WISCONSIN 38, GOPHERS 13
The recap: Philip Nelson had a promising debut, but the Gophers' defense was worn down by a pair of Badger tailbacks.
What was learned: Nelson is already an above-average runner for a quarterback, and his passing figures to get better with experience.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED:
• The Gophers have scored exactly 13 points in all three of their Big Ten games, this time requiring their first missed extra points of the season to do it. Only Illinois, averaging 7.0 points per Big Ten game, has scored fewer points.
• Nelson was just the third true freshman quarterback to start a game for the Gophers, joining Rickey Foggie (1984) and Max Shortell (2011).
• Brandon Green, bothered all season by a knee injury that already has required surgery, caught his first pass of the season, a 16-yard touchdown from Nelson. Green caught two more passes to finish with 44 yards.
• After twice being limited to fewer than 60 rushing yards this season, Wisconsin erupted for 337 against Minnesota and a total of 804 in its past two games.
UP NEXT: PURDUE
2:30 p.m. Saturday, TCF Bank Stadium
TV: BTN • Radio: 100.3-FM, 1130-AM
Records: Gophers 4-3, 0-3 Big Ten; Purdue 3-4, 0-3
The skinny: The Big Ten season has arguably been an even bigger disaster for the Boilermakers than for the Gophers, given that Purdue fancied itself a legitimate Leaders Division contender. The Boilermakers coughed up an eight-point lead on Ohio State in the final three seconds Saturday and lost in overtime, putting their chances of a second consecutive bowl berth in serious jeopardy.