Northwestern Overview: Big Ten's Surprise Program
Recap: Northwestern 27, Minnesota 0
Before the season, Northwestern’s game against Minnesota looked to be all Gophers. They were eyeing the Big Ten West title after a string of strong seasons under Jerry Kill.
Northwestern wasn’t having any of that.
The Wildcats demoralized Minnesota Saturday, winning 27-0. Their offense totaled 312 yards of offense while holding the Gophers to 173 yards.
Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson was the perfect compliment to running back Justin Jackson. Thorson completed 74 percent of his passes while Jackson rushed for 120 yards.
The Wildcats defense — one of the best in the country — forced a quarterback change; three-year starter Mitch Leidner was pulled for freshman Demry Croft.
But neither could pose anything close to a threat against Northwestern.
Leidner went 10-for-21 passing with 71 yards and an interception. Croft completed 5-of-11 passes for 27 yards.
Minnesota could only convert 4-of-16 third down chances, and whiffed on all four fourth-down attempts.