[3:35 PM] Northwestern @ Minnesota

Who will WIN this matchup?

Northwestern Wildcats (5-5)

@ Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-3)


Minnesota looks to bounce back from a disheartening Week 11 loss when it hosts Northwestern on Saturday. The Gophers, who had won four straight games heading into their showdown with Nebraska, saw any realistic shot of winning the Big Ten West title dashed when they dropped a 24-17 decision to the Cornhuskers – but they can still finish with their most wins in a single season since 2003.

Northwestern ended a two-game slide with a convincing 45-17 win against Purdue to move back to .500. The Wildcats have won three of their last four road games, including victories against Michigan State and Iowa, and hope to become bowl eligible by beating Minnesota for the second consecutive year.

Clayton Thorson threw for a career-high 352 yards and accounted for four touchdowns as the Wildcats racked up over 600 yards of offense in the win against Purdue. Austin Carr, who was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award on Monday, caught five passes for 92 yards and two touchdowns to equal the program record for most TD receptions in a single season with 12.

Rodney Smith scored for the fifth straight game and needs three more touchdowns to catch Marion Barber III (17) in second place for most rushing TDs in a single season. Minnesota will honor 13 players for Senior Day, including starting quarterback Mitch Leidner, wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky and team captain Damarius Travis.

Northwestern has won three of the last four meetings in Minneapolis.


StreakSmarts Pick: Northwestern Wildcats

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick