David Cobb had a hard time appreciating his accomplishment after Saturday’s 20-7 loss to Wisconsin, but he had just become the first Gophers running back to pass the 1,000-yard mark since Amir Pinnix in 2006.
Cobb had 68 yards on 17 carries, giving him 1,038 for the season.
“Maybe if I would have ran a little harder, I could have gotten a little more, and maybe we would have won,” Cobb said.
Cobb has come a long way as a junior after rushing for 57 yards as a freshman and 8 yards as a sophomore.
“David’s a great story,” coach Jerry Kill said. “… We wish we had a few more turns with him today. The game got a little unique the way they were playing the run, had a lot of people in the box. But it’s great to see. That’s the reason we’re 8-3.”
Preventing points isn’t nearly as glamorous as scoring them, so Chris Borland has no illusions about his place in history.
“Last year, Montee [Ball] had the most touchdowns in college football history,” Borland said of the former Wisconsin tailback, “so I don’t think they’re doing a flag ceremony for most forced fumbles.”
Still, his ability to create turnovers is almost unprecedented — and certainly game-changing. On Minnesota’s first snap of the second half, Borland stripped Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson of the ball, then pounced on the fumble.
It was the second loose ball that Borland recovered in the game, and the 14th time in his career that he had caused one. That’s the most in major-college history, tying him with Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan, among five others, for the record.
It also seemed to stun Minnesota.
“Yeah, they seemed a little discouraged,” Borland said of the Gophers’ one-play drive. “To their credit, they fought the whole game, but it’s tough for a play like that not to affect a team’s psyche.”
The Gophers had lost only four fumbles all year. Wisconsin, which has now held six opponents without an offensive touchdown this season, added three more, and Wisconsin coach Gary Andersen said his senior middle linebacker was a big reason.
Borland also made 12 tackles, the sixth time this season he’s been in double digits.
Fans get the message
As his teammates hoisted Paul Bunyan’s Axe and began to parade around with it, Borland hustled over to the sideline, grabbed one of the team’s white message boards, and created a trophy of his own. He wrote “10 straight,” and held it aloft for Badgers fans to see.
“A decade with the Axe. Pretty good,” the senior said. “You don’t want to be that team that’s standing there when they run across the field and take it from you. We’re proud to carry on the tradition.”
• The 18-degree kickoff temperature wasn’t the coldest in the rivalry’s history. It was 11 degrees for kickoff when the Gophers played in Madison on Nov. 21, 1964.
• The Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl had representatives at the game.
• Wide receiver Derrick Engel, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in practice last week, was in uniform before the game and limped out to greet his parents on senior day.
• Right guard Caleb Bak missed his second consecutive game because of a concussion.
• Cornerback Eric Murray, safety Cedric Thompson and tight end Maxx Williams all sustained injuries during the game but were able to return.
• Aaron Hill’s pick-six in the second quarter gave the Gophers seven non-offensive touchdowns for the season, a school record.