Going into this game, the Badgers had won five in a row and were looking to make it six. They had not lost a game since September 28 when they were defeated 31-24 by the Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus. The Badgers were also looking to extend their winning streak over Minnesota to 10 games.
Defense was what won this game for the Badgers. Minnesota’s only points came from the defensive side when linebacker Aaron Hill returned an interception for a touchdown in the second quarter. The Minnesota offense could not get anything going against a tough Badgers defense and were held to just 185 total yards. The Badgers also forced Minnesota to turn the ball over three times.
Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson completed just seven of his 23 pass attempts and was held to 83 yards passing and of course, no touchdowns. Their rushing attack was a little better with 102 yards.
One thing that made the Badgers’ defense so dominant on Saturday was linebacker Chris Borland, who is one of the nation’s top linebackers. Borland had 12 tackles to go along with his two fumble recoveries and a forced fumble. He was all over the place. Borland’s performance helped lead the Badgers to the win and to the seventh time this season of holding an opponent to less than 10 points. The only team to do it more is the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide.
Minnesota coach Jerry Kill thinks the Badgers are the most underrated team in the country. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that, but they are a good two-loss team that is currently No. 15 in the BCS standings who have only lost to the No. 3 Buckeyes and to the Arizona State Sun Devils on a controversial final call.
The Badgers’ defense is the biggest factor in where they are today, and this will surely not be the last time it wins a game for them.