Axe handled: Badgers run to ninth-straight win over Minnesota


Minnesota Wisconsin 38, Minnesota 13
Camp Randall Stadium •  Madison, Wis. • Attendance: 80,587
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Wisconsin

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1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
 Minnesota
6 0 7 0 13
 Wisconsin
7 7 10 14 38
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Postgame Analysis
Lucas' Last Word: Badgers prove they're on same page
Badger Bits: Grounding the Gophers

 Statistical Leaders
 • Rushing: James White - 15 Car, 175 Yds, 3 TD
 • Passing: Joel Stave - 7-15, 106 Yds
 • Receiving: Jared Abbrederis - 2 Rec, 68 Yds, TD
 • Defense: Mike Taylor - 12 Tkl, 1.0 TFL
 Scoring Summary
 First Quarter
WIS 9:21 White 14 TD run (French kick)
MINN 6:14 Green 16 TD pass from Nelson
(Wetstein kick failed)
 Second Quarter
WIS 1:49 White 34 TD run (French kick)
 Third Quarter
WIS
7:43
French 33 FG
WIS
5:22
White 48 TD run (French kick)
MINN
0:12
Barker 12 TD pass from Nelson (Wetstein kick)
 Fourth Quarter
WIS 10:57 Ball 14 TD run (French kick)
WIS 9:21 Ball 44 TD run (French kick)
 Stats at a Glance
MINN WIS
 • First Downs 12 24
 • Total Offensive Yards 245 443
 • Passing Yards 149 106
 • Rushing Yards 96 337
 • Penalties-Yards 3-30 2-20
 • Turnovers 2 0
 • Punts-Avg. 7-36.0 5-35.8
 • Punt Returns-Avg. 2-10 1-0
 • Kick Returns-Avg. 2-22.5 1-9
 • 3rd-Down Conversions 1-10 8-15
 • 4th-Down Conversions 1-1 0-1
 • Time of Possession 24:10 34:56
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Oct. 20, 2012

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- James White raced 15 times through Minnesota's defense for 175 yards rushing and three touchdowns, carrying Wisconsin to a 38-13 victory over Minnesota on Saturday, the ninth straight time the Badgers have beaten the Gophers to keep Paul Bunyan's Axe.

Montee Ball let his partner steal the show for most of the afternoon but still muscled his way for 166 yards on 24 attempts and two fourth-quarter scores to put the game out of reach and push the Badgers (6-2, 3-1 Big Ten) to their 21st win in a row at Camp Randall Stadium, the second-longest home win streak in the nation.

 Fast Facts
• RBs Ball, White combine for 341 yards, 5 TDs
• Badgers win ninth-straight vs. Minnesota
• Wisconsi wins 21st-conseutive home game

Freshman Philip Nelson was the surprise starting quarterback for the Gophers (4-3, 0-3). He threw two touchdown passes, but the Badgers turned one interception into a third-quarter field goal. Three plays after the second pick, Ball scored his second touchdown after another spirit-breaking burst through the middle.

Nelson was thrust into action for Minnesota because MarQueis Gray's sprained left ankle wasn't quite right and Max Shortell hurt his neck the week before.

Wisconsin has spoiled Minnesota's upset hopes every year since 2003 and hasn't lost at home since 1994 in this border-state series that began in 1890. The Gophers played well enough on defense early to have a chance heading into the second half.

But as the Badgers so often have done, they just kept pounding the ball into the line and watching White and Ball go to work. Sometimes they had to wiggle back and forth to find holes, but they routinely bounced off the first tackler or two. Other carries were much easier, with only the green of the turf and the red of the end zone ahead of them.

The Gophers' harassment of Joel Stave, who finished 7 for 15 for 106 yards, barely made a difference.

The Gophers took the opening kickoff, so Nelson didn't have any time on the sideline to get any more nervous than he surely already was. Zac Epping's third-down shotgun snap sailed to Nelson's left, and he had to hustle to cover the ball so the Gophers could punt from their 16.

Nelson overcame that ominous start with a six-play, 65-yard cruise to the end zone later in the first quarter. He found wide-open Drew Goodger for 18 yards for his first college completion and Brandon Green from 16 yards out for the score. Jordan Wettstein's extra point banged off the right goal post, though, keeping the Gophers from tying the game.

That was Wettstein's first miss in 18 extra-point attempts this year, but he's only 6 for 12 on field-goal tries with misses from 32 and 26 yards. Wettstein's 51-yard try at the end of the first half had plenty of distance and even appeared to sail directly over the left upright, but it was ruled wide to preserve Wisconsin's 14-6 lead.

After dominating Purdue with 645 total yards in last week's 38-14 win, the Badgers didn't move the ball with the same proficiency early.

But the Gophers, relying frequently on draws and zone read runs up the middle by Nelson, didn't do much to help their defense out. It was only a matter of time that the Badgers were able to wear down the Gophers with what they've done so well for so many years - ramming the ball straight ahead and reaping the rewards.

After the Gophers were stopped on third-and-1 at the Wisconsin 49 for no gain, Christian Eldred's punt went just 19 yards. And five plays later, White was in the end zone again after a 34-yard burst with 1:49 left stretched the lead to eight.

Over these nine straight wins against the Gophers, the Badgers are averaging about 39 points per game and winning by a margin of more than 16 points.

ON WISCONSIN
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