One of the stories of Wisconsin’s first offseason under head coach Luke Fickell and Phil Longo was the turnover in the quarterback room. Out went Graham Mertz, Deacon Hill and others. In came Tanner Mordecai, Nick Evers and Braedyn Locke.
It was one of Fickell’s focuses as he started to build his program.
Well, the results have been mixed in year one. Mordecai battled a hand injury and has been fine, while Locke has shown some promise in limited action. The quarterback room has reflected the team as a whole: brilliant at times, yet painfully inconsistent.
Meanwhile, a former Wisconsin quarterback is winning at an impressive clip. That is Iowa Hawkeyes starting quarterback Deacon Hill, who improved to 6-1 as starter after today’s 13-10 win over Nebraska. Hill was a four-star recruit in Wisconsin’s class of 2021 and appeared in one game as a Badger before transferring to Iowa last offseason.
Are his numbers great this year? No. They’re actually quite awful. 49.7% completion, 882 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions in seven starts. And that leading an offense that barely cracks 18 points per game.
But as we’ve learned with this Iowa team, the offense can be atrocious and the defense and special teams can still win games. Today was a fantastic test of that, as Hill threw a back-breaking last-minute interception with the game tied at 10.
INT by Deacon Hill
Iowa’s offense has no shot in the title game. pic.twitter.com/5tYsJBpTI2
— What does the film say? (@Huskers_film) November 24, 2023
What happened next? Well, obviously Nebraska QB Chubba Purdy answered with an interception of his own which set Iowa up for a game-winning field goal to improve to 10-2 on the season.
Chubba Purdy threw an absolutely brutal interception to set up Iowa for a game-winning field goal try. pic.twitter.com/HnnPAALUf3
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) November 24, 2023
Iowa, as we all predicted, will face the winner of Michigan vs Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship in a few weeks.