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Minnesota vs. Wisconsin Preview: Will Paul Bunyan's Axe Stay In Minnesota?

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The opportunity is there for Minnesota.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Opening Thoughts

We meet again Wisconsin. The most played rivalry in college football. The team that has had Minnesota's number for far too long. Is this the year that Minnesota shakes loose from their #AxeWeek funk? I don't know (though of course I'll say yes when it comes to the predictions) but I do know this...beating Wisconsin will make this up and down season feel like a success to me. Why? It shouldn't need explanation, but to outline my thinking I'll turn to a writer much more gifted than myself, Ramzy Nasrallah (@ramzy) from the OSU blog Eleven Warriors:

Michigan Week always stands on its own, whether the Buckeyes are rolling or somehow lost to a Ron Zook-coached team on Senior Day as the undefeated #1 team in the country.

...

Beating Michigan is precious, no matter how many times you've enjoyed it. It does not get old.

Obviously Minnesota is in Michigan's shoes when it comes to recent victories over Wisconsin but the sentiment remains the same. No matter if Minnesota is in the midst of their best season ever or if they have 0 wins coming into the game against Wisconsin this game will always stand alone for me. I feel HATE for Iowa. I feel HATE HATE HATE for Wisconsin.

Gnome #TAKES

The gnomes have a few simple messages to share.

Also...

And...

bucky popcorn skunk

BETTER DEAD THAN RED!

When/Where

Date: 11/28/15

Kickoff Time: 2:30 PM CST

Where: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN

Watch/Listen

TV: Big Ten Network

Streaming Video: BTN2Go.com

Radio: KFAN (100.3 in the Twin Cities) and the Gopher Radio Network (Radio Affiliates).

Streaming Audio: Locate KFAN on IHeartRadio.com (or the IHeartRadio app for your mobile device)

Satellite Radio: SiriusXM 195; Sirius 136; XM195

Odds

Spread: Wisconsin by 2.5

Over/Under: 43 to 50.5. That 50.5 is a single site, everyone else has 40.3.

Bill C's S&P+ Pick

Game Spread
(Home)
Proj. Winner Proj. Margin Win Prob. Pick
(Spread)
Wisconsin at Minnesota +2.5
Minnesota (23.7 - 22.4)
1.3
53% Minnesota

Want a sign of how poorly the Badgers are playing and how weak their schedule has been? S&P likes Minnesota to win. Don't get too excited though, the model said the same thing about Nebraska.

Weather Forecast

Sunny. Cold. But not as cold as 2 years ago.

weather wi

The Enemy

Where Are They From? Madison, WI

UW statue
UW statue
UW statue

Someone actually approved this because they thought it was a good idea. Madison man...

All Time Series: Minnesota leads the series 62-44-2.

MN WI 15

Last Season: There is only one Badger triumph that is worth highlighting from last year:

Those were the only highlights I could find for the Badger's Big Ten Championship Game performance.

59 donut

NEVER FORGET.

2015 To Date: 8-3 (5-2 Big Ten)

Head Coach: Paul Chryst, who didn't even take a full season to remind Badger fans of his propensity to go away from the run for reasons surpassing understanding.

Keys to the Game

- Run defense: This is not the Badger running attack of previous seasons. Their offensive line is rolling over everyone like they usually do. Their best running back has been battling injuries and his backups aren't destroying everyone like Wisconsin backups usually do. But the interior of the Minnesota defensive line is significantly weakened and until proven otherwise by Minnesota, the Badgers are still the Badgers. If the Gophers can shut down the Badger running game I think good things will follow.

- Make Joel Stave look like bad Joel Stave: Here's the problem with Stave. He seems to reserve his bad games for teams other than Minnesota. The Gophers need to change that. The best way would be to get consistent pressure, because Stave has been HORRID against pressure this season.

- Make Pat Reusse write a whiny column about Minnesota fans rushing the field: If Minnesota wins I'm hoping everyone floods his mentions with pictures down on the field.

How Afraid Am I?

For those who don't know, this is a bit where I rank my fear by saying how many Tim Brewsters I am afraid of the opponent. The more Tim Brewsters I list, the more afraid I am...because the memory of Timmy Brew is scary for all Gophers fans. Typically this is done on a scale of 1 to 5 "Brewsters on his face" in the Metrodome, though I mix it up as needed.

2 Brew Axe Skunk

I'm 2 Timmy B's with an Axe on his back and a popcorn skunk afraid of Wisconsin.

Completely Worthless Prediction

I will not predict anything but a Minnesota win.

Minnesota 20 - Wisconsin 17

Make Your Own Prediction