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News, Notes, Tid-Bits and Quotes from Gophers 38-13 Loss at Wisconsin

10/20/2012, 7:45pm CDT
By U of M Athletic Communications

With the redshirt off, Phillip Nelson made his collegiate debut at Wisconsin.

SERIES NOTES

  • Minnesota and Wisconsin met for the 122nd time today, continuing the most-played rivalry in college football.
  • With the loss, Minnesota's edge in the all-time series fell to 58-55-8, including a 21-33-6 mark in Madison.
  • The Gophers' loss was their ninth in a row to the Badgers and equaled the longest streak by either side in the series. Minnesota won nine games in a row from 1933-41.
  • In the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe, Wisconsin improved its lead in the trophy series to 38-24-3
  • Minnesota has not defeated Wisconsin since notching a 37-34 victory at the Metrodome in 2003. The Gophers' last win in Madison was a 17-14 victory in 1994. Since then, Minnesota has dropped nine in a row at Camp Randall Stadium.

TEAM NOTES

  • Minnesota's dropped its third straight game after opening the season with four straight wins.
  • The Gophers have now opened Big Ten play with three straight losses for three consecutive seasons.
  • All three of the Gophers' losses this season have come vs. 2011 bowl game participants.
  • Minnesota is now 1-2 on the road this year, 0-2 in Big Ten road games.
  • The Gophers are still seeking their first Big Ten road win under head coach Jerry Kill (0-6). Minnesota's last conference road win was a 38-34 victory at Illinois on Nov. 13, 2010.
  • The Gophers were held to exactly 13 points for the third straight game - at Iowa, vs. Northwestern, at Wisconsin.
  • Wisconsin is the first team to break the 400-yard mark in total offense vs. the Gophers this season.
  • The Badgers' 38 points were the most given up by Minnesota in 10 games (11/12/11 - Wisconsin, 42).
  • Minnesota started a true freshman at quarterback for the second straight season under head coach Jerry Kill. Max Shortell made his starting debut last season at Michigan on Oct. 1.
  • After not recording a sack in the last two games, the Gophers notched sacks on two plays late in the same drive during the second quarter as D.L. Wilhite and Ra'Shede Hageman combined to push Wisconsin out of scoring position.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

  • True freshman Philip Nelson made his first start today. He becomes the second true freshman signal caller to start in as many seasons for the Gophers and just the third all-time. Rickey Foggie (1984) and Max Shortell (2011) were the others.
  • Nelson finished the game as the Gophers' leading rusher with 67 yards on 16 carries. He also threw 149 yards on 13-for-24 passing to account for 216 of Minnesota's 245 total yards.
  • Nelson tossed his first career touchdown pass with 6:14 to go in the first quarter, hooking up with Brandon Green from 16 yards out. It was Green's first reception of the season and his fourth career TD catch. Green also hauled in a TD on his first reception last season on a 12-yard grab. He added a second in the third quarter to A.J. Barker.
  • Green ended the game with three receptions for 44 yards, his best outing since catching 4 balls for 64 yards vs. Illinois.
  • A.J. Barker snagged his fifth touchdown of the season and his career on a 12-yard catch with 0:12 seconds to play in the third quarter. He finished the game with three receptions for 36 yards.
  • Aaron Hill's seven solo stops were a career best, while his nine total tackles were one off a career high. He had 10 total tackles vs. Syracuse earlier this season.
  • Derrick Wells finished with eight tackles. It is the fourth time in seven games this season that he's had at least eight stops.
  • D.L. Wilhite was credited with his team-leading 5 1/2th sack of the season during the second quarter. Two plays later, Ra'Shede Hageman picked up his fourth sack of the year.

 

Minnesota Head Coach Jerry Kill Postgame Quotes
Wisconsin vs. Minnesota
Oct. 20, 2012
Camp Randall Stadium – Madison, Wis.

Opening statement:

“First of all, congratulations to Wisconsin and they’ve got the same type of football team that they’ve had here for a long time. They’re a very physical group, well-coached and they’ve got a good group of kids who can make some plays. We give them some credit and we’ll continue to work to move forward and get better. I think there are some areas that we did get better at and then there are some that we slipped a little bit. But that’s part of building a program, so we’ll move forward.”

On his decision to start Philip Nelson at QB: “We made the decision and I’m not going to go over all of the scenarios, but there was a lot of discussion made. I think no question, it’s a good move for us. In the situation where MarQueis (Gray) has not been able to be durable and is struggling right now, I think putting him on the outside and giving him the chance to heal up a little bit, but still help us make some plays.”

On Chris Borland’s roughing-the-pass penalty: “He’s a heck of a football player, I think he was probably just playing hard. I don’t think he did that intentionally or anything of that nature. I think when you’re a defensive player and you play your tail end off, sometimes you don’t ever hear the whistle blow out there. You don’t know when to stop. I don’t think anybody was intentionally doing stuff. As a quarterback, I guess the encouraging thing is he took some hits and it didn’t seem to faze him a lot. We’re going to move forward, and I get questioned a lot, and I’m very confident in what we are doing and that it’s good for us.”

On his team’s run defense: “I think we have some disappointed players and coaches. To sum it up as far as being on the field and talking to the defense, it’s no different. ‘Hey, why aren’t we getting this shut off?’ ‘Every time they are running the split reverse they are hitting the seam.’ I think the first half we battled in there pretty good and we were in good position at half time. The field goal was critical, I thought that thing was in there but evidently it wasn’t. That was a critical, critical situation. Then we came out and got a stop and thought we were going to hang in there. Give them credit, they physically keep coming at you. They did it to Purdue a week ago, they keep coming at you with those good backs and offensive line. Once they start wearing you out, then somebody gets out of gap and somebody gets out of another gap and they are strong enough to put it two gaps over. I think physically, that’s who they’ve been for a long time. You look at their defense and they’ve got four and five-year guys and we’ve got a lot of young guys yet. I think they just wore us down at the end of the day. And when you wear people down, a lot of times that’s where you make a lot of mistakes.”

On Wisconsin’s wildcat: “When you haven’t seen it on film or anything like that and they put five guys on one side and three on the other, that’s a good move on their part. We’ve done that in the past. What it does is you get into that real fast and then you have to get moved over and you’re unbalanced and then they’ve got a man on you and then they crease you. That’s good coaching on their part and I credit them. That’s part of a week-to-week thing, and I’m sure next week they’ll have another little wrinkle to see. You get all of those big guys on one side and you get shifted over there and take care of that side, then they come back on the other side. Well coached, they’ve got a good team.”

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