Gophers reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe

The Gopher football team celebrates after the game with Paul Bunyan's Axe.

It took 15 years, but the University of Minnesota is now in possession of Paul Bunyan’s Axe—one of college football’s most iconic traveling trophies and a symbol of the most-played rivalry in the sport.

The Gophers traveled to Camp Randall Stadium (where they hadn’t won since 1994) on Nov. 24 and outplayed the Wisconsin Badgers, parlaying four turnovers and a methodical, time-consuming rushing attack to a 37-15 upset.

With the victory, Minnesota evened its season record at 6-6 (3-6 in the Big Ten) and became bowl eligible in Coach P.J. Fleck’s second season. It was also Fleck’s first conference road victory, and evened the score in the all-time series between the two teams, 60-60-8.

The Gophers surged to a 17-0 first-half lead on Demetrius Douglas’ 69-yard punt return for a touchdown. Leading 17-7 to start the second half, the Gophers expanded the cushion to 37-7 before Wisconsin scored a late touchdown. Freshman running back Mohamed Ibrahim led the way, rushing for 121 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries.

Update: On Dec. 2 Minnesota accepted an invitation to play Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl on Dec. 26 at Ford Field in Detroit. The kickoff is set for 4:15 p.m. and the game will be televised by ESPN.

Wed, 02/12/2020 - 15:25
Gophers reclaim Paul Bunyan’s Axe
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities