Gator Bowl Final Score: Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

The drought is over!

It was a Northwestern bowl game, against a team with a solid passing attack. So naturally Northwestern got a dominant pass defense performance on the way to an easy win, holding Tyler Russell to 12-28 for 106 and 4 interceptions and icing the game with a pair of sacks. The run defense was surprisingly poor, allowing 187 yards on the ground, but the turnovers and sacks were too much for the Bulldogs to overcome.

The offense did just enough to get the job done, with Dan Vitale posting a solid 7 catches for 82 yards while the running game ground out 162 yards and 3 touchdowns. Northwestern also struggled with interceptions, with Colter throwing 2 and Siemian 1, but the defense stepped up to prevent MSU from taking advantage.

The win is obviously a huge deal. It was win number 50 for Pat Fitzgerald, putting him alone as the winningest coach in Northwestern history. He also ties with Robert Voights with, uh, 1 bowl win. This was the first 10 win season since 1995, and only the third in Northwestern history. A great finish to a good season.

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