Throughout Minnesota's 42-13 loss to Wisconsin, the Badgers maintained control of the game. But a few big special teams plays injected some energy into the Gophers and kept them within reach for awhile.
Down 21-0 in the second quarter, the Gophers sent out their field goal unit to try for three points. Instead, they came away with six. Holder Adam Lueck flipped the ball through his legs to kicker Jordan Wettstein, who ran to the right and into the end zone. In the excitement after his 5-yard touchdown run, he missed the extra point attempt, but the Gophers were on the board.
The Gophers celebrate after Wettstein's touchdown.
"We've done enough reps the last week that it was just kind of second nature," Wettstein said. "I trusted Adam. We hit it all week, and we executed."
The Gophers went into the locker room down 28-6. Then they gained some momentum right away in the third when Duane Bennett returned the kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. It was the Minnesota's second kick return touchdown of the season.
"It got the sideline really alive, and then our defense was able to come out and get some stops," Bennett said.
Even against a tough opponent like Wisconsin, and even when they are down, the Gophers have found ways to make positive things like those two touchdowns happen. Head coach Jerry Kill has tried to instill a "never say die" attitude in his team, and the team has taken it to heart.
"You can't sit down and dwell on (it), whether you're down 28 or down 35 points," Bennett said. "You've got to come out and play the next play and be ready to go. I think the players take that pride in what Coach Kill is preaching to us as far as fighting back. ....The last thing you want to do is quit on the field and make it evident to your teammates, your coaches, as well as the fans that have seen it. You can notice when somebody's quit."