Originally written on The B1g Time  |  Last updated 11/12/14
  For the first time since the 1949 Rose Bowl, the Northwestern Wildcats emerged victorious in a bowl game, downing Mississippi State 34-20 in the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla. The Wildcats nearly squandered an early 13-0 lead, but out-scored the Bulldogs 21-7 in the final 30 minutes of the game to come out as winners. 3 Thumbs up: -Northwestern was very efficient on third down conversions early in the first half. They finished the game 10-19 on third down, a respectable mark. -The Wildcats did a nice job getting ahead early. There were some concerns, as their always are, that rust would be an issue at the onset of the game, but that did not appear to be the case as NU scooped up an early 13-0 lead. ...more after jump... -Four forced turnovers helped propel the Wildcats in this one, there is no way around it. The defense embarrassed Bulldogs’ quarterback Tyler Russell on several occasions and it kept the momentum in NU’s favor. 3 Thumbs down: -Settling for field goals on promising drives can come back to haunt even the best of teams. When Mississippi State made its move in the second and third quarters, it looked like the Wildcats were going to fall victim to missed opportunities. Some timely scoring helped bail them out. -As good as Northwestern was at forcing turnovers, was about as bad as they were at taking care of the ball themselves. Three turnovers are far too many in a game like this. Yet, NU was able to overcome them. -Regardless of whose fault it is, Venric Mark was never established as a legitimate threat. Give some credit to the Mississippi State defense, but it seems as though the Wildcats never fully used a weapon of such a high caliber.   Final thoughts: How can you not be happy for Northwestern? This is a program that has been progressively getting better in recent years and the seniors who worked so hard to establish a solid foundation in the program were rewarded with a bowl victory over a quality opponent. The health of the Northwestern program is good for the conference as a whole. 
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jets, Bills expected to pursue Darrelle Revis

Falcons being investigated for fake crowd noise

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

Patriots' footballs were 'just a few ticks' under limit?

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

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
THE B1G TIME

Report: Jets, Bills to pursue Revis

Did the Falcons pipe in crowd noise?

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.