Nov. 27, 2010
Box Score |
| Final Book (PDF Format)
Site: Madison, Wis. (Camp Randall Stadium)
Score: No. 5 Wisconsin 70, Northwestern 23
Records: NU (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten), Wisconsin (11-1, 7-1 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Bowl Game, TBD
MADISON, Wis. -- Northwestern moved the ball well Saturday in its regular-season finale at No. 5 Wisconsin, but seven turnovers contributed to a 70-23 loss for the Wildcats at Camp Randall Stadium. True freshman Venric Mark racked up a school-record 273 kickoff return yards, including a 94-yard return for a touchdown.
Northwestern concludes the regular season with a 7-5 overall record and now awaits the announcement of its third-straight bowl destination. NU will hold a news conference late Sunday, Dec. 5, once the berth is known.
Wisconsin marched down the field on its opening drive to take an early 7-0 lead, but Northwestern's defense held the Badgers on a short field after the Wildcats turned the ball over on their second offensive play. A second NU turnover in the first quarter did lead to points, however, giving UW a 14-0 lead with 8:02 remaining in the period.
The NU defense again forced a three-and-out after a third-straight drive ended in a turnover. On its fourth drive, Northwestern moved into field goal territory where Stefan Demos drilled a season-long 47-yarder to make the score 14-3 after one quarter of play.
Two more Wildcat turnovers in the second quarter contributed to 35 UW points in the period. Northwestern punched back with a nice sustained drive capped by a six-yard Evan Watkins' touchdown run to make it 28-10 with just under six minutes to play.
Northwestern again made some noise when Venric Mark returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown with 1:20 to go, NU's first kick-return TD since 2007. But Wisconsin found the end zone one more time before the half to take a 49-17 lead into the locker room.
The Badgers recorded touchdown drives on each of their first two drives of the second half while holding Northwestern without a first down in that time span. On the Wildcats' third possession, Watkins led an efficient six-play, 67-yard drive capped by a 20-yard scoring strike to Drake Dunsmore with 4:11 left on the clock. The extra point was blocked, however, and the Badgers tacked on one more touchdown with a pick-six as time wound down in the third quarter to account for the final score of 70-23.
Mark established a school record with his 273 kick return yards, eclipsing Jason Wright's total of 191 set against TCU in 2002 and finishing second in Big Ten single-game history behind Troy Stoudermire's 283 for Minnesota against Iowa in 2008. Mark's 94-yard scoring scamper is the eighth-longest in Northwestern history.
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