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Minnesota vs. Wisconsin: Predictions, TV schedule, streaming, odds

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Here's your gameday primer for Week 14.

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Week 14 TV guide

Sat, Nov 29, 2014
12:00 PM ET
SECN
(16) Georgia Tech at (9) Georgia
12:00 PM ET
ESPN2
Kentucky at (22) Louisville
12:00 PM ET
ESPNU
Illinois at Northwestern
12:00 PM ET
ABC
Michigan at (6) Ohio State
12:00 PM ET
FSN
North Texas at Texas-San Antonio
12:00 PM ET
BTN
Purdue at Indiana
12:00 PM ET
CBSS
Rice at Louisiana Tech
12:00 PM ET
ESPN
South Carolina at (21) Clemson
12:00 PM ET
FS1
West Virginia at Iowa State
12:00 PM ET
ESPNN
Cincinnati at Temple
1:00 PM ET
PAC12
(25) Utah at Colorado
12:30 PM ET
ESPN3
NC State at North Carolina
12:30 PM ET
ESPN3
Syracuse at Boston College
12:30 PM ET
ESPN3
Louisiana-Lafayette at Troy
2:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Texas State at Georgia State
2:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Idaho at Appalachian State
2:00 PM ET
ESPN3
New Mexico State at Arkansas State
3:30 PM ET
FOX
Notre Dame at USC
3:30 PM ET
ABC/ESPN2
(7) Baylor vs.
(Arlington)
Texas Tech
3:30 PM ET
ESPN
Florida at (3) Florida State
3:30 PM ET
ABC/ESPN2
(10) Michigan State at Penn State
3:30 PM ET
BTN
(18) Minnesota at (14) Wisconsin
3:30 PM ET
CBS
(4) Mississippi State at (19) Mississippi
3:30 PM ET
ESPNU
Rutgers at Maryland
3:30 PM ET
CBSS
San Jose State at San Diego State
4:00 PM ET
FS1
Kansas at (12) Kansas State
4:00 PM ET
SECN
Tennessee at Vanderbilt
4:00 PM ET
ESPNN
Connecticut at Memphis
4:30 PM ET
PAC12
BYU at Cal
6:00 PM ET
ESPN3
Louisiana-Monroe at Georgia Southern
7:00 PM ET
ESPNU
Wake Forest at Duke
7:00 PM ET
ESPN2
Pittsburgh at Miami (FL)
7:45 PM ET
ESPN
(15) Auburn at (1) Alabama
8:00 PM ET
ABC
(2) Oregon at Oregon State
10:15 PM ET
ESPN2
Utah State at (23) Boise State
10:30 PM ET
FS1
Washington at Washington State
10:30 PM ET
ESPNU
Nevada at UNLV

Time: 2:30 p.m. CT | TV: BTN (Kevin Kugler, Glen Mason, Lisa Byington) | Streaming: BTN2Go | Radio: Badger Sports Network | Betting line: Wisconsin -14.5 | Over/Under: 50

It's been a long time since the most played rivalry in college football has meant this much. The scenario is the same for both teams: win, and become the Big Ten's inaugural West Division champions, earn a trip to the conference championship game in Indianapolis to face Ohio State and, oh yeah, there is this pretty cool trophy called Paul Bunyan's Axe you get to keep for the next year as well.

For Minnesota, there could be no sweeter way to end a 10-year drought in this rivalry than to seal a division championship in the process. For Wisconsin, nothing would sting more than to watch the hated Gophers parade around with the Axe for the first time since 2003, knowing the defeat cost a shot at a conference championship.

The home team is the heavy favorite in this one for good reason. The Badgers are on a tear, having won six straight Big Ten games, the most recent of which were impressive victories over Nebraska and Iowa. Wisconsin has scored at least 26 points in all six of those wins.

Minnesota, meanwhile, has weathered the toughest part of its schedule thus far, going 2-1 in consecutive games against Iowa, Ohio State and Nebraska. The Gophers are confident they can win in tough environments, having emerged victorious from Ann Arbor and Lincoln already this season.

