12:07 PM ET, October 13, 2007
Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Brandon Roberson ran 6 yards for a touchdown in the second overtime and Northwestern stopped a 2-point conversion attempt by Minnesota for a 49-48 victory Saturday.
The Wildcats (4-3, 2-2) trailed 35-14 in the second half and tied the game on C.J. Bacher's 8-yard, fourth-down TD pass to Eric Peterman with eight seconds left in regulation, forcing a second straight overtime for Northwestern, which beat Michigan State 48-41 last week.
After Roberson's TD run and a conversion by Amado Villarreal put Northwestern up by seven, Minnesota quarterback Adam Weber made a nice fake and ran in for a 3-yard TD to bring the Gophers (1-6, 0-4) within a point. Coach Tim Brewster then decided to go for two points and the win.
After a Northwestern timeout, Weber rolled right but got pressure from Adam Kadela and John Gill and his hurried throw went into the ground, ending the game and setting off a celebration for Northwestern. Minnesota has lost five straight.
Weber hit Ernie Wheelwright with a 21-yard touchdown pass in the first overtime to put the Gophers ahead. Bacher responded, connecting with Ross Lane on a 10-yard pass on a fourth-and-4 to keep the Wildcats in the game. Two plays later, he passed to Lane for a 5-yard TD.
In a matchup of spread offenses, Weber finished with five TD passes, three to Wheelwright. The Gophers scored on five straight possessions to build the three-touchdown lead they couldn't hold.
Weber, a redshirt freshman, completed 25-of-38 for 341 yards with two interceptions. He also ran for 89 yards.
Bacher, who passed for five TDs and a school-record 520 yards last week against Michigan State, completed 41-of-58 for 470 yards and four TDs.
He hit an 8-yarder to Lane in the third quarter, a score set up by Malcolm Arrington's interception of Weber.
With Northwestern trailing 35-21, Weber was picked off again, this time by Corey Wootton on a tipped pass on the first play of the final quarter. Northwestern moved in again as Bacher carried in for a 6-yard TD on a fourth-and-2. That made it 35-28 with 10:31 to go.
Minnesota had a chance to make it a 10-point game with 1:59 left but Joel Monroe missed a 44-yard field goal attempt and the Wildcats had a final chance, going 73 yards to tie.
The Gophers, who'd been stopped inches from the goal line twice by a Northwestern goal line stand in the first quarter, surprised the Wildcats with three TDs in the second.
Wheelwright made a outstretched catch of Weber's 26-yard pass with two seconds second to go in the half for a TD that put the Gophers ahead 21-14.
When Northwestern tried a pooch kick to start the second half it went out of bounds on the 49 and the Gophers moved in with a three-play drive that started when Amir Pinnix ran 37 yards on the first scrimmage play of the half.
Weber passed to Eric Decker for a 20-yard TD less than a minute into the half and the Gophers were up 28-14.
And Wheelwright wasn't finished. He took another pass from Weber, broke a tackle and sprinted in for a 28-yard score to make it 35-14 with 6:18 left in the third.
Villarreal missed a pair of field goals from 21 and 36 yards.
Northwestern took an early 7-0 lead with a nine-play 67-yard drive that featured a 47-yard screen pass from Bacher to Roberson, who made two nifty moves to get to the Gophers' 2. Robertson then carried in from the 1 on second down.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-16||7-19|
|4th Down Conversions||1-2||3-3|
|TD||06:25||Brandon Roberson 1 Yd Run (Amado Villarreal Kick) |
Drive: 9 plays, 67 yds, 4:08
|TD||06:57||Marcus Sherels 21 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Joel Monroe Kick) |
Drive: 6 plays, 82 yds, 2:29
|TD||02:50||Amir Pinnix 9 Yd Run (Joel Monroe Kick) |
Drive: 5 plays, 86 yds, 1:55
|TD||01:23||Tonjua Jones 28 Yd Pass From C.J. Bacher (Amado Villarreal Kick) |
Drive: 6 plays, 73 yds, 1:27
|TD||00:02||Ernest Wheelwright 26 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Joel Monroe Kick) |
Drive: 8 plays, 65 yds, 1:21
|TD||14:20||Eric Decker 20 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Joel Monroe Kick) |
Drive: 3 plays, 51 yds, :40
|TD||06:18||Ernest Wheelwright 28 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Joel Monroe Kick) |
Drive: 10 plays, 80 yds, 4:15
|TD||01:33||Ross Lane 8 Yd Pass From C.J. Bacher (Amado Villarreal Kick) |
Drive: 1 plays, 8 yds, :04
|TD||10:31||C.J. Bacher 6 Yd Run (Amado Villarreal Kick) |
Drive: 10 plays, 47 yds, 4:25
|TD||00:08||Eric Peterman 4 Yd Pass From C.J. Bacher (Amado Villarreal Kick) |
Drive: 7 plays, 73 yds, 1:51
|TD||Ernest Wheelwright 21 Yd Pass From Adam Weber (Joel Monroe Kick)||42||35|
|TD||Ross Lane 5 Yd Pass From C.J. Bacher (Amado Villarreal Kick)||42||42|
|TD||Brandon Roberson 6 Yd Run (Amado Villarreal Kick)||42||49|
|TD||Adam Weber 3 Yd Run (Two-Point Pass Conversion Failed)||48||49|