Minnesota Hopes to “Row The Boat” Past Wisconsin For Trip to Title Game

In the biggest surprise thus far of 2019 for the Big Ten, Minnesota is not just good, but great. The Gophers sit just one win away from earning a berth in the Big Ten Title game, with a date against Ohio State.

The problem, however, lies in a big bright red W. The Badgers are in town and they want Paul Bunyan’s Axe! (Teams rivalry trophy). It’s a winner takes all show down, with the prize being a trip to Indy for a matchup with Ohio State for the Big Ten Title.

Wisconsin comes in ranked 15th in the country IMG in rushing yards per game, with Jonathan Taylor sitting 2nd in the country with 1,685 yards this season. Adding to that, Taylor sits 7th all time in the history of the NCAA for rushing yards with 5856, a list that former Badger Ron Dayne leads.

Minnesota is average at best in stopping the run, allowing 120+ yards per game. Expect the Badgers rely heavily on the run, in hopes of taking the effect of Gopher corner Antoine Winfield Jr. out of the game. Winfield sits 3rd in the country with 7 interceptions.

The Gophers will also have their hands full on the offensive side of the ball. Wisconsin sits 9th in the country in rising yards per game, allowing 98.5 yards per game on the ground. Additionally, the Badgers are 6th in the country in pass defense, allowing just 169.9 yards through the air.

A huge catalyst to Wisconsin effectiveness up front on defense comes from Senior linebacker Chris Orr. With 11 sacks on the season, Orr sits 11th in the country. Adding to the dynamic strength of the Badger D is linebacker Zack Baun, who has 9.5 sack, which is the 3rd most in the conference.

Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan will have his hands full, yet does offer some comfort being 34th in the country in passing yards. He also boasts the 6th best passer rating in the country (187.2). His arm is effective and accurate, having completed 67.9% of his passes this season, only throwing 5 picks to 26 TD’s.

Gopher wideouts Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman will do their best to get open for Morgan. The duo wideouts are both over 1,000 yards receiving this year, making Minnesota one of just two teams in the country with two wide outs over 1,000 yards receiving. They other team is LSU.

It should be a good one up in Minneapolis, MN! It’s winner takes all in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe!

Written by Adrian Beecher

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