Halftime reaction: Minnesota 14, Northwestern 10


Nathan Richards/Daily Senior Staffer

Freshman running back Justin Jackson glides into the end zone after an 11-yard catch-and-run for Northwestern’s only touchdown of the first half. Jackson gained 67 yards on the ground during the first half, and senior quarterback Trevor Siemian completed 10 of his 14 pass attempts.

Alex Putterman, Sports Editor

The Northwestern defense that dominated Penn State and Wisconsin the past two weeks wasn’t quite the same Saturday against Minnesota.

The Wildcats struggled to contain Minnesota’s lightly regarded offense, allowing the Golden Gophers 147 total yards in only 25 plays before halftime.

That Minnesota running back David Cobb had a solid half (13 carries, 53 yards) was no surprise, as he’s one of the Big Ten’s best backs. But allowing quarterback Mitch Leidner 67 yards through the air — when he entered the game with only 529 on the season — and 39 on the ground, wasn’t impressive.

Luckily, the Cats’ offense kept Leidner, Cobb and company off the field for much of the second quarter. Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian completed 14 of his 18 pass attempts for 103 yards during the half, and NU outgained Minnesota on offense 193-147.

NU’s touchdown came on an 11-yard pass from Siemian to freshman running back Justin Jackson. Jackson also had a productive half rushing, gaining 67 yards on 13 carries.

The Cats squandered an opportunity to tie the game before halftime, settling for a 19-yard-field goal with four seconds to play after Siemian and Jackson led an impressive drive led to the Minnesota 2-yard line.

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