Badgers beat Minnesota, win the Big Ten West
MADISON, Wis. — Minnesota’s fairy tale season is no more. The Wisconsin Badgers are the Big Ten West division champions.
The No. 12 Badgers held off the No. 8 Golden Gophers, 38-17, Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. With the win, Wisconsin punches its ticket to next Saturday’s Big Ten Championship game in Indianapolis — a rematch against No. 1 Ohio State.
The Gophers will now await their placement next week for a bowl.
Minnesota (10-2) struck first on Rashod Bateman’s 51-yard touchdown grab from Tanner Morgan, just two and a half minutes into the game.
But Wisconsin (10-2) stuck around, despite fumbling the ball deep in Gophers territory early in the second quarter. A tip drill that ended in the hands of Caesar Williams gave the Badgers new life on Minnesota’s side of the field, and Wisconsin capitalized on Zach Hintze’s 26-yard field goal.
The Badgers’ real offense, however, came by way of Jonathan Taylor, but not on the ground. Late in the second quarter, Taylor, with a defender wrapped around him, hauled in a 28-yard touchdown via Jack Coan.
Coan carried the offense into the second half with a 57-yard touchdown pass to Quintez Cephus and a 70-yard gain on a screen to Garrett Groshek. Taylor capped off the latter possession with a scoring run to push the Badgers ahead 31-10.
Taylor finished the afternoon with just 76 yards, while Coan threw for 280 yards.
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