Wisconsin Going for School History

The Badgers will be big favorites over the Minnesota Gophers, but they aren't likely to look past a downtrodden team because of the rivalry factor and a school record in the making.

Some teams might have a tough time coming down from an exhilarating Senior Day win over No. 13 Michigan. But then, some teams don't have Minnesota to look forward to playing in its regular-season finale.

That's not a slam on the Gophers, the only Big Ten team that is not bowl-eligible. No, it's more of a nod to the nature of the rivalry between Wisconsin and Minnesota.

No Division-I series has been played more frequently than this border war, as this marks the 117th game between the Badgers and Gophers. If not for a one-year suspension of the series in 1906, usually blamed on Teddy Roosevelt's ban on "rivalry games," these teams would have played every year since 1890.

While Minnesota just wants to salvage its season and build momentum going into the offseason, Wisconsin still has several goals.

A win gives Wisconsin at least nine wins for the fourth year in a row, which would be the first time in school history. It would give the Badgers' seniors 40 career wins (they set the school record with last week's win). And, of course, they can improve their chances for yet another New Year's Day bowl.

Wisconsin hopes quarterback Tyler Donovan, who injured his throwing hand late in the Michigan game, will be able to practice enough to make his 12th start in a row. If not, junior Allen Evridge will get a chance.

Tailback P.J. Hill, who hardly has played the last three weeks, should be ready to at least split the carries with true freshman phenom Zach Brown. The latter has started the last two games and put up 171 yards and two touchdowns.

NOTES

  • Senior split end Paul Hubbard earned co-Offensive Player of the Week honors from the Wisconsin coaching staff after catching a career-high seven passes for 134 yards in last week's win over No. 13 Michigan. That's yet another sign that his knee problems are a thing of the past for this speedster.

  • Sophomore RB P.J. Hill has only five carries over the last two weeks as he heals what's being called a severe bruise on his foot, but he should be good to go against Minnesota. Though he has spent a lot of time away, Hill still ranks fourth in the Big Ten in rushing (1,080 yards) and tied for second in rushing touchdowns (14).


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