Five takeaways from the Gophers' 28-14 loss to Wisconsin:
1. Four-game skid ties the longest under Fleck
With their loss to Wisconsin on Saturday, the Gophers dropped their fourth consecutive game, which matched the longest they've had in coach P.J. Fleck's seven seasons in Minnesota. In 2018, the Gophers lost to Maryland, Iowa, Ohio State and Nebraska by a combined score of 173-86. This year, they were outscored 141-73 by Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State and Wisconsin. The Gophers will play in a bowl game and will try to avoid matching the five-game skid that coach Tim Brewster's team endured to end the 2008 season.
2. Second-half struggles continue
Whatever the reasons — youth, injuries, lack of development, coaching decisions — the Gophers were unable to finish games on a strong note. Wisconsin outscored Minnesota 14-0 in the second half, and during their four-game skid the Gophers were outscored 72-22 after intermission. In their seven losses, the Gophers were outscored 137-28 in the second half. In their five wins, the Gophers outscored opponents 72-22 in the second half.
3. Braelon Allen was a load to bring down
Wisconsin running back Braelon Allen rushed 26 times for 165 yards and two touchdowns, but that doesn't tell the whole story of his dominance. According to Pro Football Focus, the 6-2, 245-pound Allen gained 133 yards after contact. "You've got to swarm, wrap up and move your feet," said linebacker Cody Lindenberg, who led the Gophers with 11 tackles. "I don't think we did a good enough job of that tonight."
4. Kaliakmanis' inconsistencies continue
After the game, Fleck was asked about quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis and his development this season. "Inconsistent," Fleck said. "I love him as a person. I thought he did a lot of great things this year. I thought a lot of things that, as a Big Ten quarterback, he knows he's got to get better at." That was on display against Wisconsin. On the Gophers' first possession, Kaliakmanis completed four of five passes for 61 yards as the Gophers took a 7-0 lead. After that, he was 12 for 23 for 108 yards and a touchdown with an interception.
5. Bowl destination awaits
For the second time since 2015, the Gophers will get into a bowl game with a 5-7 record based on their Academic Progress Rate score. They'll find out next Sunday after the College Football Playoff announcement which bowl they'll be in. They went to the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit in 2015, and that's a possible destination this year, though there are others.