With the coldest conditions in TCF Bank Stadium history, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have hanged tough with the Wisconsin Badgers through the first half but the Badgers hold a 13-7 lead over the Gophers at halftime.
Wisconsin struck first on a 31-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Jack Russell. The kick came after a 49-yard run from Wisconsin running back James White. He has 15 rushes for 106 yards and a touchdown at halftime.
Minnesota has had trouble hanging onto the ball. The Gophers have two turnovers off fumbles including a fumble by tight end Maxx Williams. That turnover luckily lead to a interception return for a touchdown by senior Aaron Hill off Wisconsin’s Joel Stave a few plays later. It was the seventh non-offensive touchdown on the year for Minnesota — a school record.
The turnovers didn’t stop there. In the second quarter, Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson rolled out on third down and was stripped of the football. The Badgers would recover thanks to star senior linebacker Chris Borland, who scooped up the ball that set up a one yard touchdown run by White on offense.
In the frigid conditions, passing has been a problem for both teams. The Gophers and Badgers have a combined 69 yards passing. Meanwhile, the Gophers have 69 yards rushing compared to Wisconsin’s 149 yards on the ground.
Yards have been tough to come by for the Gophers, who have just 94 yards and are averaging a paltry 3.2 yards per play. Minnesota will have to find a rhythm and the end zone in the second half if they want to stay with the Badgers, who were on the verge of scoring another touchdown at the end of the first half before the Gophers’ defense made a goal line stand, forcing a field goal.