Live Blog: Football v. Wisconsin

by Marco LaNave

Follow the Battle for the Axe between the Gophers and Badgers at TCF Bank Stadium.

Final – Wisconsin keeps the Axe for the sixth year in a row, winning 31-28 at TCF Bank Stadium. The Badgers take down the east goal post and carry the Axe the length of the field to “chop” the west goal post, which had already been taken down.

0:30 4th – Weber fumbles the ball, which was forced out by O’Brien Schofield and recovered by Wisconsin’s Chris Borland at the the Minnesota 24.

0:42 4th – Weber completes an 18-yard pass to a diving Decker at the Minnesota 34.

0:48 4th – Weber has his pass tipped, bringing up fourth and 16 for Minnesota.

0:53 4th – As Weber goes down, he throws the ball away, and is penalized 6 yards for intentional grounding. Senior center Jeff Tow-Arnett has to be helped off the field. The Gophers will have third and 16 at their 16.

1:20 4th – A big 17-yard completion from Weber to Stoudermire on third and 10 give Minnesota a first down at its 22.

1:43 4th – The punt is tipped by freshman linebacker Keanon Cooper, but the ball rolls to the Minnesota 5. The Gophers have no timeouts and need a field goal to tie it.

1:56 4th – Tolzien tries to complete a pass to Kendricks near the Minnesota 10, but Sherels breaks up the pass. The clock stops for a Wisconsin punt.

2:03 4th – The Gophers use their last timeout, and Wisconsin will have third and eight at the Minnesota 39-yard line.

2:12 4th – The onside kick goes through the hands of a couple of Badgers, but Wisconsin’s Nick Toon. A 5-yard illegal formation penalty on Minnesota puts the Badgers at the Minnesota 41-yard line.

2:13 4th – With his second carry of the game, Duane Bennett rushes for a 1-yard touchdown, bringing the Gophers within a field goal. Gophers drive: 3 plays, 80 yards, 0:47. WISCONSIN 31, GOPHERS 28.

2:21 4th – Weber is intercepted by Wisconsin linebacker Mike Taylor at the goal line, but a 12-men-on-the-field penalty on the Badgers wipes out the turnover. New life for the Gophers at the Wisconsin 1-yard line.

2:39 4th – Weber completes a 40-yard pass to Decker at the Wisconsin 40, then follows it with a 38-yard completion to Tow-Arnett, bringing the Gophers to the Wisconsin 2.

3:00 4th – Clay rushes for another 1-yard touchdown, his third of the day. Wisconsin drive: 8 plays, 74 yards, 3:50. WISCONSIN 31, GOPHERS 21.

4:04 4th – Tolzien runs around the left end on play action, and picks up 47 yards to the Minnesota 5.

5:28 4th – After an making a stop on an 11-yard run by Clay, Triplett slowly walks off the field with a slight limp.

6:50 4th – On third and 10 at the Minnesota 20, Badgers junior running back Zach Brown runs for 8 yards, but senior defensive tackle Eric Small forces a fumble that is recovered at the 12-yard line by junior cornerback Marcus Sherels. Sherels sprints 88 yards for a touchdown. Weber completes a pass to Da’Jon McKnight for the two-point conversion. WISCONSIN 24, GOPHERS 21.

8:34 4th – On third and two at the Minnesota 45, Tolzien completes a 25-yard pass to Kendricks at the Minnesota 20.

10:04 4th – The Gophers go three and out and punt to the Wisconsin 47-yard line. On third down, Weber scrambled but couldn’t get rid of the ball before being sacked at the Minnesota for a 17-yard loss.

11:45 4th – Jay Thomas returns the ball to the Gophers 17-yard line. The maroon-and-gold crowd is pretty silent.

11:51 4th – Tolzien appears to complete a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Lance Kendricks in the back of the end zone. Kendricks’s right toe appeared to touch before he fell backward out of bounds. The Gophers challenge the play but the call is upheld. Wisconsin drive: 13 plays, 85 yards, 6:03. WISCONSIN 24, GOPHERS 13.

14:08 4th – Nate Triplett walks off the field with what appears to be an injury to his left arm.

14:15 4th – Clay breaks off a 26-yard run on second and four at the Gophers 48. Wisconsin has a first down at the Minnesota 22.

Start 4th – The crowd erupts as Goldy Gopher appears with a purple No. 4 jersey.

End 3rd – Wisconsin converts two third downs to close out the quarter, with Tolzien completing an 8-yard pass to Graham on third and four at the Wisconsin 21 and an 8-yard run by Clay on third and one at the Badgers 38. Clay now has 17 carries for 103 yards. WISCONSIN 17, GOPHERS 13.

2:54 3rd – The Gophers go three and out, punting to the Badgers 15-yard line.

4:28 3rd – Stoudermire returns the ball to the Minnesota 44 (without a penalty), and the Gophers will begin their drive from there.

4:33 3rd – Wisconsin running back John Clay punches his way into the end zone with a 1-yard touchdown run, his second of the day. A 20-yard run by Clay set up the score two plays earlier. The Badgers have scored both their touchdowns off of turnovers. Wisconsin drive: 9 plays, 70 yards, 3:39. WISCONSIN 17, GOPHERS 13.

5:51 3rd – The Gophers gamble, bringing a heavy pass rush on third and 11 at the Minnesota 41-yard line, but Tolzien gets a pass off to tight end Garrett Graham, who gains 18 yards to the Minnesota 23.

