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The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, Minnesota vs. Wisconsin - OPEN THREAD

Game Time: 2:30
Radio: KFAN 100.3

The battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe! OK, now I'm getting greedy, I want the Pig and the Axe. Jerry Kill has already accomplished something Tim Brewster never did. Can he rub it in by getting both in his first year on the job?

The Stats

Minnesota Golden Gophers Wisconsin Badgers
Points / Game 18.7 47.0
Pass Yards 171.6 256.8
Rush Yards 144.2 246.4
3rd Down % 34.5% 54.7%
Key Offensive Player to Watch MarQueis Gray
Montee Ball
Points Allowed/Game 33.7
Pass Yards 236.4 156.9
Rush Yards 191.1 137.3
3rd Down % 45.3% 36.7%
Key Defensive Player to Watch Gary Tinsley Brendan Kelly

Three Questions

  1. Can we hold them under their 500 yards and 47 points per game? - Just last week they rolled up 600 yards and 62 points on Purdue! Yikes.
    Can the Gopher offense stay as productive as it has been recently? - Seemingly out of nowhere the offense has started to put up some points and yards. It came out this week that it may be due to a simplified playbook. But for whatever the reason, can the offense be productive today against Wisconsin?
    Will we have students storming the field again this season? - This one would be a win that would deserve a storming of the field.

The Answers

I am very nervous about containing the Badger ground game today. And that will of course create some play-action scenarios that might just kill our defense. This offense is probably the best we have seen all year, they will score points.

On offense I expect that we'll still be OK, the Badger defense isn't as good as Michigan State's was and we are at home. Can we win a shootout? No way. But assuming the offense is about as good as it has been recently, we should be able to score two or three touchdowns.

I doubt it, but I doubted it for the Iowa game as well. The Badger special teams has not been a real strength of the team so it is possible that we get a break or two on special teams. I think we'll need something big there plus a careless turnover or two on Wisconsin's part to have a shot at winning. But again, I'm looking for some competitiveness and a team that resembles a Big Ten football team.

I'd love to have the Axe, it has been way too long.