Drive Chart
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Thorson, Jackson lead Northwestern to 39-0 rout Minnesota

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) It was cold, rainy and windy at Ryan Field on Saturday. Just the way Northwestern wanted it.

Clayton Thorson had three touchdown passes, Justin Jackson added 166 yards rushing on 31 carries and Northwestern won its sixth straight with a 39-0 rout of Minnesota.

The Wildcats (8-3, 6-2 Big Ten) also forced five turnovers on defense. Cornerback Montre Hartage had an interception and a fumble recovery to set up two touchdowns.

The bad weather certainly didn't have a negative effect on Northwestern.

''I got out on the field for our early warmup and the guys were just embracing (it),'' coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ''I mean, it was awesome. They were jumping around going nuts.''

Thorson finished 9 of 13 for 86 yards despite the elements. Garrett Dickerson had two touchdown receptions and Northwestern rushed for 277 yards.

''We knew today would be a tough-guy day, a Chicago blue-collar day,'' Fitzgerald said. ''To see the way we dominated today in the elements, I think, is a statement about our seniors, about our leadership and about the character of our squad.''

Minnesota didn't seem to adapt nearly as well.

Quarterback Demry Croft completed just 2 of 11 passes for 43 yards with three interceptions. Rodney Smith had 96 yards rushing for the Gophers (5-6, 2-6).

''I told our team we never really had opportunities to go win the football game because of the turnovers,'' Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck said. ''Five turnovers, six drops. When you have that, you're not going to win many football games.''

Said running back Kobe McCrary: ''We just hurt ourselves turning the ball over. It was muddy. It was hard. We just have to focus on the ball.''

Jackson has 1,010 yards on the season and became just the second Big Ten player - and 9th in FBS history - to rush for 1,000 yards in four straight seasons. Wisconsin's Ron Dayne (1996-99) is the other Big Ten player.

Jackson has 5,139 career yards and moved past Michigan's Mike Hart (5,040) for fifth place on the Big Ten's all-time rushing list.

Northwestern has won 21 of the last 22 games in which Jackson has rushed for 100 yards or more.

''He's a once in a coaching lifetime type of young man,'' Fitzgerald said. ''He's a terrific leader, he's got an amazing work ethic and what you see on Saturday is a byproduct of his preparation. He's done it from the minute he got here.''

THE TAKEAWAY

Minnesota: The Gophers had dropped four of five games before breaking out for a 54-21 win over Nebraska last week. But any hopes that the performance could spark a late-season turnaround were quickly dashed on Saturday.

''It's unfortunate, it hurts,'' Fleck said. ''It's not pretty whatsoever and there are no excuses for it, so I take 100 percent blame. We got to get better.''

Northwestern: With a seventh straight win in the season finale next week, the Wildcats will be in line for a major bowl. The offense's red zone efficiency has played a major role in the winning streak. By going 5 for 5 on Saturday (all touchdowns), the Wildcats have converted 27 of 28 red-zone trips into points during the streak.

STREAKING

The six straight wins are the most for Northwestern since a seven-game streak in 1996, Fitzgerald's senior season.

DRESS REHEARSAL

Northwestern practiced in similar weather on Wednesday, and Fitzgerald believed that set the stage.

''If we could have played Wednesday, we could have put 80 on the board, and that's no disrespect to Minnesota,'' he said. ''It was cold, it was nasty, it was raining. It was like a bunch of 8-year-olds jumping in puddles at a youth football practice.''

FIRED UP

Alex Spanos, an NU strength coach, took embracing the elements to an extreme by wearing just a short-sleeve shirt on the sidelines. Video of him jumping around, firing up the players went viral during the game.

''You got to see it publicly today; you should see him behind closed doors,'' Fitzgerald said. ''That's our secret sauce.''

SENIOR DAY

It was Northwestern's final home game, so the seniors were honored before the game.

''All things come to an end,'' Jackson said. ''Just to go out with that type of win was big.''

UP NEXT

Minnesota: The Gophers host No. 4 Wisconsin in the regular-season finale on Saturday.

Northwestern: The Wildcats conclude the season at Illinois on Saturday.

