Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Gophers fall to Badgers 38-13
For the ninth straight year Paul Bunyan's Axe will return to Madison after a 38-13 Wisconsin win over Minnesota. The Gophers had no answer for Badgers' running backs James White and Montee Ball, who combined for five touchdowns.
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The Gopher defense has been unable to stop the run in all three of their Big Ten games. Today, in Madison, against one of the best rushing attacks in football, it was no different. James White and Montee Ball combined for 341 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Badgers to a 38-13 win over the Gophers.
Phillip Nelson, a true freshman who grew up in Madison hoping to play for the Badgers, started for Minnesota and was 13-for-24 for 149 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also led the team in rushing with 67 yards on 16 carries.
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave only attempted 15 passes. The ground game was so potent that Wisconsin hardly had to pass at all. White had 175 yards on 15 carries and Ball had 166 yards on 24 carries. Each had a run of more than 40 yards in the game. White had three touchdowns and Ball had two.
James White and Montee Ball combined for five touchdowns, as Wisconsin cruised to a 38-13 over rival Minnesota. It was the Badgers ninth straight win over the Gophers, as Paul Bunyan's Axe again returns to Madison.
After three quarters, Wisconsin is ahead on Minnesota 24-13, and appears in line to win Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the ninth straight year. If the Badgers can hold on for victory, it’ll be thanks to running back James White.
Through three quarters, White has simply been mesmerizing, with all three touchdown scores for the Badgers. His third touchdown came on his longest run of the afternoon, when White took a second-down hand off and carried the ball 48 yards into the end zone. White also added touchdown runs of 14 and 34 yards in the first half, for a total of 159 yards in the game.
To their credit though, the Gophers were able to cut into Wisconsin's lead right before the end of the third quarter.
True freshman quarterback Philip Nelson found wide receiver A.J. Barker on a 12-yard touchdown pass, to cut Wisconsin's lead to single digits as the two teams head into the fourth quarter.
While Montee Ball gets all the headlines at Wisconsin, fellow running back James White has been the star Saturday, and the difference in the Badgers 14-6 halftime lead over Minnesota.
White scored Wisconsin’s first touchdown of the game just minutes into the first quarter, and he then used a couple big runs late in the second to give the Badgers their eight-point halftime cushion. White’s second score was a 34-yard run that capped a five-play, 74-yard drive, giving the back 98 rushing yards so far on the afternoon. Ball has added 35 yards on the ground himself for the Badgers, who are looking to improve to 6-2 with the win.
As for Minnesota, their offense has looked sharp under true freshman quarterback Philip Nelson, but has only been able to put the ball in the end zone once. That touchdown score came midway through the first when Nelson found Brandon Green for a 16-yard score.
Nelson finished the half with 89 yards passing, and also as the Gophers' leading rushing with 49 yards on the ground.
The Wisconsin Badgers have won eight straight games against Minnesota, and with a 7-6 lead after one quarter, it looks like Bret Bielema's team could be on their way to capturing Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the ninth straight year.
For the Badgers, the scoring got going on their second drive, and was set up by a big 42-yard completion from quarterback Joel Stave to Jason Abbrederis. Two plays later, running back James White took a 14-yard carry in for a touchdown and the Badgers only score of the game.
To the Gophers credit though, they countered with a six-play scoring drive of their own on the next series.
True freshman quarterback Philip Nelson set up the touchdown with a couple big runs, before eventually hitting Brandon Green for a 16-yard touchdown pass for Minnesota’s first touchdown of the game. Kicker Jordan Wettstein missed an extra point that would’ve tied the game up at seven apiece.