When: Saturday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. CST
Site: Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (64,172, artificial turf) in Minneapolis
Broadcasts: ESPN live TV coverage; 43-city Wisconsin Radio Network, live radio coverage.
Wisconsin results to date
Home team in italics (links to UWBadgers.com game stories)
Minnesota results to date
Home team in italics (links to Gophersports.com game stories)
Sept. 6—Minnesota 48, Troy State 7 (box score only)
Minnesota versus Wisconsin: The Gophers lead the all-time series 58-46-8. Wisconsin, though, has won seven of the last eight battles for the Paul Bunyan Axe. Last season, Anthony Davis ran for an incredible 301 yards and five touchdowns on 45 carries in a 49-31 victory. Brooks Bollinger closed out his Big Ten career with a 134 yards passing on 6 of 12 through the air to go along with 18 carries for 112 yards.
Badger Nation coverage:
2003 pregame notes
- The Paul Bunyan Axe, which goes annually to the winner of this contest, was initiated in 1948 by the National W Club and has the scores of the Wisconsin-Minnesota games painted on its handle.
- A victory Saturday would give the Gophers their first nine-win season since 1905, when the team won 10 games. Minnesota has won eight games nine times since then, twice under coach Glen Mason (2002, 1999).
- Minnesota leads the conference in scoring offense (41.3 points per game), total offense (495.9) and rushing offense (300.7). The Big Ten's No. 2 rushing offense, Wisconsin, averages more than 110 fewer yards per game than the Gophers.
- The Minnesota school record for total yards per game in a season is 429.1, set three years ago. The Gophers are also on pace to set school single-season records for rushing touchdowns, rushing yards, points and total touchdowns.
- Minnesota also ranks fifth in scoring defense, yielding 18.1 points per game and third in pass defense, allowing 193.9 yards per game.
- Minnesota tailback Marion Barber III is second in the conference with 995 yards rushing while teammate Laurence Maroney has 786, fourth-best in the league. Barber leads the nation with 16 rushing touchdowns.
- Gopher quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq leads the nation in passing efficiency rating at 176.3. He is second in total offense in school history with 7,188 yards in his career.
- Wisconsin offensive line coach Jim Hueber, defensive line coach John Palermo and quarterbacks coach Jeff Horton all spent time coaching at Minnesota.
- The Badgers next three opponents have a cumulative record of 22-6, the fourth toughest remaining schedule in the nation.
- In two career games versus Minnesota, Badger tailback Anthony Davis has run for 509 yards and eight touchdowns.
- Wisconsin is converting 42.4 percent of its third-down conversions, third-best in the conference.
- Minnesota is the only team in the NCAA that possesses four players with at least 1,000 yards rushing in their careers. They are fullback Thomas Tapeh (1,845), running backs Marion Barber III (1,806) and Terry Jackson (1,660) and quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq (1,084). A fifth player, freshman running back Laurence Maroney needs just 214 yards to join the club.
- Wisconsin, Minnesota and Tulsa are the only teams with three players who have each rushed for at least five touchdowns this season.
- Badger cornerback Scott Starks in second in the Big Ten in passes defended (14) while free safety Jim Leonhard is tied for fourth (10). Leonhard leads the conference with five interceptions, while Starks 14 pass breakups top the league.
- Starks is fourth all-time at Wisconsin with 37 career pass breakups, while Leonhard is tied for fifth with former Badger Troy Vincent at 35.
- Wisconsin defensive tackle Anttaj Hawthorne is third in the Big Ten with 13.5 tackles for loss; linebacker Alex Lewis is tied for sixth with 11.
- Brandon Williams is third in the Big Ten in kick returns with a 23.2 yards per return average. His 1,110 career kick return yards are the third most in school history.
- Wisconsin's Jim Leonhard leads the Big Ten and is sixth nationally with a 15.3 yards per punt return average. Minnesota's Marion Barber III is third in the conference at 14.9.