Battle for the Axe is Back On
It wasn't so long ago that the University of Minnesota Coaches Caravan swung through Owatonna. While no one needed to chop down a tree at that moment, an Axe was one of the top photo ops during an event at Torey's Restaurant. It was spring 2019 and the Gophers had possession of Paul Bunyan's Axe after beating Wisconsin 37-15 at Camp Randall in 2018. The Badgers won back the traveling trophy later last fall 38-17 at TCF Bank Stadium.
Thanks to a move by the Big Ten Sunday, the Gophers and Badgers will get to duel for the Axe this year after all. The game was supposed to be played November 28, but the University of Minnesota had to bow out due to COVID cases in the football program. The game is rescheduled for Saturday, December 19 at 3 pm at Madison.
In a story posted on at GopherSports.com, Minnesota football coach PJ Fleck says, "The Minnesota and Wisconsin rivalry is one of the best in sports. This game means a tremendous amount to the student-athletes, coaches and fans of both schools. We are excited to play and extend this rivalry, as Saturday's game will be the 130th meeting."
The final week of the season was designed to be a crossover day with teams of the same position in the East and West Division standings meeting. The Gophers (3-3) and Badgers (2-3) are both in the West Division. Minnesota is coming off a 24-17 win at Nebraska Saturday, December 12, the Gophers first game in three weeks. Wisconsin dropped their third straight Saturday, falling 28-7 to Iowa.
"In a year of constant change, we appreciate the Big Ten, both administrations and each conference member institution for preserving this rivalry," Fleck added.
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