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Wisconsin football vs. Minnesota: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Badgers battle Golden Gophers

Jonathan Taylor #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Camp Randall Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Jonathan Taylor #23 of the Wisconsin Badgers celebrates after scoring a touchdown in the second quarter against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers at Camp Randall Stadium on August 31, 2018 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

MADISON, Wisc. – The Battle of the Axe has been dramatically one-sided of late and Wisconsin wants to keep it that way when it hosts Minnesota in the regular-season finale for the Big Ten teams. The Badgers, who are coming off a triple-overtime win at Purdue, have won 14 straight over the Golden Gophers, including a 31-0 thrashing last season.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2. LINE: Wisconsin -10.5

 

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Despite the dominance in the series, Wisconsin players are being careful not to overlook a Minnesota squad that's fighting for bowl eligibility. "You've got to make sure you're not the team that ever loses it," Badgers left guard Michael Deiter told reporters of the streak. "I think there's an extra edge you get from that feeling, knowing you can't be the team that gives up that Axe." Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor has some personal goals in this one, as the sophomore ran for a career-high 321 yards last week and needs 131 more to reach 2,000, a mark he fell 23 yards shy of as a freshman. Minnesota pounded the same Purdue squad that took Wisconsin to triple overtime before falling at home to Northwestern 24-14 last week.

ABOUT MINNESOTA (5-6, 2-6 Big Ten)

Freshman Tanner Morgan has performed admirably well since taking over at quarterback for the injured Zack Annexstad, completing nearly 60 percent of his passes overall and throwing seven touchdowns over the last four games. However, he had two interceptions in the loss to Northwestern and the Gophers turned the ball over three times, giving them 25 giveaways on the season - the second-highest total in the Big Ten. Wideout Tyler Johnson leads the conference with 1,036 receiving yards and fellow junior Carter Coughlin tops the league with nine sacks.

ABOUT WISCONSIN (7-4, 5-3)

Jack Coan has started the last two games at quarterback with Alex Hornibrook (concussion) sidelined, struggling mightily in a loss at Penn State before completing 16-of-24 passes for 160 yards and two TDs against the Boilermakers. Taylor has 714 yards over his last three games while scoring seven times, all while the team's passing attack has been inconsistent. "He knows when he puts his foot in the ground, he doesn't think anyone is going to stop him from going where he wants to go," offensive coordinator Joe Rudolph told reporters. "That's pretty cool to talk about that type of growth."

EXTRA POINTS

1. Taylor ran for 149 yards and a TD at Minnesota last year.

2. Johnson has at least five catches in all but one game.

3. Gophers LB Blake Cashman had 20 tackles against Northwestern.

PREDICTION: Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 20

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