Preview: Minnesota at Wisconsin

When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 26, 2016
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin

With a win Saturday against Minnesota, No. 6 Wisconsin can wrap up the Big Ten West Division, earn a spot in the conference title game and maybe - with some help - end up in the four-team College Football Playoff. The visiting Gophers are no slouch, however, and can still earn a share of the league crown and reclaim Paul Bunyan's axe.

The Badgers are sixth in the College Football Playoff standings and enter the regular-season finale tied for first place in the Big Ten West with Nebraska, a team Wisconsin defeated last month to earn the all-important tie-breaker. “Whenever we play Minnesota, I feel like there (are) always implications on the line. There are a lot of storylines, obviously the axe, the border battle. I know we recruit the same type of players they recruit,” Wisconsin linebacker Vince Biegel said. The Gophers have won five of their last six games and can still finish in a four-way tie for the league championship, although they cannot reach the Big Ten title game. “A lot of respect for Minnesota and the way they’re playing,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. “I think they’re playing really good football right now, and our kids are excited for the opportunity to play them. For our seniors, last game at Camp Randall - it’s an exciting week and I'm looking forward to a really good week of preparation with our kids.” 

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network. LINE: Wisconsin -14.5

ABOUT MINNESOTA (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten): Quarterback Mitch Leidner threw four touchdowns with no interceptions against Indiana State on Sept. 10 but has thrown two touchdowns with eight interceptions since that outing. Last weekend, Leidner was held under 200 yards passing for the fifth time in his last six games, but the Golden Gophers defense recorded seven sacks in a 29-12 win over Northwestern. Shannon Brooks registered 73 rushing yards and 33 receiving yards, while Drew Wolitarsky caught a TD pass, giving him four of the team's seven scoring receptions.

ABOUT WISCONSIN (9-2, 6-2): The Badgers have allowed 13.4 points per game this season - fifth best in the nation - and have given up more than 20 points only once. Moreover, two of their three highest-scoring games of the season have come in their last two affairs - a 48-3 rout of Illinois and a 49-20 victory against Purdue. Corey Clement and Bradrick Shaw combined for 35 carries for 180 yards and three touchdowns against the Boilermakers, while Bart Houston and Alex Hornibrook were a collective 12-of-15 for 191 yards with two scores.


1. Neither team has lost by more than seven points all season.

2. The Badgers have won 12 straight meetings and are one win away from evening the all-time series at 59-59-8.

3. The Gophers are 8-0 when scoring at least 29 points and 0-3 when falling short of that mark.

PREDICTION: Wisconsin 33, Minnesota 17

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Minnesota 8-3 W1 31.5 22.2 6-1 2-2 0-1 0-0 5-3
Wisconsin 9-2 W5 28.3 13.4 5-1 4-1 4-0 0-0 6-2

Last Meeting

Minnesota Wisconsin
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/28/15 WIS 31 MINN 21 276 53 223 336 257 79

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
MINN M. Leidner 43.2 223 1 3
WIS J. Stave 52.9 79 0 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
MINN R. Smith 7 35 5.0 1
WIS D. Ogunbowale 33 155 4.7 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
MINN S. Brooks 3 53 17.7 0
WIS A. Erickson 6 66 11.0 0
TDs Player TD
MINN B. Boddy-Calhoun 1
WIS T. Deal 2
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
MINN M. Leidner 58.6 1882 6 8
WIS A. Hornibrook 58.5 1214 8 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
MINN R. Smith 210 1039 4.9 15
WIS C. Clement 245 1040 4.2 11
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
MINN D. Wolitarsky 57 711 12.5 4
WIS J. Peavy 35 535 15.3 5
TDs Player TD
MINN R. Smith 16
WIS C. Clement 11

Quickchart Matchup

Minnesota Off vs  Wisconsin Def
370.8 yards
292.5 yards
4.4 yards/rush
3.3 yards/rush
7 yards/attempt
6.1 yards/attempt
Wisconsin Off vs  Minnesota Def
382.8 yards
351.7 yards
4.2 yards/rush
3.3 yards/rush
7.5 yards/attempt
6.2 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Minnesota Overall Wisconsin
8-3-0 W/L 9-2-0
4-5-2 ATS 9-2-0
5-6-0 O/U 4-7-0
31.5 Pts For 28.3
22.2 Pts Against 13.4
Minnesota A/H Wisconsin
2-2 W/L 5-1
2-0-2 ATS 4-2-0
2-2-0 O/U 3-3-0
28.5 Pts For 31.2
20.0 Pts Against 15.2