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How to watch and listen to Wisconsin vs. Minnesota

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Can Wisconsin make it 14 straight vs. the Gophers?

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NCAA Football: Michigan at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Bunyan’s Axe, an undefeated season and much more is on the line for the No. 5 Wisconsin Badgers as they go on the road to face their rival, the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday.

Wisconsin (11-0, 8-0) has a chance to retain the Axe for the 14th straight year and keep their perfect record intact. Minnesota (5-6, 2-6) is fighting for bowl eligibility in its first year under head coach P.J. Fleck and will look to rebound after its 39-0 loss to Northwestern last week.

Though the Badgers are the heavy favorites, they respect the Gophers and have kept focus on the game in front of them. Highlights of games past have been played around the locker room. The Axe has been at practice.

They know it’s going to be a hard fought game.

“We always get their best shot,” defensive end Alec James said on Wednesday. “We always give them our best shot no matter, records aside, it’s always a real, real physical game and it’s a lot of fun to play in.”

When and where is the game?

Wisconsin and Minnesota will kick off at 2:30 p.m. CT at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.

How can I watch?

The game will be broadcast on ABC with Mark Jones assigned to play-by-play duties, Rod Gilmore as the analyst, and Quint Kessenich reporting from the sideline.

How can I stream the game online?

Via WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN mobile app.

How can I listen to it on the radio?

On national radio, you can listen to the game on Compass Media with Gregg Daniels assigned to play-by-play duties and Dale Hellestrae as the analyst. You can stream the game on CompassMediaNetworks.com.

On the Badgers Sports Network, you’ll find the team of Matt Lepay and Mike Lucas. Head to BadgerSportsNetwork.com to find the broadcast. You can also listen on iHeartRadio (iOS/Android/online) by searching “WIBA.”

On satellite radio, you’ll find the broadcast on Sirius 134/XM 196.

Who and what to watch during the game

Wisconsin rush defense vs. Minnesota running game

It appears Minnesota’s offense is a hint one-sided, but that does not mean UW is taking its rival lightly,

“They got a great team. They’re offensive line is pretty physical,” James said. “Their running back is real good. Quarterback is real mobile, he can pass pretty well and they got some good receivers. So any week that you play someone in the Big Ten, it’s going to be a big game—but obviously this is a rivalry, so it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

As seen with our preview earlier this week:

The team is currently fourth in the Big Ten in rushing offense (190.5 yards per game) on the legs of Rodney Smith (895 yards, 4.2 yards per game) and Kobe McCrary (476 yards, 5.8 yards per carry, eight touchdowns). They have rushed for 409 yards against Nebraska, 292 versus Illinois and 227 against Purdue in Big Ten play. The offense is 10th in the conference in points per game scored (24.1), however.

Passing-wise, the Gophers are 120th in the nation at just under 134 yards per contest. Quarterback Demry Croft has completed only 42.1 percent of his passes in eight games, throwing for 634 yards with four touchdowns and seven interceptions. Tyler Johnson (35 receptions, 677 yards, seven touchdowns) is the only Gopher to reel in above 20 catches on the year, but he is out with a broken left hand.

If Wisconsin, who leads the country in rush defense (79.4 yards per game allowed), buries the Minnesota run game, it should completely derail the rest of the Gophers’ offense.

Jim Leonhard’s defense should absolutely do so based on this year’s resume, but then again in these rivalry games, sometimes all bets are off.

Wisconsin run game vs. Minnesota rush defense

UW averages 239.3 yards per game on the ground, second-best in the Big Ten. It is going up against a Minnesota unit that is giving up nearly 162 yards on the ground (10th in the conference).

The Gophers have given up 200-plus yards rushing against Big Ten opponents Maryland (262), Michigan State (245), Michigan (371), and Northwestern (277). From B5Q’s Q&A with Chris from the Daily Gopher:

The Gophers have struggled in multiple areas against the run, but lately the problem has been with annoyingly simple elements like gap responsibility, tackling, etc. The linebackers remain the strongest unit overall, and from that unit I'd keep my eye on Celestin and Thomas Barber. Carter Coughlin is a young linebacker who has been playing a lot as a hybrid rush defensive end and having success. If Minnesota is going to have a good day you'll see his name pop up a lot, too.

True freshman Jonathan Taylor is a shade under seven yards per carry and has run for 1,657 yards through 11 games. Again, it is rivalry week so there’s always a chance of the absurd to happen against Goldy, but Wisconsin should have success on the ground. It could be an even bigger game for the Doak Walker Award finalist and Heisman Trophy candidate.

If the Badgers cannot run the ball effectively, the Gophers are ranked third in the Big Ten in pass defense, giving up 175 yards per contest. Though quarterback Alex Hornibrook has thrown an interception in nine of his 11 games this season, he has shown that he can bounce back from mistakes to lead the team to points.

Game predictions

Jake Kocorowski: Wisconsin 40, Minnesota 3

Bob Wiedenhoeft: Wisconsin 34, Minnesota 0

Ryan Mellenthin: Wisconsin 38, Minnesota 13

Drew Hamm: Wisconsin 69, Minnesota 0

Andrew Rosin: Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 10

Neal Olson: Wisconsin 24, Minnesota 7

Bold predictions

Always excited to see fans interacting with our bold prediction takes. First, some fans’ thoughts on scores:

We have some bold ones for Taylor to have a huge day.

Having two Piesman Trophy candidates would be a dream come true, especially if nose tackle Olive Sagapolu takes one back for six.

More Hornibrook predictions:

Better yet, Alex Hornibrook: Dual-threat quarterback:

#BadgerCat