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The Gophers got a defensive stop, but freshman returner Harold Howell fumbled a booming punt and Wisconsin recovered at it the Minnesota 15. The Badgers scored two plays later on Brown's 4-yard run.
Two years ago Wisconsin completed a remarkable comeback on a special teams mistake by Kucek, who dropped a clean snap in the final minute. The Badgers blocked the punt and recovered it in the end zone for the victory.
The Gophers looked like they might engineer their own miracle comeback Saturday when Ralph Spry caught a tipped pass intended for Marcus Sherels and sprinted for a 71-yard touchdown to cut the deficit to 41-34 with 4:37 remaining.
But that's as close as they would get as the Badgers made enough plays on both sides of the ball to finish the job.
"We gave ourselves a chance," Sherels said. "That's all we asked of ourselves. That showed how far we came this year."
The loss left players searching for positives and a silver lining in the immediate aftermath of a 1-11 season.
"This wasn't the way we planned it," Wheelwright said. "We wanted to go to the Rose Bowl. That's our goal every time we step out on the field. But I think the sky is the limit for the Gophers in the future."
|Baltimore - F. Garcia||12:07 PM|
|Toronto - R. Dickey|
|Cleveland - S. Kazmir||12:35 PM|
|Boston - J. Lester|
|LA Angels - B. Buckner||1:10 PM|
|Kansas City - J. Guthrie|
|Colorado - J. Nicasio||3:05 PM|
|San Francisco - B. Zito|
|Minnesota - P. Walters||3:08 PM|
|Detroit - D. Fister|
|Chicago Cubs - T. Wood||3:10 PM|
|Cincinnati - H. Bailey|
|Pittsburgh - J. Locke||3:10 PM|
|Milwaukee - M. Fiers|
|NY Yankees - V. Nuno||3:10 PM|
|Tampa Bay - M. Moore|
|Atlanta - M. Minor||6:15 PM|
|NY Mets - D. Gee|
|Philadelphia - J. Pettibone||6:15 PM|
|Washington - D. Haren|
|St. Louis - J. Gast||6:15 PM|
|Los Angeles - T. Lilly|
|Miami - R. Nolasco||6:15 PM|
|Chicago WSox - J. Peavy|
|Oakland - A. Griffin||6:15 PM|
|Houston - L. Harrell|
|San Diego - A. Cashner||9:10 PM|
|Arizona - W. Miley|
|Texas - D. Holland||9:10 PM|
|Seattle - F. Hernandez|
|San Antonio||8:00 PM|
|NY Rangers||4:30 PM|
|Toronto FC||6:30 PM|
|San Jose||7:30 PM|
|Real Salt Lake|
|Chivas USA||8:00 PM|
|New York||6:00 PM|