USA TODAY Sports
Northwestern won their first bowl game since 1949 when they topped Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
Northwestern’s streak without a bowl game victory ended thanks to a 34-20 win over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. The victory marks the first bowl win for Northwestern since Jan. 1, 1949, and breaks a streak of nine bowl losses in a row.
The key to the game was the passing struggles of Tyler Russell and the Mississippi State offense. Russell threw four interceptions -- the first was returned for a touchdown by Quentin Williams, but all four led to Northwestern points.
Northwestern had their share of interceptions as well, with Kain Colter throwing two and Trevor Siemian throwing one. But the Wildcats surprisingly outgained the Bulldogs through the air, 196 to 106 yards. The dual-threat Colter threw for 76 yards and ran for another 75.
The Wildcats finish their season 10-3 while Mississippi State finishes 8-5 with five losses in their last six games.
Northwestern didn't reach a bowl game between 1949 and 1995, but had lost nine straight since then prior to their win on Tuesday. The Wildcats reached a bowl game in each of the four previous seasons, but could not earn a win, suffering overtime losses at the end of their 2008 and 2009 seasons.