The Minnesota Gophers had an outstanding season, but there will be no trip to the Big Ten title game and Paul Bunyan’s Axe is back in the Wisconsin Badgers trophy case, where it belongs.
The Gophers jumped out in front, but the Badgers dominated the rest of the way, pulling out a 38-17 win, capturing the Big Ten West division title.
The Badgers (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten), will return to the league title game at Lucas Oil Stadium for the third time under head coach Paul Chryst. The Badgers will square off against Ohio State (12-0, 9-0) in a 7 p.m. kickoff on Saturday. The Buckeyes cruised to a 38-7 win over the Badgers in Columbus in late October.
While Jonathan Taylor was held to 76 yards and two rushing touchdowns, Badger quarterback Jack Coan completed 15 of 21 for 280 yards and two touchdowns. It was arguably Coan’s best game as a Badger.
Quintez Cephus had five catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.
Gopher quarterback Tanner Morgan completed 20 of 37 for 292 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw an interception and lost a fumble, which the Badgers turned into 10 points.
Linebacker Zach Baun had a big day for the defense with nine tackles and two sacks. The Badgers registered five sacks in all, giving them 44 for the season.