Minnesota and Northwestern football met on Saturday, November 18, 2017 and the Wildcats blew out the Golden Gophers, 39-0.
Find the score, analysis and live updates below.
Minnesota-Northwestern football score, live updates
Northwestern 39, Minnesota 0 (Final)
Northwestern 39, Minnesota 0 (Q4: 13:11): Another drive for Northwestern, another touchdown. Corey Acker runs for a 24-yard score and the Wildcats lead by nearly 40.
Northwestern 32, Minnesota 0 (Q4: 15:00): The final quarter begins with Northwestern possessing the ball on its own 32-yard-line. It’s been all Wildcats all day long.
Northwestern 32, Minnesota 0 (Q3: 4:25): Thorson does it again, this time connecting with WR Bennett Skowronek for a 13-yard TD.
Northwestern 25, Minnesota 0 (Halftime): Northwestern’s all-time leading rusher Justin Jackson has ran it 24 times for 136 yards in the first half. Minnesota, as a team, has totaled 88 yards and has gotten two first downs in the first 30 minutes of play.
Northwestern 25, Minnesota 0 (Q2: 0:26): After a Minnesota punt that went 27 yards, Northwestern went 51 yards and scored another touchdown. Thorson threw an 18-yard pass to Dickerson — once again — and the Wildcats have now won the second quarter, 25-0, after yet another missed two-point conversion.
Northwestern 19, Minnesota 0 (Q2: 3:09): Five minutes pass between scores this time, as Northwestern RB Jelani Roberts scores from 12 yards out. Wildcats starting to pour it on before the half. The two-point conversion failed.
Northwestern 13, Minnesota 0 (Q2: 8:34): Four minutes later and Northwestern scores again. This time, on an 8-yard pass from Clayton Thorson to Garrett Dickerson. The PAT was blocked.
Northwestern 7, Minnesota 0 (Q2: 12:36): After converting a fourth-and-1 from Minnesota’s 14-yard-line, Northwestern’s Jeremy Larkin scores on the ground from five yards out to open the scoring.
Minnesota 0, Northwestern 0 (Q2: 15:00): The Wildcats have the ball on Minnesota’s 25-yard-line and face a second-and-12 to start the second quarter.
Minnesota 0, Northwestern 0 (Q1: 5:37): Northwestern’s drive started at its own 2-yard-line but ended at Minnesota’s 30-yard-line after going for a fourth-and-9 and failing.
Minnesota 0, Northwestern 0 (Q1: 15:00): Northwestern received the opening kickoff and had to punt after a three-and-out.
Minnesota-Northwestern football preview, picks
The Gophers are one win away from bowl eligibility at 5-5 after exploding for 54 points in a big win over Nebraska last weekend. In order to extend their season, they’ll need to be victorious either this weekend against Northwestern or next week against No. 5 Wisconsin, which has a 13-game win streak over Minnesota.
Minnesota ran all over an anemic Nebraska defense last weekend, with quarterback Demry Croft breaking out with 183 rushing yards on 10 carries and running backs Rodney Smith and Kobe McCrary combining for 227 rushing yards. Altogether, the Gophers rushed for 9.1 yards per carry and six total touchdowns.
Putting up a similar effort against the Northwestern might be a tall order. While Nebraska ranks dead last in the Big Ten in rushing yards allowed per game, the Wildcats rank second and have not yielded more than four yards per game in a single game during conference play.
Where Northwestern is vulnerable on defense is the air, as it ranks last in the conference in pass defense. The onus will be on Croft to take advantage of that, but he hasn’t shown exactly shown potential as a passer since taking over the starting quarterback spot. His 163 passing yards against Michigan State represents a fairly weak career high, and he has completed less than half of his pass attempts this season.
On the other side of the ball, Minnesota will have to defend a balanced and experienced Northwestern attack. Quarterback Clayton Thorson and running back Justin Jackson are both multi-year starters. The Wildcats possess the best red zone offense in the conference, scoring in 39 of 42 chances with 29 touchdowns.