Date/Time: Nov. 26, 2022 / 2:30 p.m. CT
Site: Madison, Wis.
Stadium: Camp Randall Stadium
Series Overall: Minnesota Trails 61-62-8
Streak: Minnesota Won 1
Series in Wisconsin: Minnesota Trails 23-35-6
Streak: Minnesota Lost 1
Last Meeting: Minnesota won 23-13 in Minneapolis (11/27/21)
FIVE THINGS TO KNOW
1. Minnesota (7-4, 4-4 B1G) closes out the regular season Saturday as it visits Wisconsin (6-5, 4-4 B1G) at 2:30 p.m. on ESPN with radio coverage on KFAN. The most played FBS rivalry in college football history at 131 games, Saturday will be the ninth straight year that the Gophers and Badgers face off in the regular season finale.
2. Mohamed Ibrahim has rushed 277 times in 10 games this season for 1,524 yards (5.5 average) and 19 touchdowns. He’s posted those numbers despite missing the Purdue contest and not playing beyond the opening drive of the second half in any of the first three contests this season. In the process, he’s extended his streak of 100+ rushing yards to 19 games, the longest in the FBS since at least 2000. A semfinalist for the Doak Walker Award, Ibrahim leads the country this year with his 19 touchdowns, all of which have been on the ground. For context, there are 70 FBS teams that have not yet reached 19 rushing TDs this year. In addition, his 152.4 rushing yards per game leads the nation and is a higher average than 66 teams currently have. Ibrahim is second nationally in rushing yards, attempts, attempts per game (27.7) and scoring (11.4), and is third in points scored (114) and fourth in all-purpose yards per game (157.40). More info on Ibrahim can be found on Page 5 of the Game Notes.
3. Minnesota boasts one of the best and most well-rounded defenses in the nation under defensive coordinator Joe Rossi. The Golden Gophers rank seventh in the country by allowing 274.5 total yards per contest. They also have the No. 3 defense in terms of scoring (13.1 ppg), No. 8 in passing yards allowed (172.1) and the No. 10 rush defense (102.5). Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan are the only teams in the FBS that rank in the top 10 in each of those categories.
4. Though the all-time series has been played 131 times, Saturday marks the 74th battle for Paul Bunyan’s Axe, a full history of which can be found on Page 50 of the Game Notes. First played for in 1948, the all-time series record for the Axe is tilted in Wisconsin’s favor at 44-26-3. The teams have each won the Axe twice in the last four seasons, including once each at home and on the road.
5. The 2022 campaign is the sixth for head coach P.J. Fleck at Minnesota, where he holds a record of 42-27. He is already fifth in program history for wins and sixth in Big Ten wins (25) and games coached (69). Fleck’s .609 win percentage is third best among the 11 Minnesota coaches with at least 45 games under their helm behind only Henry L. Williams (.786, 1900-21) and Bernie Bierman (.716, 1932-41, ’45-50). In his 10th season overall as a college head coach, Fleck is 72-49 (.595).
Gopher senior Jordan Howden spoke with MNN sports director Mike Grimm:
(info and photo courtesy of Gopher Sports)