No. 16 Wisconsin 20, Gophers 7
The recap: Minnesota held the Badgers to their lowest point total of the season, but the Gophers’ only points came on Aaron Hill’s second-quarter interception return for a touchdown.
What was learned: The Gophers showed they are physical enough to compete with one of the Big Ten’s best teams, but Wisconsin’s playmakers — especially Chris Borland, Jared Abbrederis and James White — made the difference.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
• Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson committed his first turnover since Sept. 28 when he fumbled in the second quarter. The Gophers led 7-3 at the time, but the Badgers went on to score 17 unanswered points.
• The Gophers held the Badgers to 197 yards rushing, more than 100 fewer than Wisconsin’s season average. The key was Minnesota’s open-field tackling. Safeties Antonio Johnson and Cedric Thompson led the Gophers with 10 and nine tackles, respectively.
• Gophers coach Jerry Kill called Abbrederis “the difference in the game.” Abbrederis caught seven passes for 67 yards and a touchdown.
UP NEXT: No. 11 Michigan State
11 a.m. Saturday, Spartan Stadium
TV: Big Ten Network • Radio: 100.3-FM
Records: Gophers 8-3, 4-3 Big Ten; Michigan State 10-1, 7-0
The skinny: The Spartans would be in the national championship picture if not for a 17-13 loss to Notre Dame on Sept. 21. Michigan State is 7-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 1966, and all seven of those wins have come by at least 12 points. The Spartans are headed back to the Big Ten Championship Game for the second time in three years. Michigan State leads the nation in total defense (236.6 yards allowed per game) and ranks fourth in scoring defense (12.5 points allowed per game).