Gophers replay

 

Wisconsin 31, Gophers 21

The recap: The Gophers tied it at 14-14, but fumbles by Mitch Leidner and KJ Maye before halftime led to Wisconsin touchdowns. Minnesota finished with five turnovers after committing only two in its previous four games.

What was learned: The Badgers had four redshirt freshmen on their injury-depleted offensive line, and Corey Clement was out for disciplinary reasons. But the Badgers still ran at will, with Minnesota missing three of its top four defensive tackles.

 

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

• The rivals nearly brawled in 2013, when the Badgers paraded Paul Bunyan’s Axe to the side where the Gophers still were singing “Hail! Minnesota,” with the students. Saturday, the Badgers mostly confined their festivities to the west end zone, and the teams exited peacefully.

“We were just told to respect what they do,” Wisconsin senior tackle Tyler Marz said. “Obviously, if they want to go sing with their fans or whatever, it’s their tradition, I respect that. And they need to respect the tradition of the Axe. So it worked out pretty well.”

• The Gophers named Leidner their team MVP on Sunday, with Eric Murray as their Outstanding Defensive Player. Leidner’s 218 completions this season rank third all-time for the Gophers, and Maye’s 65 receptions rank fourth all-time for a season.

• With Cody Poock’s left knee injured, junior linebacker Nick Rallis came off the bench and made a career-high nine tackles, including 2 ½ tackles for a loss.

• The announced attendance was 52,850, giving the Gophers their fifth sellout of the season, the most since they sold out all seven games in 2009, their first year at TCF Bank Stadium.

JOE CHRISTENSEN