#21 Northwestern sneaks by Kentucky 24-23

Dec 31, 2017, 01:02
#21 Northwestern sneaks by Kentucky 24-23

In addition to each team losing a key player due to an ejection, Northwestern also lost quarterback Clayton Thorson for the remainder of the game due to a knee injury.

Those fractions favored No. 21 Northwestern. Stephen Johnson returned in the second half and dropped a dime to the senior wide receiver Ross. But Stoops opted for the deuce and a one-point lead. After fighting for yardage and being tackled by several Northwestern defenders, Benny Snell, Jr. came up and used an officials hands to help him up and questioned him in the process. TCU faked a punt on their first drive of the game, broke out the old man-lying-down-in-the-end-zone trick kick return (both failed) and had gadget plays galore in search of a spark offensively. "We would run the football, run the football, then I'd throw it on third down".

Johnson, who completed 19 of 36 passes for 257 yards with two interceptions, left the game twice with injuries.

When Snell left the game, United Kingdom was trailing 10-7. As Snell got up, he appeared to push at referee Chris Coyte of the Pac-12, putting his hands on the referee's right arm. Kentucky, for its part, rushed for just 47 yards after Snell was ejected.

Stoops was visibly upset after the ejection, but opted for the high road afterward.

However, Fisher's targeting penalty was upheld after review and he was ejected despite the play not counting. Fisher led with his helmet on the tackle, but made contact with King's chest, not his head or neck.

This will be the final game for Northwestern running back Justin Jackson, one of the best backs to ever play in Evanston.

The Cardinal would not go quietly into the Texas night though and briefly re-took the lead after JJ Arcega-Whiteside caught a go-ahead touchdown - his third of the game - on a jump ball in the corner of the end zone that is becoming rather routine for the lengthy wideout who is as good as they come boxing out a defensive back. Clayton Thorson caught a pass from his running back near the United Kingdom end zone before an awkward tackle and landing had him exit on a cart with a leg injury. Backup Matt Alviti played the game's remainder for Northwestern, completing 4 of 11 passes for 50 yards and running for 54 yards on nine attempts. The QB carried all the way to the Kentucky five yard line, where linebacker Jordan Jones tackled him from behind. But the winning points occurred with 7:49 left as Kyle Queiro picked off Johnson on the right sideline and tippy-toed 26 yards for a 24-14 lead. While their offense is still middle of the road, the Northwestern defense has been solid, especially in the last three regular season games.

NOTES: Attendance for the game was 48,675, just over 20,000 shy of a sellout, on a 38-degree day.

For a long time, it looked like Friday's Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl was going to be remembered for who didn't finish it than for how it actually finished.

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