Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Venric Mark rushed for 182 yards and two
touchdowns to lead the Northwestern Wildcats to a 21-13 victory over the
Minnesota Golden Gophers in a Big Ten battle at TFC Bank Stadium.
Kain Colter completed all 10 of his passing attempts for 63 yards for
Northwestern (6-1, 2-1 Big Ten), which became bowl eligible with the win.
Colter added 27 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well.
For Minnesota (4-2, 0-2), MarQueis Gray completed 7-of-11 attempts for 66 yards
with an interception and rushed for 86 yards and a score. After missing the
past two games with an injury, Gray was sidelined in the second half. He was
relieved by Max Shortell, who threw for 103 yards on 9-of-19 passing. Donnell
Kirkwood rushed the ball 18 times for 73 yards.
On the opening kickoff, Lamonte Edwards fumbled and Northwestern recovered on
Minnesota's 26-yard line. The Wildcats took advantage of the miscue as Mark
scored on a touchdown run on the next play.
The Golden Gophers recovered and put together a 12-play, 76-yard drive which
was finished off by a 31-yard field goal by Jordan Wettstein.
Northwestern added another touchdown with just over five minutes left in the
opening period when Colter rushed two yards for a score. Colter's rushing
touchdown put his team up, 14-3, after one quarter of play.
Gray showed off his elusiveness in the second frame as he took off for a 25-
yard run across the goal line for Minnesota's first touchdown of the contest.
Mark put Northwestern up 21-10 with 12:50 left in the second quarter by
breaking away for a 48-yard touchdown run. Neither team managed to score again
before the intermission.
The only points of the third quarter came courtesy of a 38-yard field goal by
With Gray sidelined with an injury, Shortell took command of Minnesota's
offense in the final frame. The backup was unable to get anything going against
NU's stingy defense. Tyler Scott sealed the win for the Wildcats by sacking
Shortell, forcing a fumble, and recovering the ball to end the Gophers' final
attempt to tie it up.
The Wildcats won despite being shutout in the second half and gaining just 275
yards of total offense in the entire game. Minnesota turned the ball over three
times while Northwestern had zero giveaways.
The Sports Network