Wisconsin Badgers vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers at Huntington Bank Stadium. Game score, updates.

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The Wisconsin Badgers face the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Receive live updates from Huntington Bank Stadium.

Following: The Badgers didn’t panic after the loss to Michigan and can secure a spot in the Big Ten title game with a win over Minnesota on Saturday.

Following: Will the Badgers party like they did in 2019? They have a chance of winning the Big Ten West and the Ax, like they did two seasons ago.

Following: Chris McIntosh was a 1999 UW team senior who overcame a slow start to win the Big Ten. He sees similarities in the current squad.

Join blog host JR Radcliffe as he provides updates on the contest, with Wisconsin taking a trip to the Big Ten title game with a win.

One team drive in the first quarter, and Wisconsin knocked on the door of Minnesota’s 14-yard line. Graham Mertz just found Chimere Dike for a 17-yard pickup.

Mertz completed his five passes for 53 yards.

Kendric Pryor kept his feet for extra yards in the 2nd and long to scoop up 11 yards and reach the 3rd and 5, helping the Badgers dig a 1st and a 20 hole following that questionable sustain call on John Chenal. Mertz then fired a blunt appeal to the passer who shifted the chains on an incomplete third pass.

Braelon Allen then got touches on three consecutive games, including a 3rd and 1 conversion.

The referees were rough at first. The Chenal penalty and targeting call (okay, not a call made by officials on the field) is a bit appalling. The call to give Braelon Allen a first try on forward progression was downright puzzling.

The fact that the referees have decided to progress is the rupture; he really seemed to recover as a living runner when he scampered behind the line. But that’s not the reviewable part; they looked at the location of that initial burst, and he got it.

Then he executes the next play across the 50-yard line, but this is erased by a hold penalty. Civil servants give and take. A 16-yard game is no good and Wisconsin are back on their own 25.

Mertz went into play and threw a 17-yard pass to Danny Davis to get out of the depths of UW territory on the first try, and they did so from what looked like a heavy pack that suggested running play.

But on 3rd and 1, Braelon Allen was wrapped behind the line of scrimmage, but he apparently got the burst above the line of scrimmage first. Minnesota players and fans are confused on the spot.

We will see where it goes. Announcer saying “this is just a bad place, period” if the decision goes ahead. But even though he got it, he appeared to return as a living running back when he was thrown for a loss.

We’ll see what a review will do.

It’s rare for the Badgers’ defense to give up a 14-play drive worth 65 yards and 7:31 clock, although they struggled last week against Nebraska and allowed a long drive from ‘opening the previous week against Northwestern (a drive that ended in a turnover). It probably didn’t help that Collin Wilder was immediately lost. We’ll see if the offense can recover right away, as they were able to against the Huskers throughout the game.

The Badgers commit a penalty on the ensuing kickoff and will be forced to begin their practice at the 8-yard line.

Promising Minnesota workout ends with field goal (7: 29 / 1st)

The Gophers advanced to the red zone and converted three first downs on their first down, but Tanner Morgan threw his first incomplete pass after converting his first four. It came in 3rd and 10, and the Gophers dropped a short pass that won 6 but was stopped dead.

Facing the 4th and 4th, PJ Fleck chooses to kick the field goal. The 28-yard kick is good by Matthew Trickett, and Minnesota has a lead.

MINNESOTA 3, WISCONSIN 0

With Wilder out, Wisconsin will need an enhanced performance from John Torchio, who has seen the pitch a lot this season, and rising stars Hunter Wohler and Travion Blaylock, guys who see the pitch a lot in special teams.

However, Minnesota is now heading to the UW 40-yard line with a first down.

After Phillip Howard got the opening kickoff for Minnesota, the Gophers got a quick first down and Collin Wilder made a heavy tackle in the middle flagged for targeting. Wilder had both interceptions against Nebraska last week and it would be a huge loss if he was kicked out of that game. He rolled over with his shoulder but hit Chris Autman-Bell’s helmet.

The examination confirms the targeting. HUGE loss for Wisconsin. Wilder is their emotional leader on the pitch, and now he’s gone for the rest of this game. Advertisers don’t like the rule but seem to think the application is correct.

Minnesota haven’t won the Axis at home since 2003

Wisconsin star running back Braelon Allen, famous for turning 17, was not alive the last time Minnesota won Paul Bunyan’s Axis at home. Man, that must be haunting for the Gophers.

We’re almost ready to kick off! Wisconsin won the toss and delayed, so Minnesota gets the kick off.

The key to the game: the running backs, duh

Minnesota and Wisconsin both suffered their share of losses in the running back room, and yet running play remains central to what those offenses do. Pretty clear that the team that does better in this department will win.

That’s good news for the Badgers, who are allowing a measly 2.01 yards per carry this season. Mar’Keise Irving and Ky Thomas remain threats, and the UW defense is coming out of a match in which it took a few lumps for the first time in a long time. But it was by a double-threat quarterback who really played out in both phases; we’re not going to see the same air assault from the Gophers and quarterback Tanner Morgan.

Meanwhile, can we look forward to an eighth straight 100-yard game from Wisconsin freshman Braelon Allen? Allen is 1,062 yards this season despite having started the season buried on the depth board (and heck, we still weren’t sure he would end up on offense for awhile there).

Wisconsin have claimed two back-to-back Axes from Paul Bunyan after seeing their 14-game winning streak against Minnesota come to an end. Check out a recap of the moments from that streak here and more on that unforgettable 2005 game in Minnesota.

A rematch with Michigan waiting for you?

Clearly, a lot is at stake in the Ax Game today, and Wisconsin’s place in next week’s Big Ten Championship is far from certain. But if they get there, it will be a rematch with Wisconsin.

Ultimately, Wisconsin’s 38-17 loss to Michigan earlier this year marked a turning point in the season. Wisconsin was 1-3 after the loss. The Badgers haven’t lost since.

Braelon Allen had only had five races in that game; he clearly hadn’t yet become the workaholic he was about to become. But Wisconsin made maintain Michigan’s running game, which was spectacular today against Ohio State. Hassan Haskins had 47 yards on 19 carries in this game, and Blake Corum had 46 yards on 15 carries.

Today, Haskins ran for 169 yards and five touchdowns while Corum racked up just 87 yards on six carries.

Jack Van Dyke on pre-game injury report

Kick-off specialist Jack Van Dyke has apparently been hit, and last week he didn’t handle the second-half kick-offs (that honor went to Collin Larsh). He is completely absent for this game, one of four players on the pre-game status report.

Also on that list are tight end Hayden Rucci, wide receiver AJ Abbott and running back Jackson Acker. No Acker means the running back’s depth remains dangerously considered after starter Braelon Allen, Brady Schipper and Julius Davis.

Do you like Ohio State-Michigan?

Oh man, what a game it is in Ann Arbor, where it looks like Michigan is going to beat Ohio State and hit a ticket to the Big Ten title game next weekend in Indianapolis.

Wisconsin, of course, would love to have a reason to join them.

The Badgers will face Minnesota shortly, knowing that a victory seals the Big Ten West. What a fun day of college football.

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