Game Recap: Running Game White Hot for UW

Follow along for free with Badger Nation's drive blog. For the 120th time, Wisconsin and Minnesota compete in the longest rivalry in college football, and just like the last seven times, it ends with UW celebrating with Paul Bunyan's Axe. UW destroys Minnesota on the ground for 250 yards, as the Badgers best Minnesota, 41-23.

MADISON - Scott Tolzien was an efficient 18-of-24 for 223 yards and a score and UW's thunder-and-lightening running attack of John Clay and James White registered 228 yards and five scores, as No.20 Wisconsin pummeled Minnesota, 41-23, Saturday to retain Paul Bunyan's Axe for a seventh straight year.

James White continues his torrent pace, registering 117 rushing yards and two scores. In the last three games, White, the reigning two-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, has found the end zone eight times. Not to be totally out done, junior John Clay found his footing, running for 111 yards and three scores, helping Wisconsin rack up 250 rushing yards.

Fifth-year quarterback Adam Weber passed for 216 yards and three touchdowns, but no established running game and penalties crushed Minnesota (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten).

When the axe finally made a fourth-quarter appearance, it was quickly swallowed up by Wisconsin (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) and its seniors. Fittingly, Minnesota native Isaac Anderson got the first swing at the south goal post.

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No.20 Wisconsin 41, Minnesota 23

First Half

First Quarter

7-0 Wisconsin

8 plays, 69 yards, 3:43 TOP, 9:00 left

Jared Abbrederis 3-yard pass from Scott Tolzien (Philip Welch kick)

Key Play: With Minnesota's run defense about a stellar as a sieve, it was not a shock to see UW try and establish the run. On the eight-play scoring drive, UW ran the ball six times and rarely encountered resistance.

14-0 Wisconsin

9 plays, 45 yards, 4:34 TOP, 2:30 left

John Clay 1-yard run (Philip Welch kick)

Key Play: With Wisconsin establishing the run, Tolzien wanted to make sure the Gophers' defense remembered UW's top passing option. At the UM 15, Tolzien hit Lance Kendricks in the flat, and the massive senior muscled his way to the one before being brought down by a host of Gophers.

Second Quarter

14-3 Wisconsin

11 plays, 50 yards, 6:09 TOP, 6:21 left

FG Eric Ellestad 24

Key Play: Last week, Wisconsin was crushed by the play-action pass inside the red zone. After Minnesota marched down inside the 10, the Badgers showed it had learned from their mistake. A fake handoff to Eskridge didn't suck in the cornerbacks, and Weber was forced to throw a toss pass that fell incomplete, forcing the field goal drive.

14-9 Wisconsin

12 plays, 61 yards, 4:20 TOP, :24 left

MarQueis Gray 9-yard pass from Adam Weber (kick missed)

Key Play: Just like last week, Wisconsin's defense failed to get off the field on a key series. Minnesota has the momentum after completing three third downs and one fourth-and-six. How fitting that the touchdown came on third down with less than 30 seconds left.

Second Half

Third Quarter

21-9 Wisconsin

11 plays, 64 yards, 5:34 TOP, 9:18 left

James White 8-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: A good old-fashioned Wisconsin drive got the Badgers down into the red zone and a throwback play earned UW a touchdown. On a toss left, Peter Konz leveled the linebacker, allowing White to waltz into the end zone for his seventh touchdown in three games.

28-9 Wisconsin

10 plays, 86 yards, 5:12 TOP, 1:50 left

John Clay 4-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: Wisconsin hasn't had many big pass plays this season but the one Tolzien flicked to Kendricks along the Gophers sideline was certainly a jump start. With UW grinding along, Kendricks was open for 32 yards, getting UW down inside the 13-yard line.

Fourth Quarter

35-9 Wisconsin

5 plays, 80 yards, 2:22 TOP, 11:55 left

John Clay 8-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: After setting up the end-around with David Gilreath, UW faked the end around, allowing James White plenty of room to run, going 24 yards and only being stopped by an ankle tackle.

35-16 Wisconsin

3 plays, 82 yards, :39 TOP, 11:11 left

Da'Jon McKnight 22-yard pass from Weber(Ellestad kick)

Key Play: It wouldn't be a Wisconsin game without some kind of secondary breakdown. On the second play from scrimmage, UW let down its guard and Adam Weber passed to a wide-open Bryant Allen down the middle for a 60-yard gain, setting up the score one play later.

41-16 Wisconsin

9 plays, 76 yards, 4:26 TOP, 6:39 left

James White 1-yard run (Ellestad kick)

Key Play: On a run to the one-yard line, James White probably broke Ryan Collado'a ankles on a cutback, drawing plenty of cheers from the remaining UW students.

41-23 Wisconsin

5 plays, 62 yards, 1:31 TOP, 5:01 left

McKnight 29-yard pass from Weber (Ellestad kick)

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