After a tough start to the season when a win was ripped away from then at the hands of referees, the Wisconsin Badgers have come on strong, winning five games in a row. The Badgers are 8-2 on the season, but it’s too bad they likely won’t be playing for yet another conference title.
Nobody would have thought the Minnesota Golden Gophers would be contending for a Big Ten title through 12 weeks of the season and, to be honest, I doubt they even saw this kind of start coming. Climbing into the rankings for the first tim in recent memory, the Gophers look to give Wisconsin a run for its money.
Wisconsin has one of the best rushing offenses in the nation. With Melvin Gordon and James White rushing the ball better than any duo in the Big Ten, the Badgers are in line to make a push for a BCS bowl game. Gordon has 1,306 yards with 12 touchdowns on 8.4 yards per carry while White has 1,156 yards and 12 touchdowns on 6.8 yards per carry — and somehow they are just the sixth-ranked rushing offense in the nation. Joel Stave leads the team at quarterback, passing for 1,948 yards and 16 touchdowns, hitting Jared Abbrederis 54 times for 849 yards and six scores.
Minnesota’s offense hasn’t been known for its passing this season as the Gophers rank just 114th in the country in passing yards per game behind quarterback Philip Nelson who has 1,128 yards and nine touchdowns with just four interception this year. The rushing attack, however, ranks 20th in the nation in yards per game. David Cobb leads all rushers with 942 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground while averaging 5.4 yards per carry.
Defensively, the Badgers rank fifth in the nation in points allowed per game as well as seventh in the nation in yards allowed per game with just over 300. Minnesota isn’t as solid defensively, ranking 35th in points allowed as well as 53rd in yards allowed per game with 397.
Wisconsin will travel to Minnesota to take on the Golden Gophers at 3:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Wisconsin 38, Minnesota 21