Recap: Minnesota vs. Northwestern
Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - A late 100-yard kick return by Jalen Myrick proved to be the difference in Minnesota's 24-17 win over the Northwestern Wildcats in Big Ten Conference play at TCF Bank Stadium.
David Cobb ran for 97 hard-fought yards on 30 carries to help the Golden Gophers (5-1, 2-0 Big Ten) improve to 4-0 at home coming off last weekend's bye. Cobb entered the week ranked No. 6 in the FBS in rushing with an average of 144.4 ypg. Mitch Leidner was 10-of-15 for 153 yards and an interception, and he also scored a pair of rushing TDs in the win.
Justin Jackson carried 23 times for 106 yards and added a receiving touchdown for the Wildcats (3-3, 2-1), who began the day atop the Big Ten West Division thanks to three straight wins, including last weekend's triumph over 17th- ranked Wisconsin. Trevor Siemian completed 32-of-50 passes for 269 yards with one touchdown and an interception, also adding a rushing score in the loss.
Leidner accounted for the only points of the opening frame with a 1-yard touchdown plunge to cap an 11-play drive that lasted 6:33.
Northwestern answered with a 16-play drive that took 7:01 off the clock and ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass from Siemian to Jackson.
Leidner scored again on a 1-yard keeper on the ensuing possession to put Minnesota back on top, 14-7, midway through the second quarter.
The Wildcats trimmed the margin to 14-10 on a 19-yard field goal by Jack Mitchell just before the half.
After a scoreless third quarter, Minnesota pushed its lead to 17-10 on a 25- yarder by Ryan Santoso with 12:14 remaining in regulation.
Northwestern tied the score midway through the fourth quarter on Siemian's 2- yard TD plunge, which capped a 13-play, 97-yard drive.
But Myrick provided the final dagger just seconds later with his 100-yard kick return, and that proved to be the deciding score as the Gophers' defense held strong the rest of the way.
Minnesota won despite totaling only 14 first downs to NU's 28 while being out- gained, 393-274.Game Notes