Offensively, Minnesota is similar to Wisconsin in that it does the majority of its damage on the ground and struggles to move the ball through the air. The Gophers average 228.9 rushing yards per game and 134.7 passing yards per game.

The big question mark, however, is the health of senior running back David Cobb, by far their most productive runner. Cobb is officially listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, but the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Friday he appears unlikely to play after testing the hamstring. Cobb has amassed 1,430 yards (8th in FBS) on 5.3 yards per carry, and he has scored 12 touchdowns for Minnesota in 2014.

If Cobb can't go, the Gophers may be in trouble. Freshman tailback Berkley Edwards is also questionable because of a concussion, but he did practice Wednesday. UM may be relying on Rodrick Williams, Jr., who has carried the ball only 22 times this season. Wisconsin's stingy defense allows just 2.91 yards per rush and 97.1 rushing yards per game, so this is not the group against whom the Gophers want to test new running backs.

Minnesota will be reluctant to ask sophomore quarterback Mitch Leidner to do too much. In 10 games played this season, Leidner has attempted more than 19 passes just three times. His completion percentage has dropped to 51.1 percent in 2014, and he has tossed eight interceptions to go with 10 touchdowns. He has been sacked 17 times.

If the Gophers find themselves in 3rd-and-long situations, Wisconsin defensive coordinator Dave Aranda will not hesitate to bring pressure from all over the field. The Badgers are tied for 15th in FBS in averaging 3.09 sacks per game. Additionally, Wisconsin boasts the third-best defense in the nation in opponents' third-down conversion percentage (27.7 percent).

Minnesota is solid defensively, allowing 22.5 points per game. The Gophers rank 24th in FBS in surrendering 354.9 yards per game. They fare better against the pass than against the run, however, which could spell trouble against Melvin Gordon and the Badgers' running game. UM gives up 154.6 yards per game on the ground and 4.42 yards per carry to opposing running backs. Minnesota gives up just over 200 passing yards per game and has scored two defensive touchdowns in 11 games.

The Gophers' special teams units are generally strong. Minnesota ranks 24th in the nation in allowing 18.46 yards per kickoff return and has not allowed a punt or kickoff to be returned for a touchdown this season. Meanwhile, Wisconsin's return team, led by senior Kenzel Doe, has averaged 23.47 yards per kick return, good for 20th in FBS, and 12.24 yards per punt return, which ranks 14th.

Ryan Santoso has made 10 of 16 field goal attempts this season, but just three of eight from 40 yards or more. Freshman Rafael Gaglianone has become ultra-reliable for the Badgers, making 83.3 percent of his field goal attempts in 2014.

With an expected high near 39 degrees at kickoff and no precipitation in the forecast, the weather should not play much of a role. Dry conditions aside, expect a good, old-fashioned Big Ten showdown featuring two highly motivated teams, each with a great running game and a stout defense. This time, the battle is not just for the Axe, but the championship.

Who has the edge?

Offense: Wisconsin

Defense: Wisconsin

Special teams: Wisconsin

Coaching: Minnesota

Intangibles: Wisconsin

Predictions

Mike
Fiammetta
Andy
Johnson
Phil
Mitten
Jake
Harris
Andrew
Rosin
Lucas
Mueller
Louis
Bien
Wisconsin logo 25x25
31-17
Wisconsin logo 25x25
36-17
Wisconsin logo 25x25
29-21
Wisconsin logo 25x25
35-21
Wisconsin logo 25x25
21-10
Wisconsin logo 25x25
27-21
Wisconsin logo 25x25
45-21
Jake
Kocorowski
Sam
Brief
Drew
Hamm
Zach
Wingrove
Bart
Torvik
Greg
Guenther
COMP
Wisconsin logo 25x25
38-24
Wisconsin logo 25x25
27-21
Wisconsin logo 25x25
28-21
Wisconsin logo 25x25
38-17
Wisconsin logo 25x25
56-2
Wisconsin logo 25x25
38-6
Wisconsin logo 25x25
35-19