Expert Cappers Picks
College Football
Preview
Minnesota at Wisconsin
When: 3:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 24, 2018
Where: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, Wisconsin

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.

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.

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

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
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Minnesota 5-6 L1 27.7 29.1 5-2 0-4 0-0 0-0 2-6
Wisconsin 7-4 W1 30.5 23.1 5-1 2-3 1-2 0-0 5-3
Last Meeting
Minnesota Wisconsin
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
11/25/17 WIS 31 MINN 0 133 93 40 456 287 169
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Minnesota D. Croft 33.3 40 0 0
Wisconsin A. Hornibrook 78.9 151 3 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Minnesota R. Smith 16 82 5.1 0
Wisconsin J. Taylor 20 149 7.4 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Minnesota W. Reger 1 26 26.0 0
Wisconsin K. Pryor 3 51 17.0 0
Touchdowns Player TD
Minnesota D. Anderson 0
Wisconsin D. Davis 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Minnesota Z. Annexstad 51.9 1277 9 7
Wisconsin A. Hornibrook 58.1 1343 11 8
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Minnesota M. Ibrahim 145 815 5.6 6
Wisconsin J. Taylor 261 1869 7.2 15
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Minnesota T. Johnson 70 1036 14.8 10
Wisconsin A. Taylor 29 495 17.1 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Minnesota T. Johnson 10
Wisconsin J. Taylor 15
Quickchart Matchup
Minnesota Minnesota Off vs  Wisconsin Wisconsin Def
Minnesota 383.9 yards
Wisconsin 361.8 yards
Minnesota 4.1 yards/rush
Wisconsin 4.4 yards/rush
Minnesota 7.8 yards/attempt
Wisconsin 7 yards/attempt
Wisconsin Wisconsin Off vs  Minnesota Minnesota Def
Wisconsin 444.1 yards
Minnesota 397.5 yards
Wisconsin 6.3 yards/rush
Minnesota 5.2 yards/rush
Wisconsin 7.1 yards/attempt
Minnesota 6.9 yards/attempt