Predictions - Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

Predictions - Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

Football

Predictions - Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

Looking for its first two-game winning streak since early October, Wisconsin (7-4, 5-3 Big Ten) plays its regular-season finale against Minnesota (5-6, 2-6 Big Ten) this afternoon. The Badgers Insider Staff gives our game and a score prediction for the matchup.

Brian Becker – Wisconsin 27, Minnesota 13

What can Jonathan Taylor do for an encore? After rushing for 321 yards in the win against Purdue, Taylor is now 131 yards shy of breaking 2,000 yards rushing – something only Ron Dayne (1996 and 1999) and Melvin Gordon (2014) have done in a single season at Wisconsin. Taylor will certainly have his opportunity against Minnesota, considering the Gophers allowing an average of 207.8 rushing yards in Big Ten play. Wisconsin will give him every opportunity by relying on him to help move the ball down the field.

Taylor’s strong play in November has been able to help take pressure off of Jack Coan in the passing game. Coan appears like he’ll be making his fourth career start with Alex Hornibrook is still in the concussion protocol. After weeks of inconsistency, Coan found a rhythm in the fourth quarter and overtime last week to help the Badgers erase a two-touchdown deficit and win in triple overtime. If Coan is allowed time in the pocket to go through his reads, he should be able to find success against a secondary that allows 242.8 passing yards a game and Big Ten quarterbacks to complete 69.9 percent of their passes.

Defensively, Wisconsin’s secondary is going to need to rebound after allowing Purdue to pass for 386 yards. Wisconsin’s secondary once again will be challenged by Tyler Johnson, who’s averaging 6.3 receptions and 94.1 yards over Big Ten play. Wisconsin’s ability to take him out of his game will be a challenge but the pass rush can assist in this area if they can get after Minnesota quarterback Tanner Morgan. Over the month of November, Wisconsin has done a better job of creating pressure in the backfield, totaling six sacks and 15 tackles for loss.

The Badgers’ pass rush will disrupt Minnesota’s rhythm and Taylor will do more than enough to close out the Gophers.

Becker’s Record: 7-4

Billy Hirschfeld –Wisconsin 30, Minnesota 27

Wisconsin will win a close game that will come down to defense. Though high scoring, it will have to come down to big stops towards the end of the game, which Wisconsin proved it could do last week at Purdue.

Hirschfeld’s Record: 8-3

Logan Samp – Wisconsin 35, Minnesota 21

Minnesota has the highest percent of freshman on a roster in the FBS so while its future may look bright, the present is dim. They have experienced some the highest declines in ticket sales for their games and their team has been at the best average throughout the year. Minnesota needs a win against the Badgers to become bowl eligible. Wisconsin will come out in the last regular season game of the year with energy and beat the Gophers at the Camp.

Death, taxes, and Wisconsin retaining the Axe.

Samp’s Record: 9-2

Benjamin Worgull – Wisconsin 35, Minnesota 10

During the 14-game winning streak over Minnesota, the Badgers have outscored the Gophers by a combined 499-272, an average score of 35.6-19.4. P.J. Fleck firing his defensive coordinator two weeks ago after giving up 55 points to Illinois (ILLINOIS!) appears to have served its purpose, as U-M held Purdue to 10 points and Northwestern to 24. However, the Gophers’ defense hasn’t seen a power back like Jonathan Taylor, who has the potential to have another monster day today.

Minnesota’s offense is young and inexperienced at the quarterback spot and the Gophers are 0-4 on the road this season. That’s a bad combination.

UW should win this game easily and cover the 10.5-point spread.

Worgull’s Record: 8-3

Worgull’s Record vs. spread: 6-5

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