Gophers fall 34-24 at Wisconsin

by Jack Satzinger

MADISON, Wis. — With David Cobb hobbled and likely limited coming into No. 22 Minnesota's clash at No. 14 Wisconsin for the Big Ten West title, it didn't look like the Gophers had much of a chance. But after Cobb started the game and then rattled off a 40-yard touchdown run to give Minnesota a 14-3 lead in the first quarter, things were looking up. 

Were is the operative word, here. 

Ryan Santoso punctuated an early second quarter drive with a 37-yard field goal and stretched Minnesota's lead to 17-3. But then the Gophers' outside shot at going to the Big Ten championship game next week against Ohio State went down the tubes with a 34-24 loss. 

Mitch Leidner struggled to find any open receivers, Cobb was held to less than 40 rushing yards in the second half, and Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave made the Gophers pay for piling up the box to stop the run. Stave was 11-for-18 for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Leidner finished the game 5-for-18 for 95 yards. 

The Badgers' two-headed running back monster, Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement combined for 240 yards compared to Cobb's 118 yards. Cobb broke Minnesota's single-season rushing record of 1,464 yards previously held by Laurence Maroney.