The Call: Gophers at Wisconsin

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 20, 2012 - 1:42 AM

The Badgers didn't look like the two-time defending Big Ten champs in September. But they're still the Gophers' fiercest, and oldest, rival.

Wisconsin's Chris Borland celebrates after he sacks University of Texas-El Paso quarterback Nick Lamaison at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin, Saturday, September 22, 2012. Wisconsin defeated UTEP, 37-26.

Photo: Rick Wood, Mct - Mct

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

THE OPPONENT

The Badgers didn't look like the two-time defending Big Ten champs in September. But they're still the Gophers' fiercest, and oldest, rival.

GOPHERS OFFENSE VS. BADGERS DEFENSE

If freshman Philip Nelson starts at quarterback, as expected, there will be an undeniable excitement about the star recruit's debut. But injuries throughout the offense -- it's possible four opening-night starters on the offensive line will be on the sideline, and three receivers were held out of practice early in the week-- make Nelson's task far more difficult. Wisconsin's defense has created the fewest turnovers in the Big Ten but has a great pass rush (17 sacks), helping to hold four opponents to 14 points or fewer. Advantage: Wisconsin

GOPHERS DEFENSE VS. BADGERS DEFENSE

The Badgers don't hide what they're going to do: hand off to Montee Ball, and throw only when defenses stack up for the run. The defensive line's ability to hold its ground and force Ball to commit to a path quickly will be critical. The Gophers have been mistake-prone in plugging gaps, especially in the first half. Advantage: Wisconsin

SPECIAL TEAMS

Wisconsin's punt-coverage unit is the Big Ten's best, setting up an interesting matchup with Gophers punt returner A.J. Barker. But place-kicking has been a problem -- the Badgers are only 5-for-10 on field goals, worse than Minnesota's 6-for-11. Advantage: Even

INTANGIBLES

It's big, it's old, and it's one of the loudest stadiums in college football. The 80,000 crazies at Camp Randall Stadium haven't witnessed a loss in 20 games, second-longest streak in the nation, and haven't watched the Gophers claim Paul Bunyan's Axe since 1994. That's a tough atmosphere to thrust a freshman quarterback into. Advantage: Wisconsin

PREDICTION

Nelson impresses with some smart, effective throws and gets the Gophers off to a strong start. But the Badgers pass rush eventually wears down the Gophers' injury-ravaged offensive line and harasses the teenager into mistakes, while Montee Ball does what he does best: score touchdowns Wisconsin 42, Gophers 20

NUMBER TO KNOW

0 Opponents who have gained 400 yards on the Gophers this year. Wisconsin has eclipsed 400 three of the past four weeks.

DON'T FORGET ABOUT

Rodrick Williams Gophers coaches are intrigued by 240-pound freshman running back's speed and tackle-breaking ability.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close