Game 102: Minnesota @ #5 Wisconsin

A storybook season has been unfolding for the Badgers. November has arrived and they are undefeated pointing at Pasadena and perhaps a national title. However, their method for success has been far from pretty. Wisconsin’s dump truck offense collects yards slowly and monotonously. Defense has been the Badger’s calling card as they have held every opponent they have played to under twenty points, and most under ten. They win convincingly even though by small margins.

This season, Camp Randall Stadium’s expansion and facelift finally reached completion. The most notable changes include the replay boards, extensive luxury suites, and enclosure of the horseshoe to expand the stadium beyond 80,000 in capacity. These modern modifications were a necessity to keep up with the rest of the major stadiums in the country. Wisconsin has reached high class and we were part of what was the largest crowd to cram into Camp Randall today.

For the final home game of the season, the Badgers welcomed their rival, Minnesota. Since 1890, these two teams have battled every year making it the longest consecutive rivalry in the sport. Since 1948, they have played for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, a trophy that is paraded around the stadium by the winning team. It wouldn’t be long to learn who was going to earn that honor. The Badgers traded their dump truck for a corvette and put up a surprising 31-7 halftime lead. The heroics of quarterback John Stocco, tailback Anthony Davis, and receiver Jonathan Orr gut rehabbed the look of the Badger offense. Wisconsin looked more like a major power today more than any game this season and the 38-14 victory lifted them to national respectability.

Last year, the Gophers stole the axe from the Badgers. With Wisconsin’s victory this year, the Badgers lined up along their sideline waiting for the clock to expire. Soon, a storm of red flooded over the field and penetrated the Gopher sideline heading for the axe. Wisconsin raised it and displayed it around the stadium. The excitement at Camp Randall overflowed and the entire scene began to appear surreal. Could the Badgers close out their last two games on the road and finish undefeated? East Lansing, Michigan would be site of that answer next week…


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