Emmit Carpenter

Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

Minnesota catching Wisconsin sleeping? Gophers lead 17-7 in Madison

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Already having the Big Ten West Division clinched by virtue of Nebraska’s loss on Friday, the Wisconsin Badgers are struggling a little bit at home this afternoon against rival Minnesota in the battle for Paul Bunyan’s Ax. The Golden Gophers hold a 17-7 lead at halftime in Madison.

Minnesota opened the game with a short field goal by Emmit Carpenter. After the teams exchanged punts on the next four possessions, Wisconsin put a dent on the scoreboard with a 10-play drive spanning 80 yards and culminating with a short run by Alec Ingold to put the Badgers on top, briefly. Mitch Leidner completed a 13-yard pass to the end zone after KiAnte Hardin returned the kickoff following the Wisconsin touchdown 69 yards. Minnesota added to its lead late in the first half with a Leidner touchdown run at the end of a seven-play, 68-yard drive.

Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook was on the receiving end of a rough hit on the sideline in the first half that caused Wisconsin to not be very happy, although there may not have been anything dirty about the play.

Wisconsin is already heading to Indianapolis next week to face either Ohio State or Penn State in the Big Ten Championship Game.