Copyright 2017 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 13:11
34-M.Redd extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
39
Touchdown 13:11
25-C.Acker runs 24 yards for a touchdown.
1
plays
24
yds
00:07
pos
0
38
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 4:25
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
32
Touchdown 4:25
18-C.Thorson complete to 88-B.Skowronek. 88-B.Skowronek runs 13 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
42
yds
01:15
pos
0
31
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Missed Two Point Conversion 0:26
18-C.Thorson incomplete.
plays
yds
pos
0
25
Touchdown 0:26
18-C.Thorson complete to 9-G.Dickerson. 9-G.Dickerson runs 18 yards for a touchdown.
7
plays
51
yds
02:08
pos
0
25
Missed Two Point Conversion 3:09
18-C.Thorson incomplete. Intended for 88-B.Skowronek.
plays
yds
pos
0
19
Touchdown 3:09
6-J.Roberts runs 12 yards for a touchdown.
2
plays
15
yds
00:37
pos
0
19
Missed Point After Touchdown 8:34
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is no good. blocked by 99-A.Stelter. Team penalty on NW Illegal formation declined.
plays
yds
pos
0
13
Touchdown 8:34
18-C.Thorson complete to 9-G.Dickerson. 9-G.Dickerson runs 8 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
36
yds
03:25
pos
0
13
Point After TD 12:36
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 12:36
28-J.Larkin runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
13
plays
85
yds
02:39
pos
0
6
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Team Stats
1st Downs 7 22
Rushing 6 14
Passing 1 7
Penalty 0 1
3rd Down Conv 1-11 6-14
4th Down Conv 0-0 1-2
Total Net Yards 148 351
Total Plays 49 68
Avg Gain 3.0 5.2
Net Yards Rushing 139 277
Rush Attempts 38 55
Avg Rush Yards 3.7 5.0
Net Yards Passing 9 74
Comp. - Att. 2-11 9-13
Yards Per Pass 0.8 5.7
Sacked - Yards Lost 6-34 2-12
Penalties - Yards 2-18 3-30
Touchdowns 0 6
Rushing TDs 0 3
Passing TDs 0 3
Other 0 0
Turnovers 5 0
Fumbles - Lost 3-2 0-0
Int. Thrown 3 0
Punts - Avg 8-36.6 6-48.5
Return Yards 56 54
Punts - Returns 0-0 1-0
Kickoffs - Returns 4-56 0-0
Int. - Returns 0-0 3-54
Kicking 0/0 3/4
Extra Points 0/0 3/4
Field Goals 0/0 0/0
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Minnesota 5-6 00000
23 Northwestern 8-3 0257739
9 PASS YDS 74
139 RUSH YDS 277
148 TOTAL YDS 351
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
D. Croft 11 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
18.2% 43 0 3 -3.5
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
42.1% 634 4 7 88.1
D. Croft 2/11 43 0 3
M. Williams 8 WR
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
M. Williams 0/0 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
R. Smith 1 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
18 96 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
213 895 3
R. Smith 18 96 0 30
K. McCrary 22 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
10 69 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
82 476 8
K. McCrary 10 69 0 24
C. Rhoda 15 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -7 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
19 4 0
C. Rhoda 1 -7 0 -7
M. Williams 8 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -9 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -9 0
M. Williams 1 -9 0 -9
D. Croft 11 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 -17 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
68 320 4
D. Croft 9 -17 0 9
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
R. Still 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 36 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 68 0
R. Still 1 36 0 36
R. Smith 1 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
15 93 0
R. Smith 1 7 0 7
P. Howard 25 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
11 132 0
P. Howard 0 0 0 0
D. Hmielewski 24 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
D. Hmielewski 0 0 0 0
M. Williams 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 43 0
M. Williams 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
W. DeLattiboudere 46 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
W. DeLattiboudere 1-0 0.0 0
C. Coughlin 45 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
C. Coughlin 1-0 1.0 0
K. Martin 21 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 1 1.0
K. Martin 1-0 1.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
R. Santoso 18 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
8 36.6 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
58 43.3 2
R. Santoso 8 36.6 2 51
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
R. Smith 1 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
4 14.0 22 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
13 24.7 100 0
R. Smith 4 14.0 22 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
69.2% 86 3 0 201.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
60.5% 2669 14 11 121.8
