After the Gophers defeated Northwestern on Saturday, Wisconsin knew what it had to do to stay in the Big Ten West title race: beat Purdue. The Badgers did just that, stopping the Boilermakers 45-24 on Senior Day in Madison.
That means a winner-take-all game in the West in the final week of the Big Ten regular season.
“Next week, we wouldn’t want to have it any other way,” said Wisconsin star running back Jonathan Taylor, who rushed for 222 yards against Purdue. “Big Ten West on the line, rivalry game, Axe, I mean, this is why you come to Wisconsin, for these kind of moments.”
Wisconsin will have a chip on its shoulder after surrendering Paul Bunyan’s Axe last season for the first time since 2003, losing at home to the Gophers 37-15.
The Badgers still have another streak going, though. They have won seven straight in Minneapolis.
The Axe game also decided the West champion in 2014. Wisconsin won that one 34-24 in Madison.
“We all know what’s at stake,” Badgers center Tyler Biadasz told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “We all know what it means for a win.”
ESPN’s “College GameDay” will be here … there are snow showers in the forecast … and the all-time series is knotted at 60–60–8.
What a way to break a tie.