Wisconsin's Defense Comes Up Big

Despite leading 35-28, Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber led the Gophers back to within three, leading an 11-play, 60-yard drive, plus a two-point conversion, to make the score 35-32. After that, however, Wisconsin's defense fittingly ended the game with an interception, sealing the victory and the axe back in its UW trophy case.

MADISON - P.J. Hill rushed for 117 yards, his third-straight 100-yard performance, and Dustin Sherer throws for a career-high 242 yards to led the Badgers on a second-half comeback, out scoring Minnesota 28-11 in the second half to hold onto the axe for the fifth-straight year, beating the Gophers 35-32. full coverage from Badger Nation to come ...

First Half

First Quarter

7-0 Wisconsin

4 plays, 10 yards 1:34 TOP, 12:38 remaining

Garrett Graham two-yard catch Dustin Sherer (Phil Welch kick)

Key Play: Much like the game in Camp Randall two years ago, a Minnesota turnover on its first drive costs the Gophers dearly. On the second play from scrimmage, quarterback Adam Weber could not get the hand off to Tim Dandridge. Dandridge could not pounce on the ball and UW recovered on the 10-yard line. Facing fourth-and-two on Minnesota's 2, the Badgers decided to roll the dice, going for it and rolling Sherer out to the right of the pocket. With the defense collapsing in on him, Graham was wide open in the back of the end zone for the touchdown.

Second Quarter

7-7 tied

3 plays, 11 yards 1:24 TOP, 13:30 remaining

Brandon Green two-yard pass from Andy Weber (Joel Monroe kick)

Key Play: Wisconsin returns the favor with a turnover deep in its own territory. John Clay took the handoff and as he made his cut, ran into linemen Bill Nagy and coughed up the football. Tack on a 15-yard personal foul penalty on a late hit and the Gophers started the drive on UW's 11. A stellar catch by Green capped the touchdown drive.

14-7 Minnesota

2 plays, 58 yards :46 TOP, 11:14 remaining

Broderick Smith 43-yard pass from Andy Weber (Joel Monroe kick)

Key Play: DeAndre Levy tried to save a blow coverage by jumping up and knocking down the Adam Weber touchdown pass but couldn't jump high enough to prevent the mistake. Smith was wide open on the 20 and ran untouched into the end zone.

21-7 Minnesota

3 plays, 39 yards 1:14 TOP, 8:17 remaining

Adam Weber six-yard run (Joel Monroe kick)

Key Play: More blown coverage. Apparently no Badger wants to cover a Minnesota wide receiver. On the first play after a 31-yard punt return that showed more terrible coverage, Brandon Green was wide open and was brought down on the two-yard line by Niles Brinkley.

Second Half

Third Quarter

21-10 Minnesota

9 plays, 59 yards 4:40 TOP, 10:14 remaining

FG Phil Welch 47

Key Play: P.J. Hill was the work horse on that drive, running six times for 61 yards, including a 38-yard scamper that got the drive going in UW's direction.

21-17 Minnesota

11 plays, 72 yards 4:54 TOP, 4:17 remaining

P.J. Hill one-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: On third-and-seven at the Minnesota 45, Sherer was able to escape the pressure from the middle of the line and scramble toward the Minnesota sideline. At the same time, Isaac Anderson, who was camped out by the first down marker, broke away from his defender and went down field, as Sherer hit the wide receiver for a gain of 31 yards, getting down to the Minnesota 15.

24-17 Minnesota

8 plays, 48 yards 2:31 TOP, 1:37 remaining

FG Joel Monroe 30

Key Play: Poor tackling all around on this drive for the Badgers, which was highlighted by a 21-yard rush on second down by Adam Weber. The sophomore quarterback ran right up the middle, breaking arm tackles as he went, and gave Minnesota a rushing first down at UW's 20.

Fourth Quarter

24-24 tied

7 plays, 75 yards 3:07 TOP, 13:25 remaining

P.J. Hill one-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: After the two teams had an animated 'jump around' contest, the Badgers came out with some jump. After a completion to Nick Toon and a 15-yard late hit penalty, Sherer connected with Anderson between two defenders for a 40-yard gain down to the UW 1.

26-24 Wisconsin

13:25 remaining

Minnesota fumbled out of the end zone

Key Play: Antonio Fenelus had returner Troy Stoudermire in his sights and jarred the ball loose at the Minnesota 8, sending the ball backwards into the end zone. Erik Smith had a golden chance to pounce on the ball in the end zone, but he wasn't able to corral the pigskin, sending the ball out of the end zone for a safety.

28-24 Wisconsin

10:47 remaining

Adam Weber sacked by Mike Newkirk in end zone

Key Play: After the Badgers nearly got Weber in the end zone on first down, Wisconsin's Mike Newkirk made sure Weber paid for taking his time. The senior tackle nailed Weber in the end zone for back-to-back safeties for Wisconsin.

35-24 Wisconsin

2 plays, 11 yards :45 TOP, 6:59 remaining

John Clay five-yard run (Welch kick)

Key Play: New head coach, same Minnesota Golden Gophers. Minnesota continues to self destruct and give UW golden opportunities, which is what happened when Jonathan Casillas recovered a Gopher fumble on their own 11 yard line.

35-32 Wisconsin

11 plays, 60 yards 2:44 TOP, 4:15 remaining

Shady Salamon 13-yard pass from Weber (Salamon run)

Key Play: Adam Weber came up big for the Gophers on this drive. Completing a 26-yard pass on fourth-and-18, the sophomore QB fired a 21-yard strike to get his team to the 14 and another strike to Salamon for the score.


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