NCAA FB

Minnesota stands up to No. 16 Wisconsin, but falls

Share This Story

   
 

MINNEAPOLIS (AP)

For a decade now, Minnesota has been kicked around by Wisconsin, lending a rather anticlimactic air to one of the longest-running rivalries in the nation.

For the first time in a while, the Golden Gophers went toe to toe with the Badgers. And even though they failed to capture Paul Bunyan's Axe for the first time since 2003, they finally stood up for themselves after being bullied by their neighbors for so long.

James White rushed for 125 yards and one touchdown and No. 16 Wisconsin grinded out a 20-7 victory over Minnesota on Saturday.

''I think we're catching up,'' Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said. ''There's no doubt about that.''

Aaron Hill returned an interception for a touchdown and David Cobb rushed for 68 yards for the Gophers (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten). But Philip Nelson completed just 7 of 23 passes for 83 yards and Minnesota couldn't get anything going against the Badgers (9-2, 6-1).

Chris Borland had 12 tackles, two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble to tie the NCAA record for career fumbles forced with 14. Brendan Kelly had two sacks and the Badgers held an opponent under 10 points for the seventh time this season. Only Alabama has done it more.

''There was a definitely a lack of rhythm on our part,'' Nelson said. ''Simply put, we didn't make enough plays as an offense. That just comes up to the players. That comes up to me. That comes up to everybody.''

The Gophers were missing leading receiver Derrick Engel because of a knee injury, which allowed the Badgers to load up against Cobb and the running game.

Maxx Williams led the Gophers with just two catches for 31 yards, but he lost one of their three fumbles. Nelson had several passes dropped by open receivers and just plain missed a handful of others while being hounded by the Badgers.

Kill was quick to say that there are no moral victories, but he was clearly proud of how his young team played against Wisconsin, which has won six in a row following a loss to Ohio State on Sept. 28.

''I can live with a lot of things when you play your butt off,'' Kill said.

The Gophers defense certainly did that.

The Badgers steamrolled into TCF Bank Stadium after racking up a staggering 554 yards rushing against Indiana last week. White took the opening handoff for 49 yards, but the Gophers' defense stiffened after that. They held Wisconsin to 197 yards on the ground, more than 100 below their season average and forced coach Gary Andersen to use the passing game much more than he originally had planned.

Joel Stave was 16 for 26 for 127 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Wisconsin. Borland's strip of Cobb midway through the third quarter tied him with five other players for the FBS record for forced fumbles.

For the first time in recent memory, there was some hype surrounding this late-season meeting. The Gophers had reeled off four straight Big Ten victories for the first time since 1973 and entered the game brimming with confidence. A record crowd of 53,090 packed TCF Bank Stadium to watch the game, and the Gophers' defense kept them in the game.

Michael Amaefula hit Stave low just as he was throwing the ball and Hill stepped in and picked off the pass, returning it 39 yards to put the Gophers up 7-3.

But Nelson's fumble in Wisconsin territory led to White's touchdown that put the Badgers in front 10-7. Wisconsin started the third quarter with a 12-play, 83-yard drive that chewed up 7:05, culminating in a 2-yard TD from Stave to Jared Abbrederis for a 20-7 lead that knocked the wind out of a juiced up stadium.

''We had five or six chances,'' Nelson said, ''and we just let it slip.''

The Badgers' 10-game streak is the longest in the history of a rivalry that dates back to 1890, and that run that has clearly started to wear thin with the Gophers. After the Badgers grabbed the coveted axe and pretended to chop down one goal post, the team started to cross the field toward the other end.

''It's happened as long as I've been alive,'' Borland said. ''You go to both goal posts. They kind of crashed our party, but that's all right, they should be mad.''

The Gophers encircled the goal post in front of their student section and refused to let the Badgers get near it. There was some pushing and shoving, but the confrontation ended without incident.

''It's just a pride thing,'' Nelson said. ''Nobody's going to come into our end zone and start chopping it down. That's just kind of standing up for ourselves.''

Tagged: Minnesota, Wisconsin, Chris Borland, James White, David Cobb, Joel Stave

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by

College Football Pick'em on FOX


NCAA FB Videos

Sumlin annoyed by media's Manziel questions Posted: Jul 16, 2014
Kevin Sumlin responds to questions about life after Johnny Football by toying wi...

AJ Pasquale's journey back to UCLA Posted: Jun 17, 2014
UCLA football ops intern AJ Pasquale describes his own personal journey after th...

Winston issued adult civil citation Posted: Apr 30, 2014
Get the latest news surrounding Jameis Winston's recent shoplifting fiasco.

Get Inside the Locker Room with Scout.com

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/759777/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_759000/ff_759777_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Florida Gators Gridiron 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Michigan_State_Spartans/browse/featuredproduct/760171/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_760000/ff_760171_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Michigan State Spartans Football 2012 Team Issue T-Shirt - White
    Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_USC_Trojans/browse/featuredproduct/761373/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_761000/ff_761373_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike USC Trojans Fight On My School T-Shirt - Cardinal
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/829709/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829709_xl.jpg&w=100 64.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Crimso..
    Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_LSU_Tigers/browse/featuredproduct/829740/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_829000/ff_829740_xl.jpg&w=100 49.99 Nike LSU Tigers Elite Force Coaches Sideline Performance Polo - Purple
    Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oklahoma_Sooners/browse/featuredproduct/830935/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_830000/ff_830935_xl.jpg&w=100 21.95 Nike Oklahoma Sooners Legacy 91 Dri-FIT Adjustable Coaches Cap - Crimson
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/861243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861243_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish Hot Sideline Jacket - Navy Blue
    adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Nebraska_Cornhuskers/browse/featuredproduct/861247/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_861000/ff_861247_xl.jpg&w=100 69.95 adidas Nebraska Cornhuskers Sideline Hot Quarter Zip Jacket - Scarlet
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapback Hat - Charcoal/Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1087345/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1087000/ff_1087345_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Players Locker Room Snapba..
    Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Alabama_Crimson_Tide/browse/featuredproduct/1093431/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1093000/ff_1093431_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Alabama Crimson Tide 2012 BCS National Champions Locker Room T-Shirt - Ash