The Minnesota Golden Gopher football team has done things that nobody in this generation has seen before and on Saturday that trend continued as they picked up a win over Northwestern. In the 38-22 victory, the tenth-ranked Gophers set several program records and set the stage for a showdown with No. 12 Wisconsin for the Big Ten West title.
One record that fell on Saturday came from the right arm of Tanner Morgan, who was cleared to start right before the game despite suffering a concussion against Iowa last week. The sophomore threw four touchdown passes on the afternoon to bring his season total to 26, which is a new program record for the Gophers.
With Morgan's success has come a record-breaking performance from wide receivers Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman. The Gopher duo became the first pair of pass catchers to eclipse 1,000 yards in a season and hauled in four of Minnesota's five touchdowns against the Wildcats.
With last week's loss to Iowa in the rearview mirror, the Gophers floored it thanks to a pair of touchdowns from Morgan to Bateman and a rushing touchdown by Shannon Brooks. Although Northwestern made a rally thanks to an intentional grounding call in the end zone and a touchdown late in the first half, the Gophers had control of this game from the opening whistle.
Bateman struck again when the teams came out of the locker room, catching his fourth touchdown pass in the third quarter to extend Minnesota's lead. Although Northwestern cut the lead to 28-16 with an Andrew Marty touchdown run, Johnson put the game away with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Morgan to put the game out of reach.
The Gophers' win over Northwestern marked their seventh victory in Big Ten play, which also set another program record. With a 10-1 record and another expected jump in the College Football Playoff rankings this week, it could set up a top-10 showdown in Minneapolis when the Badgers come to town next Saturday.