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(Saturday, October 13)
Final Score: Northwestern 21, Minnesota 13
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 Wettstein.
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.
10/13 17:08:49 ET