Postgame Notes: Northwestern 21, Gophers 13

Go Gophers!
Go Gophers!

Go Gophers!

Oct. 13, 2012

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Northwestern [6-1, 2-1] 21, Minnesota [4-2, 0-2] 13
October 13, 2012   |  TCF Bank Stadium  |   Minneapolis, Minn.  |  Att. 49,651

SERIES NOTES
• Minnesota was playing its 88th all-time game in the series with Northwestern. With the loss, the Gophers’ lead in the series slipped to 50-33-5.
• The Wildcats have won three straight against the Gophers, and five of the past six. Minnesota’s last win versus the Wildcats was a 35-24 victory in Evanston on Sept. 26, 2009.
• Today’s game marked the 18th time that Minnesota played host to Northwestern for Homecoming, with the teams being tied 8-8-2 in those contests.

TEAM NOTES
• The Gophers have dropped three straight Homecoming games, including today’s loss and a 29-28 setback versus Northwestern during 2010.
• Minnesota is now 54-36-3 all-time in Homecoming contests.
• The 14 first-quarter points allowed by Minnesota marked the most surrendered in an opening stanza since Northwestern scored 21 during its 28-13 win in Evanston on Nov. 19, 2011.
• The Gophers fell to 11-14 in games played at TCF Bank Stadium, and are 10-8 since the start of the 2010 season.
• Six of head coach Jerry Kill’s seven wins at Minnesota have come at home.
• Kill’s career record in home games fell to 81-30 (.730).
• Minnesota’s defense held Northwestern to just 77 total yards and zero points in the second half. Northwestern, which entered the game averaging 432.5 yards and 32.8 points per game, was held to a season-low 21 points and 275 yards (second-lowest total this season).
• The Gophers failed to come up with an interception for the second-straight game after intercepting seven passes in the first four games this season.
• Minnesota was held without a sack for the second straight week. The Gophers recorded 11 sacks in the first four games.
• Eight Minnesota players had a reception in the game.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES (OFFENSE)
• Senior quarterback MarQueis Gray played in his first game since injuring his ankle versus Western Michigan on Sept. 15.
• Gray lined up at wide receiver in the first quarter, catching a 16-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Max Shortell. It was Gray’s first reception since catching three passes for 33 yards versus Iowa on Nov. 27, 2010.
• On his first possession at quarterback, Gray rushed for a 25-yard TD, his third scoring run of the season.
• Gray finished with nine rushes for 86 yards, moving past Shorty Almquist (1925-27) and Terry Jackson II (2001-03) into 25th place on the all-time rushing yardage list. For his career, Gray now has 323 attempts for 1,661 net yards.
• Shortell started his third straight game at QB, completing 9-of-19 passes for 103 yards.
• Freshman running back Rodrick Williams Jr. had his first career rushing attempts, carrying three times for 18 yards.
• Freshman wide receiver Andre McDonald had career-best receiving totals, leading the Gophers with four catches. McDonald finished with 33 yards receiving, after entering the game with one catch for seven yards.
• Junior wide receiver A.J. Barker led Minnesota with 49 receiving yards on three catches. Barker leads the Gophers with 22 catches for 406 yards and four TDs this season.
• Freshman tight end Lincoln Plsek caught his first career pass, covering nine yards.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES (DEFENSE)
• Senior linebacker Keanon Cooper led Minnesota with 10 tackles (six solo), including two for losses of 12 yards.
• Junior defensive back Brock Vereen recorded seven tackles (four solo) and a pass breakup.
• Senior linebacker Mike Rallis also had seven tackles (one solo).

INDIVIDUAL NOTES (SPECIAL TEAMS)
• Senior Jordan Wettstein made field goals of 31 yards in the opening quarter and 38 yards in the third quarter, improving to 6-of-11 on field goal attempts this season.
• It was Wettstein’s second game this season with multiple field goals. He was 3-of-4 during the season-opening win at UNLV, but had been just 1-of-5 since that game.
• Freshman punter Peter Mortell took a fake field goal attempt and rushed for seven yards.


Northwestern at Minnesota
TCF Bank Stadium
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012
Northwestern Postgame Notes

TEAM NOTES

• With its sixth victory of 2012, Northwestern became bowl-eligible for the sixth consecutive season under head coach Pat Fitzgerald.

• The win also allowed Northwestern’s senior class to match the school record for most total victories earned by a five-year senior class. The current group has been part of 36 wins since the start of 2008, tying the standard set by last year’s departing class.

• Northwestern saw an individual surpass the 100-yard rushing plateau for the fifth time in seven games this season. Venric Mark recorded a career-high 181 yards. for his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the campaign. He now has 791 net yards rushing this year (113.0 per game).

• NU recovered a fumble on the opening kickoff and also recorded an interception and another fumble, extending its string of consecutive games with at least one takeaway to 20.

• Northwestern held a 21-10 halftime lead, the sixth time in seven games this season that NU has taken an advantage into the locker room. The Wildcats have outscored opponents 119-53 in the first half this season.

• Northwestern has scored in double figures in 67 straight games.

INDIVIDUAL NOTES

• RB Venric Mark set a career high for rushing yards in the first half alone, posting 151 ground yards over the first two quarters and finishing with a career-best 181 yards to give him 791 net rushing yards on the season (113.0 per game).

• Mark totaled 213 all-purpose yards to bring his career total to 3,218, moving ahead of Jim Pooler for 13th on NU’s all-time list.

• Mark’s 48-yard touchdown run in the second quarter represented his season and career-long rush.

• Senior LB David Nwabuisi recorded the second interception of his career in the second quarter. Nwabuisi’s last pick came on Sept. 25, 2010, against Central Michigan.

• Sophomore S Ibraheim Campbell recorded 10 total tackles to lead the Wildcats defense.  

• LB Damien Proby notched 2.0 TFL’s to tie his career high set last year at Nebraska.

• DL Tyler Scott recorded a sack and forced fumble on the game’s final defensive play, giving him a team-best 5.0 sacks on the season. He entered Saturday ranked fourth in the Big Ten.