Gophers win the axe back from Badgers for the first time in 15 years

Minnesota became eligible for a bowl game with the win.
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Gophers axe

The wait is finally over as the Gophers ended Wisconsin's 14-year winning streak in the border battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe with a 37-15 upset victory on Saturday. 

"We're just so proud of all of our fans, the State of Minnesota this is for you," said head coach P.J. Fleck in an interview with ESPN2 after the game. 

Nothing went well for Wisconsin as they missed a 31-yard field goal on their opening drive of the game and were held scoreless until finding the end zone on a touchdown pass with one second left in the first half, but by then the Gophers had already built a 17-point lead. 

Minnesota scored first on a 34-yard field goal by Emmit Carpenter. The lead grew to 10-0 on a 10-yard touchdown run by Mohamed Ibrahim with 2:21 left in the second quarter. 

Seventy-six seconds later the Gophers found themselves up 17-0 on a 69-yard punt return touchdown by Demetrius Douglas. 

The Badgers scored to cut the deficit to 10, but that's as close as the cross-state rivals would get Carpenter connected on two more field goals before the nail in the coffin was pounded when Bryce Williams took a handoff 23 yards to the house on the first play following Wisconsin's fumble on a kickoff return. 

Williams added another touchdown to run up the score with 2:31 left in the game. The Badgers scored a garbage time touchdown to cut the margin of loss from 30 to 23 points. 

Key stat: Gophers scored 24 points off four Wisconsin turnovers.  

More fun stat: The all-time series between the Gophers and Badgers is now dead even. Each team has 60 wins and there have been eight ties.

Fun fact: The trailer for the remake of The Lion King was released this week. Ironically, the last time the Gophers won in Wisconsin was the year (1994) the original The Lion King film was released. 

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