No. 23 Northwestern's win streak on line vs. Minnesota

From FOX Sports - November 14, 2017

Following a 31-7 loss to then fourth-ranked Penn State on Oct. 7, Northwestern sat at 2-3 and had yet to notch a conference win. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald said afterward that the team had backed itself into a corner.

Following a five-game win streak, which included an FBS record three consecutive overtime victories, the Wildcats sit 23rd in the College Football Playoff rankings, and are far from that proverbial corner.

While he likely did not expect five overtime periods over the course of three games, Fitzgerald is not surprised by his teams resilience.

Sometimes, youll go through it, and embrace it, and you wont get the results, Fitzgerald said. That happens too.I dont think (giving up) is in our guys DNA. I just dont. At least in my 18 years that Ive been here, I havent seen a guy give up ever. I just dont think thats a Northwestern man.

The Wildcats (7-3, 5-2 Big Ten) seek to extend their win streak when they host Minnesota on Saturday in their final home game of the season.

The Gophers are coming off arguably their best game under first-year coach P.J. Fleck with a 54-21 victory over Nebraska. The 54 points were the most scored by Minnesota against a Big Ten opponent since 2006.

It was the execution, Fleck said.

It looked like we were more experienced than we really are. It looked like weve been doing it for a long time. Thats what was different about last week. That was the first time all year we played a complete game. Thats what its supposed to look like.

Minnesota (5-5, 2-5) is one win away from becoming bowl eligible. Getting that victory wont be easy. After playing a hot Northwestern team this week, the Gophers finish on the road against currently unbeaten Wisconsin.

As for Northwestern, the Wildcats on Saturday will send off eight starting seniors, including running back Justin Jackson, who is the schools leader in career touchdowns (39).

When you get older, you kind of enjoy it a lot more, Jackson said of his time at Northwestern.

I know all of us have really been enjoying this year and it just flew by. Its a tough thing, because obviously you dont want this brotherhood to come to an end, but it has to, so I think for all of us, its just really enjoying the moments.


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