A noble effort by the Wildcats turned into a devastating loss whose chief cause was a missed extra point. Coming out of halftime tied 10-10, Northwestern scored early in the third quarter on a 46-yard C.J. Bacher touchdown pass. The PAT was missed, and the way the game progressed, NU never had a chance to get it back on a 2-point play. Missouri scored the next ten points to get the lead and then at the end of the third quarter the 'Cats found the end zone again. But leading 22-20 at this point, it would have been too high-risk for Pat Fitzgerald to try and get the point back. He instead made sure he got ahead by three points. Missouri was able to tie the game and then won it in overtime.
Kudos to Bacher, who outplayed his more heralded counterpart, Chase Daniel. And Northwestern was also able to run the ball effectively, with Tyrell Sutton racking up 114 yards. However, sacks resulted in NU's net rushing yardage only checking at 72.
The bowl records for each conference that ESPN always runs won't do this game justice. NU was not supposed to rise to this level at the start of the season, while Missouri was a national title contender. The Tigers were laying over two touchdowns at most sports books by the time the lines closed. The fact Northwestern could outplay and nearly upset Mizzou is a credit to the Big Ten and gives hope that victories might be around the corner. Andother Big Ten-Big 12 matchup is set for Wedensday when Minnesota plays Kansas. There's a good place to start.