Mere minutes after the Gophers’ 14-3 loss to Michigan State on Saturday in East Lansing, Mich., head coach Jerry Kill walked into a trailer that had been converted into a makeshift media room.
That trailer was stuffed with reporters who had just witnessed what Kill called a “very physical football game.” Minnesota played a hard-nosed brand of football that kept the team in the contest until the final minutes.
That brand also resulted in a couple of key injuries.
Recap: Michigan State’s defense was highly touted entering Saturday’s matchup, but its offense looked impressive early on. The Spartans (11-1, 8-0 Big Ten) drove 80 yards on just seven plays on their first drive, which culminated in a touchdown. Still, Michigan State’s defense ended up making the plays necessary to beat the Gophers (8-4, 4-4 Big Ten). Minnesota running back David Cobb rushed for 100-plus yards for the sixth time this season, but the Gophers passed for only 125 yards and threw two interceptions in the 14-3 loss.
Minnesota limited Michigan State but couldn’t score on offense.
As senior defensive back Brock Vereen stepped away from the press conference following the University of Minnesota’s 20-7 loss to the University of Wisconsin on Saturday, Capital One Bowl representative Jim Will sprung out of his seat and pulled him aside.
“I just want you to know you’re not mathematically eliminated [from the Capital One Bowl],” Will said to Vereen.
That’s a silver lining for a Gophers team that lost to a rival and saw its chances at the Rose Bowl slip away in the same afternoon.
Minnesota is still in contention for a spot in the Capital One Bowl.
Recap: Minnesota’s defense held Wisconsin to 20 points — its lowest point total of the season — but its offense didn’t score in the 20-7 loss. The Gophers’ only points in the game came from an interception returned for a touchdown in the first half.
It was over when: Philip Nelson completed a 5-yard pass to David Cobb on fourth down in the fourth quarter. Minnesota needed 10 yards to convert and turned it over on downs. The Gophers never saw the football again.
Wisconsin tallied a 10th straight win against Minnesota on Saturday.
University of Minnesota players were undoubtedly disappointed with their 20-7 loss to the University of Wisconsin on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. But the Gophers weren’t about to let their biggest rivals get the last word.
Wisconsin players wielded Paul Bunyan’s Axe after the game and tried to “chop down” the Gophers’ goal post, but Minnesota players got in their way.
The two rivals exchanged colorful words in the end zone and nearly came to blows.