If today's game at TCF Bank Stadium keeps up at this pace, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are going to be in big trouble.
The Northwestern Wildcats started at their own 25-yard line after a touchback, and immediately went to work on the ground. After picking up their initial first down on the ground, the Wildcats again turned to Venric Mark, who went over the left side of the Northwestern offensive line and rumbled for 47 yards down to the Minnesota 13-yard line. The Wildcats got to a 3rd-and-2 at the Minnesota 5-yard line, and it appeared that the Gophers had the Wildcats stopped, but pass interference on Troy Stoudermire gave the Wildcats a fresh set of downs.
On the subsequent second down, Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter. . .who has been alternating a bit with Trevor Siemian behind center. . .took the ball across the goal line from two yards out, and the extra point gave Northwestern a 14-3 lead.
Mark has been big for the Wildcats so far, as he has carried the ball five times for 77 yards in the early going. Minnesota is going to have to try to do something to contain him if they want to have any shot at coming back in this one. The fact that Northwestern has averaged about 11 yards a play in the early going certainly isn't doing the Gophers any favors, either.
With a little more than five minutes remaining in the first quarter at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Golden Gophers trail the Northwestern Wildcats by a score of 14-3.