The recap: The Wildcats gained bowl eligibility by racing to three first-quarter touchdowns, then holding on while the Gophers sabotaged their comeback with mistakes.
What was learned: Field position continues to haunt the Gophers, who can stop drives if they're not continually on a short field.
• Jordan Wettstein's 48-yard field goal in the fourth quarter was the longest by a Gophers kicker since Joel Monroe hit a 54-yarder against Iowa on Nov. 10, 2007.
• The Gophers allowed touchdowns on Northwestern's first three possessions, but the scoring drives averaged only 45 yards, thanks to two long kickoff returns and a 9-yard punt.
• After Northwestern's big first quarter, the Wildcats scored only once on their remaining seven possessions. But the Gophers have been outscored 106-38 in the first quarter this season, and 258-87 in the first half.
TV, radio: BTN, 100.3-FM
Records: Gophers 2-9, 1-6 Big Ten; Illinois 6-5, 2-5
The skinny: The Fighting Illini won their first six games for the first time in more than half a century, but it's all come crashing down around coach Ron Zook over the past six weeks. A five-game losing streak, the product of an offense that goes into extended lulls seemingly every week, has ignited a new set of rumors about Zook's future. He desperately needs a victory, but it might not be enough to save him.
|San Diego||24||4th Qtr|
|Washington||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|San Francisco||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Seattle||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Chicago||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Houston||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Buffalo||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|New England||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Philadelphia||12/15/13 12:00 PM|
|Kansas City||12/15/13 3:05 PM|
|NY Jets||12/15/13 3:05 PM|
|Arizona||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|New Orleans||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|Green Bay||12/15/13 3:25 PM|
|Cincinnati||12/15/13 7:30 PM|
|Baltimore||12/16/13 7:40 PM|
|LA Clippers||78||4th Qtr 4:25|
|Colorado||3||2nd OT :00|
|NY Islanders||3||3rd Prd|
|Boston||3||2nd Prd 14:43|
|Minnesota||0||1st Prd 16:03|
|Coll of Charleston||68|
|Fla Atlantic||54||2nd Half 8:25|
|Army||12/14/13 2:00 PM|
|SE Missouri St||72|
|(17) Iowa State||83|
|Denver||55||2nd Half 5:39|