November 15, 2008
MADISON, Wis.--The storied Wisconsin-Minnesota rivalry took another dramatic turn when the Badgers erased a 14-point, second-half deficit to grab a 35-32 Border Battle win. Paul Bunyan's Axe will stay in Madison for another year as Wisconsin used contributions from all phases to claw back into the game. In the second-half alone, P.J. Hill scored on a pair of one-yard TD runs, the Badgers racked up two fourth-quarter safeties and the defense forced a fumble to set up the game-clinching score. With the victory, Wisconsin (6-5) is now bowl eligible heading into its final regular-season game.
Minnesota 0 - 21 - 3 - 8 -- 32
Wisconsin 7 - 0 - 10 - 18 -- 35
Wisconsin started fast recovering a Gopher fumble just 0:48 into the game. The Badgers capitalized on the short field with a fourth-and-one touchdown pass from Dustin Sherer (18-of-31 for 242 yards) to TE Garrett Graham for a 7-0 lead. Things would unravel for Wisconsin the rest of the first half. UW marched to the Minnesota 16-yard line a few minutes later, but a 33-yard field goal attempt was blocked after a shaky hold. The Gophers would rattle off 21-straight points in the second quarter off three Wisconsin fumbles.
Trailing 21-7 at the half, it was gut-check time for the Badgers. This time they responded in a big way.
After a field goal opened the second half, Hill capped an 11-play, 72-yard drive with a one-yard TD plunge to cut the Minnesota lead to 21-17. The Gophers would tack on a field goal, but it was all Wisconsin after that.
The Badgers got another touchdown from Hill in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to tie the game at 24-24. Wisconsin DB Antonio Fenelus would jar the ball loose on the ensuing kickoff and the fumble went out the end zone for a UW safety. Two minutes later the Badgers defense would be coming up with another safety, tackling Minnesota QB Adam Weber in the end zone for a 28-24 lead.
Wisconsin would add on a RB John Clay touchdown late in the game to move ahead 35-24 with 6:59 remaining. The Gophers would pull within three points 35-32 after a touchdown and two-point conversion from Shady Salamon. Minnesota would get the ball back with 2:29 left in the game, but Niles Brinkley intercepted Weber at the UM 31-yard line to clinch to Border Battle win for Wisconsin.
Minnesota native Isaac Anderson hauled in career highs with six catches for 114 yards for Wisconsin, while Hill paced the UW ground game with 117 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries.
Comprehensive post-game coverage