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Saturday's Gophers/Badgers football game canceled due to COVID-19 issues

The Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe will not take place for the first time since 1906.

Saturday's football game between the Minnesota Gophers and Wisconsin Badgers has been canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Gopher football program.

The report was first made by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus and later confirmed by the Minnesota Athletics department, who also announced that the university will pause all football-related activities.

The Gophers have battled several COVID-19 cases and injuries this season and were down a total of 25 players and staff members coming into last Friday's victory against Purdue. According to The Athletic's Chad Graff and Stadium's Brett McMurphy, the Gophers are dealing with more cases with nine players and six staff members testing positive in the past five days.

The Wisconsin football program has also had its issues, shutting down due to an outbreak within its program last month. The Badgers have gotten in four games since their shutdown,going 3-1 and ranking 18th in the latest AP Top 25 poll, but will now be ineligible for the Big Ten Championship Game by not playing the minimum of six games this season.

The Gophers announced in a statement that Saturday's game will not be made up, marking the first time since 1906 that the Gophers and the Badgers will not battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe.

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