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Prior to Tuesday afternoon’s Gator Bowl win over Mississippi State, Northwestern hadn’t won a bowl game since beating Cal in the 1949 Rose Bowl. Sixty-four years and nine bowl defeats later, the run of futility is no more. Jump inside for a look at what was going on in the world in 1949, the last time Northwestern had won a bowl game.
Behind huge interceptions early and late, No. 21 Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl on Tuesday and snapped the game’s longest postseason losing streak. The Wildcats (10-3) won their first bowl game since 1949, snapping a nine-game funk that was tied for the longest in NCAA history. They also celebrated double-digit victories for the first time since the 1995 Rose Bowl season. Get the AP recap, video and Tom Dienhart’s Snap Reactions in this post.
Michigan won’t be the only Big Ten team wearing an alternate matte helmet for its New Year’s Day bowl. Northwestern, which debuted a matte black helmet earlier this season, will rock another matte look in Tuesday’s Gator Bowl.
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And just like that, it’s time for the Big Ten season to tip. It was a highly successful nonconference season, with the Big Ten owning the national polls. We have even more to look forward in the coming months, however, as many feel this could be one of the better conference races in recent history. Check out my All-Big Ten Nonconference Teams in this post.
Northwestern is looking to end a nine-game bowl losing skid and take another step in its evolution as a program under Pat Fitzgerald. And the Wildcats will be facing a Mississippi State squad that finished the season by losing four its last five games.
The 50th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Tournament start Saturday at Northwestern and wrap up Sunday with the finals airing live on BTN/BTN2Go. The event is open to Division I, II, and III wrestling teams as well as a number of post-graduate competitors. According to the latest collegiate wrestling rankings, the Big Ten currently has 10 teams ranked in the Top 25.
The Big Ten had a relatively bad weekend, dropping marquee games against other high-major conference teams. The main event was a battle between two top-10 teams when Kansas visited Columbus. Given that the game was on the Buckeyes’ floor, Ohio State should have won this game, and probably by more than just a point or two. Instead, Kansas ended up with a relatively comfortable 8-point win. The Jayhawks led most of the way, and started pulling away with about ten minutes left. There was no great mystery as to why OSU lost—they were terrible shooting the ball, both inside and outside the arc. On twos, Ohio State converted just 35 percent, and they were at 26 percent on threes. Kansas, meanwhile, shot 53 and 46 percent, respectively. Otherwise, OSU outplayed the Jayhawks, but shooting trumps all.