C. Thorson 9/13 86 3 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Jackson 21 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
31 166 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
237 1010 8
J. Jackson 31 166 0 41
J. Larkin 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
9 36 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
66 320 4
J. Larkin 9 36 1 15
C. Acker 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 24 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 24 1
C. Acker 1 24 1 24
J. Moten IV 20 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 13 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 36 0
J. Moten IV 2 13 0 12
J. Roberts 6 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 12 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 66 1
J. Roberts 1 12 1 12
A. Anderson 8 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 11 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 11 0
A. Anderson 3 11 0 5
M. Hartage 24 CB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 6 0
M. Hartage 1 6 0 6
C. Hanaoka 26 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
C. Hanaoka 1 5 0 5
Je. Brown 36 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 3 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 37 1
Je. Brown 2 3 0 2
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
80 30 8
C. Thorson 4 1 0 15
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
G. Dickerson 9 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 26 2
SEASON REC YDS TD
34 369 3
G. Dickerson 2 26 2 18
B. Skowronek 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 23 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
41 567 5
B. Skowronek 2 23 1 13
F. Nagel 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 11 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
42 451 2
F. Nagel 1 11 0 11
J. Larkin 28 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 10 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
10 104 0
J. Larkin 1 10 0 10
M. Wilson 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
32 446 1
M. Wilson 1 8 0 8
J. Jackson 21 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
40 253 0
J. Jackson 2 8 0 5
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Hall 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 1 2.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 2 2.5
N. Hall 2-1 2.5 1
J. Gaziano 97 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
J. Gaziano 1-0 1.0 0
A. Miller 95 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
A. Miller 1-0 1.0 0
B. Oxley 75 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
B. Oxley 1-0 0.0 0
S. Miller 91 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
S. Miller 1-0 1.0 0
P. Fisher 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
P. Fisher 1-0 0.0 0
K. Queiro 21 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 4 0.0
K. Queiro 0-0 0.0 1
T. Lancaster 1 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.5
T. Lancaster 0-1 0.5 0
M. Hartage 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-0 2 0.0
M. Hartage 0-0 0.0 1
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
M. Redd 34 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 1/1
SEASON FG XP
0/0 2/2
M. Redd 0/0 0 1/1 1
C. Kuhbander 14 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/0 2/3
SEASON FG XP
12/14 34/35
C. Kuhbander 0/0 0 2/3 2
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
H. Niswander 96 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
6 48.5 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
57 42.3 2
H. Niswander 6 48.5 2 73
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 0.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
6 11.3 0 0
R. Lees 1 0.0 0 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:28 MINN 29 2:41 5 34 Punt
5:37 MINN 25 2:26 5 24 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:36 MINN 25 0:29 2 11 Fumble
8:34 MINN 25 1:52 3 5 Punt
5:04 MINN 4 1:12 3 81 INT
3:00 MINN 22 0:18 3 2 Punt
0:26 MINN 25 0:00 1 8 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:53 MINN 37 1:25 3 -3 Punt
10:56 MINN 43 2:35 6 14 Punt
5:54 MINN 33 0:00 1 67 INT
4:20 MINN 38 4:06 8 -20 INT
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:24 MINN 20 0:00 1 4 Fumble
13:07 MINN 13 4:07 7 40 Punt
3:26 MINN 5 1:56 3 5 Punt
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 NWEST 25 1:20 3 -1 Punt
10:38 NWEST 2 4:53 11 73 Downs
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
3:04 NWEST 20 2:39 13 80 TD
11:59 MINN 36 3:25 8 36 TD
6:32 MINN 49 1:17 3 -3 Punt
3:46 MINN 15 0:37 2 15 TD
2:34 NWEST 49 2:08 7 51 TD
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:16 NWEST 17 2:14 3 8 Punt
8:13 NWEST 20 2:08 3 9 Punt
5:40 MINN 27 1:15 4 40 TD
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:05 NWEST 18 0:00 3 9 Punt
13:18 MINN 24 0:07 1 24 TD
8:51 NWEST 15 5:17 7 27 Punt
1:20 MINN 45 0:38 2 11 Game