Wisconsin and Iowa are set to renew their rivalry Saturday in the 87th meeting between the two teams. The series is tied 42-42-2.
I’m sure no thought was given to how long the series would last and how heated it could become when the teams first played Oct. 29, 1894 – which was a Monday, by the way – especially since they didn’t play again until 1906.
I found a couple of articles on the game in the Milwaukee Journal and Cedar Rapids Evening Gazette from the day after the game, a 44-0 Wisconsin victory in Madison.
There wasn’t a lot of coverage back then, but it did make the front page of the Gazette with the headline “Iowas Badly Beaten” – ouch.
The Journal devoted all of one paragraph to the game on page 10, along with the lineups of both teams. “Iowa Easy for Wisconsin” was the headline.
From the Journal: “The games’ features were the splendid running of Nelson and the punting of Keppler for Iowa. The ball was in Iowa’s territory about all the time.”
I don’t care what era you are in, when the feature is the punter, that’s not a good sign.
No mention of John “Ikey” Karel, the “right hand back,” who had five touchdowns. Also listed as scoring TDs for Wisconsin were Bozendahl (the right tackle), Nelson (left hand back) and Richards (full back).
The Gazette provided a little more detail of Karel’s exploits and Iowa’s futility (Note: the story was one long paragraph, I’ve split it up for easier reading):
“Wisconsin kicked off and Keppler, for Iowa, made a good gain. Iowa tried the criss-cross, but lost several yards. They then tried to kick and lost over twenty yards. Sheldon made a good tackle and Wisconsin got the ball on four downs.
“Karel made a run around the left end for twenty-five yards on scored a touchdown. Karel kicked a goal [note – extra point].
“Iowa kicked the ball out of bounds and Wisconsin got it on the twenty-five yard line. After several kicks back and forth Nelson made a run of forty yards and Alexander took the ball from [sic] several good gains. Bozendahl took the ball across the line; Karel kicked goal.
“Iowa got the ball on four downs. Soon after the kick-off Keppler, Iowa, was hurt, but kept on playing. Wisconsin got the ball on four downs and made rapid gains. But finally Sheldon took the ball for five yards and Karel made a touchdown. Karel kicked the goal.
“Nelson made a run of sixty yards and scored a touchdown and goal was kicked. Karel made two touchdowns in succession and goal was kicked [note: Wisconsin made 6 of 8 extra points]. This ended the first half with a score of 34 to 0.
“In the second Wisconsin by rushing work secured two touchdowns and on goal, the game ending 44 to 0 in favor of the badgers [sic].”
Time of the game, by the way, 55 minutes (35 for the first half, 20 for the second). Hard to imagine, eh?