at just the right time.

Punter Brad Nortman ran 17 yards up the middle into wide-open field on fourth down from his own 26 with Wisconsin trailing 30-24. The Badgers converted another fourth down with 3:23 left and Ball capped an 80-yard drive with the game-winning score, barely breaking the goal line with an outstretched arm holding the ball.

"It was something we had seen on film," Bielema said. "Once I saw them put the punt return unit there ... we gave them the call."

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said: "[Nortman] did a great job of being patient. A big, big play in the game. It changed things around pretty dramatically."

The week after Wisconsin knocked off then-No. 1 Ohio State at home, the Badgers earned back-to-back wins over ranked teams for the first time since 2004, thanks to a call few in Madison or Iowa City will ever forget.

"I thought the guys just responded really well to adversity," Tolzien said. "In any big game you really got to keep your foot on that gas pedal, whether you're up or you're down you've got to just continue to be in attack mode. You got to be confident."

Iowa (5-2, 2-1) took a 30-24 lead on Michael Meyer's 40-yard field goal with 8:35 left and appeared set to take control.

But Nortman's run changed the game.

Iowa's final drive ended on the Wisconsin 35-yard line when Adam Robinson failed to get out of bounds before time expired. The Hawkeyes burned their final timeout the play before, after they had gotten a first down and could have spiked the ball to stop the clock.

"We wanted to burn the timeout and just go from there. I guess we could have gone the other way. Might have saved us 2 seconds," Ferentz said. "I don't think that was exactly the turning point in the game."

Ricky Stanzi had 258 yards passing and three touchdowns and Robinson added 114 yards for Iowa (5-2, 2-1), which suffered its first home loss of the season.

What was expected to be a Big Ten slugfest turned into an offensive free-for-all in a sporadic rain.

Wisconsin put faith in its offensive line and the 255-pound Clay, who barreled 2 yards for a touchdown and a 17-13 Badgers lead in the third quarter.

That seemed to suck the life out of Kinnick Stadium, but Derrell Johnson-Koulianos quickly woke up the soggy crowd. He got well behind the Badgers secondary and snagged Stanzi's pass for a 45-yard touchdown.

It barely phased Wisconsin, though. The Badgers went 51 yards on just four plays and jumped back ahead 24-20 on Clay's 2-yard TD run.

Stanzi answered back with his third touchdown pass, a 6-yarder off play action to Marvin McNutt with 10:16 left.

On the next play, Tolzien threw a pick to Brett Greenwood, giving Iowa the ball on Wisconsin's 26. But the Badgers held the Hawkeyes to Meyer's 40-yard field goal and ate 7:29 off the clock before the winning score.

Iowa, which came into the season with national title hopes, can forget about that now. But the Hawkeyes host unbeaten Michigan State next week with a chance to jump right back in the race for the Rose Bowl.

"The season's not over. We have five games. We have a good football team," Ferentz said. "A lot of things are going to happen and can happen."

Iowa let up just 17 points in its first four games at Kinnick Stadium, but Wisconsin had its way with one of the nation's best defenses.

The Badgers jumped ahead 3-0 on Philip Welch's 33-yard field goal, but Hawkeyes responded on Robinson's 1-yard TD run. Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt blocked the extra point to keep it at 6-3, though -- and that came back to hurt the Hawkeyes later.

"It ends up being the game," Bielema said. "It's a good example of how our guys play every snap."

Tolzien found a wide-open Bradie Ewing for a 7-yard touchdown pass to make it 10-6 early in the second quarter. Stanzi gave Iowa a 13-10 lead just before halftime with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Allen Reisner.

The Badgers played most of the game without tight end Lance Kendricks, their leading receiver who sprained his right ankle in the first quarter, and running back James White, who sprained his left knee early in the second quarter.

This was the last annual matchup between these close border rivals for the foreseeable future. The Hawkeyes and Badgers will be in different divisions when Nebraska joins the Big Ten in 2011, and they won't play each other for at least the next two years.

The Heartland Trophy will stay in Madison until then, as Wisconsin won for just the third time in nine tries against the Hawkeyes.

"We wanted to give the seniors a chance to come out and win with the trophy. We're going to have it for the next couple years so we wanted to come out with a bang," Clay said.