Five reasons why Wisconsin fell short at Minnesota

With everything in front of Wisconsin football, the Badgers fell flat in a disastrous second half that ultimately decided their fate. Holding onto a 10-6 lead at the break, the Badgers were outscored 17-3 in the second half as the Gophers took the Axe back.

The 23-13 loss gave Iowa an outright Big Ten West division title and sent the Hawkeyes to Indianapolis where they will face Michigan.

Saturday felt like deja vu to how Wisconsin’s season began. The journey of the season was a wild ride that dropped passengers off in the same place they started. The Badgers ended exactly how they began.

Wisconsin’s offense simply sputtered, as the Badgers failed to run the football effectively with Graham Mertz and the passing game unable to pickup the slack.

After seven straight wins, it was a shock to the system to see the Badgers revert back to who they were during the first few weeks of the season. What went wrong in the Twin Cities? Here are five reasons why Wisconsin won’t be traveling to Indianapolis:

The first play of the game

Nov 20, 2021; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers safety Collin Wilder (18) celebrates getting an interception in the fourth quarter against Nebraska during their football game Saturday, November 20, 2021, at Camp Randall in Madison, Wis. Credit: Dan Powers-USA TODAY Sports

If an outsider asked who the leaders of Wisconsin’s team have been this season you could have given a variety of names, most of whom play on the defense. I would start with senior safety Collin Wilder, whose two interceptions against Nebraska helped propel the Badgers towards a key win just a week ago.

The first play from scrimmage turned out to be one that set the tone for the afternoon. Wilder was forced to watch the entirety of the game from the locker room after a controversial targeting call sent him packing. It was one of those…


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