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Minnesota Football: 3 keys to beating Wisconsin

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The Axe game is back on, what will it take for Minnesota to win?

NCAA Football: Minnesota at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Axe game has been rescheduled and the longest active streak of playing in consecutive years continues. The Gophers get an opportunity to take on the Badgers in 2020, but can they win in Madison for the second time in a row?

3 KEYS

  • Offensive line has to be very good - The Badger defense has been very good against the rush and the pass this year. So I’m looking at the OL to be elite opening holes for Mohamed Ibrahim and protecting Tanner Morgan.
  • Stop the run - Graham Mertz has been really good at times, but Wisconsin still keys off the run. Collectively they rank 5th in the Big Ten and even with out the likes of Jonathan Taylor, it is a ground game that needs to be stopped. I’m mostly looking at our linebackers to continue to get better, making good reads and filling the right gaps.
  • Turn it loose - The offense is really up against a challenge. The Badger D is very good against the run and the pass. Finding a rhythm on offense, getting Wisconsin on their heels and it leading to points. Open things up, let’s go!

OPPOSING PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • #5 QB - Graham Mertz - The young and highly rated quarterback has looked very good at times this year and not so good. Getting Mertz flustered and hurried would be fantastic.
  • #57 LB - Jack Sanborn - The Badger linebacker is going to be all over Ibrahim

PREDICTION

I like how this Gopher team is getting better throughout the season. This seems to be a calling card of the current staff. And at the same time, it seems as though Wisconsin is not as strong as they were early in the year. Sort of reminds me of these two teams in 2018.

But I’m not willing to make a prediction that the Gophers win this one. The Badger defense is very good and we are going to struggle to score points.

Minnesota - 17
Wisconsin - 24