With the coldest game-time temperature (18 degrees) in TCF Bank Stadium history, it was the Minnesota Golden Gophers offense that was never able to thaw out as the Wisconsin Badgers defense held them without an offensive score in a 20-7 victory.
Badgers running backs James White and Melvin Gordon get plenty of attention and rightfully so, but it’s the defense that has been equally impressive, if not better in recent weeks.
For the third straight Big Ten game, the Badgers defense held the opposing offense to zero touchdowns. In fact you have to go all the way back to October 19th when the Badgers defeated the Illinois Fighting Illini to find the last time they allowed an offensive touchdown. It also marks the sixth time this season that Wisconsin has kept the opposition out of the end zone.
The Badgers have one of the best defense’s in the nation, allowing only 13.4 points per game, and a big part of that is the play of linebacker Chris Borland. Easily the heart and soul of this defense, Borland is always around the football. Against the Gophers, Borland recorded 12 tackles, recovered two fumbles and forced one fumble which ties him for most in FBS history with 14 for his career.
Minnesota could not do anything on the ground or in the air. The Badgers held the Gophers to only 185 yards of total offense and only 83 yards passing.
As much as the offense gets credit for this 9-2 season, the Badgers defense should be mentioned in the same breath as well. Wisconsin is one of the hottest teams in college football, winning six straight and seven of their last nine, as Borland and his fellow defensive colleagues have the Badgers poised for a possible BCS bowl game.
Next week Wisconsin returns to Camp Randall Stadium for the season finale against the Penn State Nittany Lions and one more chance for the defense to improve on their already stellar numbers.