INDIANAPOLIS — From an Iowa fan's perspective, Wisconsin punter Brad Nortman's fake punt against the Hawkeyes was perhaps the ultimate sucker punch in the schools' long-standing rivalry.
On Oct. 23, 2010, Nortman faced a fourth-and-4 at his 26 with six minutes left and the Badgers trailed Iowa 30-24. Nortman took off on a fake punt and ran 17 yards for a first down. Wisconsin then drove the length of the field, scoring a touchdown with 1:06 left and held off Iowa to win 31-30.
"Thankfully our team sold it really well," Nortman said Thursday at the NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. "The players on Iowa bit on it really well. The way we drew it up, we had guys kind of mock like we were going to do a normal punt. That was sort of my first approach to the punt. Sort of make them think that we were doing it.
"I just ran upfield and followed the shield in front of me and it was a wide-open field. I think I needed six yards, and I got 17."
The win vaulted Wisconsin to a Rose Bowl, a co-Big Ten title and an 11-2 finish. Iowa, which was 5-1 entering that game, crashed to 8-5 at the end of the season.
"It was definitely one of the highlights of my career and a moment in the game where it’s necessary for us to get a first down," Nortman said. "It was truly a great play.
"If two successful fakes help my draft stock, I’ll take it."
Nortman later had another successful fake punt against TCU in the Rose Bowl.The win also gave Wisconsin possession of the Heartland Trophy until the teams meet again in 2013. The series is tied 42-42-2.