8:12 3rd – Weber’s pass bounces off the hands of Eskridge and is caught by Badgers defensive tackle Patrick Butrym at the Wisconsin 30-yard line.

8:39 3rd – Another penalty hurts the Gophers, as junior tight end Collin McGarry is called for holding on a play where DeLeon Eskridge ran for 16 yards to the Wisconsin 2. Minnesota will have third and 12 at the Wisconsin 28-yard line.

11:41 3rd – On second and 16 at the Wisconsin 33, Tolzien runs for 11 yards, but loses the ball on a fumble forced by senior defensive tackle Garrett Brown. Senior linebacker Nate Triplett (who else?) recovers the fumble at the Wisconsin 44.

14:54 3rd – Wisconsin’s David Gilreath returns the second-half kickoff to the Badgers 22, but a 10-yard block-in-the-back penalty put them at their own 12-yard line.

Halftime leaders:

Rushing: WISCONSIN: Brown 4-26, Clay 6-25, TD. GOPHERS: Eskridge 11-47.

Passing: WISCONSIN: Tolzien 9-14, 1 INT, 74 yards. GOPHERS: Weber 9-16, 1 TD, 128 yards.

Receiving: WISCONSIN: Graham 4-31, Toon 3-24. GOPHERS: Decker 5-77.

End 2nd – The Gophers run out the clock in the first half with a 13-10 lead over the Badgers.

1:15 2nd – A 52-yard punt by the Badgers’ Brad Nortman puts the Gophers at their own 13-yard line.

2:14 2nd – A holding penalty on Badgers tight end Garrett Graham erases a long completion by Tolzien to wide receiver Nick Toon near the Minnesota 30-yard line.

2:26 2nd – The Gophers miss a big chance to score. Weber’s third-and-goal pass was dropped by a sliding sophomore wide receiver Brandon Green. Eric Ellestad makes the go-ahead 20-yard field goal. Gophers drive: 12 plays, 76 yards, 5:35. GOPHERS 13, WISCONSIN 10.

3:47 2nd – A 15-yard chop-block penalty on Chris Bunders pushes the Gophers to first and goal at the Wisconsin 16.

4:17 2nd – On third and nine, Weber completes a slant pass to Stoudermire, who is stopped at the 1-yard line.

7:23 2nd – Two big plays get Minnesota to the Wisconsin 29-yard line. On the first play of the drive, sophomore running back DeLeon Eskridge picks up 16 yards. On the next play, Weber completes a 35-yard pass to Decker.

8:01 2nd – Wisconsin punts after the Gophers stop quarterback Scott Tolzien on a bootleg to his right on third and two at midfield.

11:18 2nd – A holding penalty on Gary Tinsley wipes out a solid kickoff return by Stoudermire. Instead of starting beyond their own 45-yard line, the Gophers will start from their 16.

11:27 2nd – The Gophers halt the Badgers at the Minnesota 22-yard line. Philip Welch kicks a 39-yard field goal to tie the game. Wisconsin drive: 13 plays, 56 yards, 4:59. GOPHERS 10, WISCONSIN 10.

14:15 2nd – After a second down incompletion by Tolzien to David Gilreath, senior cornerback Traye Simmons talks a little too much for the referees’ liking and is flagged for a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that brings the Badgers to the Minnesota 40-yard line instead of forcing them into a third and 10 at their own 45.

End 1st – Gophers lead, 10-7. Wisconsin fans dominate two upper corners of the stands, but it is a much greater advantage for the gold than there was at the Metrodome. Wisconsin will have third and 1 at its 43 when the second quarter begins.

1:26 1st – Weber floats an 11-yard pass for senior wide receiver to pull down in one-on-one coverage. Decker’s 24th career touchdown reception puts the Gophers ahead. Gophers drive: 2 plays, 11 yards, 0:41. GOPHERS 10, WISCONSIN 7.

2:07 1st – Senior linebacker Nate Triplett perfectly reads Badgers quarterback Scott Tolzien, intercepting a pass at the Wisconsin 36-yard line, and running it to the 11. The crowd is now back in the game.

2:54 1st – The Gophers drive stalls at the Wisconsin 11-yard line, after they lose 3 yards on a second-down screen pass and senior tight end Nick Tow-Arnett drops a pass with blocking in front of him on third down. Junior Eric Ellestad kicks a 28-yard field goal to put Minnesota on the board. Gophers drive: 12 plays, 56 yards, 6:10. WISCONSIN 7, GOPHERS 3.

7:29 1st – On third and 18 at the Minnesota, junior quarterback Adam Weber completes a pass to junior wide receiver Hayo Carpenter behind the line of scrimmage, but Carpenter runs 25 yards to midfield for a first down.

9:04 1st – Badgers sophomore running back rushes around the right end for a 2-yard touchdown. Wisconsin drive: 9 plays, 59 yards, 4:23. WISCONSIN 7, GOPHERS 0.

13:27 1st – Gophers sophomore running back Duane Bennett carries the ball 19 yards on second and 19, but fumbles the ball at the Wisconsin 41-yard line. Wisconsin sophomore defensive back Devin Smith recovers the ball.

14:53 1st – Stoudermire returns the opening kickoff 41 yards, but a 10-yard holding penalty pushes the Gophers back to their 37-yard line.

The Gophers win the toss and elect to receive.