(Updated: Added: "entering the game" in 3rd graph REWORKED: 2nd and 3rd game note)
Minnesota 20, Northwestern 17:Philip Nelson threw for 112 yards and a touchdown to lead the GoldenGophers to a win over the host Wildcats.
Minnesota (5-2, 1-2 Big Ten)forced three turnovers and David Cobb rushed for 103yards as the Gophers won the ground battle 176 to 94.
Northwestern (4-3, 0-3) got 234passing yards and a touchdown from quarterback Trevor Siemian, makinghis first start of the year in place of the injured Kain Colter. TheWildcats, entering the game ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten and No. 5 in the nation intakeaways, failed to cause a turnover.
The Wildcats took the lead inthe first quarter on Stephen Buckley's 3-yard touchdown run, butNelson found Derrick Engel on a 29-yard scoring hookup with 6:48 toplay in the second quarter to make it 7-7. James Manuelintercepted Siemian and returned it 24 yards for a touchdown to putthe Gophers on top late in the third stanza.
Minnesota got field goals of 34and 38 yards by Chris Hawthorne and led by 10 with 5:24to play in the fourth quarter. Siemian connected with Tony Jones on a 10-yardtouchdown with just over two minutes remaining, but the Wildcatscouldn't get the ball back to try to tie the game.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Manuel's scorewas Minnesota's second interception return for a touchdown thisseason. … Northwestern's streak of 10 consecutive games with an interception came to and end - compiling 23 picks in those 10 contests. … Minnesota snapped a three-game losing streakagainst the Wildcats and is 2-5 against the Wildcats since 2008.