Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 1/1/13
Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20 Pat Fitzgerald has done a tremendous job with the Northwestern program, and it paid off with the Wildcats' first 10-win season since 1995. But even more impressive is the fact that this is the first bowl win for Northwestern since the 1940s the last bowl win came at the 1949 Rose Bowl. Bowl futility is no longer defined by Northwestern (or Vanderbilt, for that matter). Northwestern, overall, just outplayed the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball in this 34-20 victory. The Wildats outgained Mississippi State 358-293 and completely shutdown the Bulldogs' passing game. Despite dealing with three combined interceptions from quarterbacks Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter, Northwestern was fully in control as the clock ticked away in the fourth quarter. With about two minutes remaining, Fitzgerald was drenched in a Gatorade bath. Pick-fest: Tyler Russell now leads all football players on Earth in interceptions in 2013. For a quarterback that limited mistakes so well his entire junior season he threw just six picks in his previous 12 games Russell struggled in his Gator Bowl appearance, throwing five interceptions to the Wildcats. Even worse, many came in big situations, as one was returned for a touchdown and the other all but sealed Mississippi State's fate in the fourth quarter. Safe to say, it was a career-worst outing for the junior. Not even Alabama and LSU were this tough on the stat line. Russell finished 12-of-28 for just 106 yards. He added two touchdowns to go along with his four picks. For a brief time, coach Dan Mullen gave freshman Dak Prescott a look under center, although primarily in running situations. He finished with two rushes for 20 yards. When it counts: As Mullen and his staff look back at this game, the turnovers will obviously hurt, but the team's failure to execute on third down will be remembered as well. Mississippi State went 1-of-11 on third down conversions in the game, coming up short time after time. Its inability to extend drives ultimately led to the team's demise. On the flip side, Northwestern converted on 10 of its 19 third downs.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: 'Several teams' preparing 'blockbuster offers' for Jimmy Garoppolo

Jeanie Buss apologizes to Lakers fans for not firing brother sooner

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker