Northwestern showed why they are Big Ten West champion at the TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday, and Minnesota followed the previous procedure he mapped in the season spent in the cellar of the division or nearby.
Wildcats, who scored 22 points, scored 10 points from the Gopher turnover and relied on his huge defense to win a 24-14 win, which satisfied their disgruntled coach.
After the Northwestern defeated Iowa last week to opt for a two-game division, Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald met with questions about what emphasis and effort Wildcats would bring to Minneapolis. During the week, they went from three-point favorites to two-point strikers to Minnesota and were without three defensive defensive backs.
"It was offensive," Fitzgerald said. "I'll be honest with you, they've really checked us out."
After Minnesota tied the match 7-7, Northwestern's second quarter (7-4, 7-1 Big Ten) hit a series of quick blows to pieces of yards for a two-minute drill that was left for a minute. It started with a 39-yard kickoff return and ended with Clayton Thorson finishing 23 and 19 yards on a disk that was limited by being intact on a 13-yard touch run. They kept Minnesota remotely the rest of the game on their way to their 11th straight victory against the Western Division's enemies.
In addition to losing a 3-0 turnaround, Minnesota's kickoff return was associated with a missing 38-yard field goal from Emmit Carpenter's seniors, an offense not converting to a fourth down and a defective busting that allowed the Northwestern 68-yard pass to play before another touch.
"They give you nothing," said coach Gophers, P. J. Fleck. "They're doing you a perfect game, and today we were not able to play the perfect game."
Meanwhile, Gophers (5-6, 2-6 Big) now needs a sixth victory to get to the winning ball in the final season, which is also a battle for Axel Paul Bunyan, against Wisconsin in Madison next Saturday.
Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan threw two snapshots in his first eight games, both chose linebacker Nate Hall. Northwestern turned the second pick in the touchdown four later.
He stayed with a 22-yard pass over security Gophers Jacob Huff and a 9-yard pass interference fined on a linebacker Kamal Martin, Wildcats running back Isaiah Bowser finished off with a two-yard landing run.
Morgan's first capture does not mean that Minnesota stands for the third downhill stop from the defensive Jamaal Teague and Sam Renner.
In the fourth quarter, Morgan was the victim of a tape bag from Joe Gaziano's defensive end, who was surrendered to hobbled left tackle by Donnell Greene. This led to northwest pinning on the target field for 24-7 lead.
Bowser recorded a two-month run between them when Thorson joined JJ Jefferson's 68-yard pass, with Jordan Howden's Gophers right-wing journalist safety almost bending to the ball but surrendering a lot of yards after a hitch.
Minnesota had four disks that stood within the 40-yard Northwestern line – twice as far down the slopes and once Morgan's capture and Carpenter's inadequate terrain. Against the northwest defense at 36th place, Minnesota reached an average of 3.1 yards for every 35 cars and showed that it needed points on those disks.
Fleck cleared Morgan's first capture of the "bad roll" to Rashod Bateman, who then bounced off Wildcat's defenders before being captured. "It's hard to prove it's for Quarterbacks," Fleck said. The second selection was for Tyler Johnson, who was a "bad read" and a "bad throw", Fleck said.
Morgan has completed 19 of the 32 197-yard passes against this abridged Wildcats, adding a late pass to Johnson. Fleck said he intended to turn to the former starter Zack Annexstad, but every decision was unsuccessful because he liked Morgan reacting to bad things and, more importantly, did not feel that QB games were the main issue for a misdemeanor .
"I have to play better, 100 percent, I have no doubt," said Morgan, who had fired four shots four days ago. "A lot of things we need to do better. We need to improve in all areas of our game, but at Northwestern."