EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) - Tanner Morgan led Minnesota to scores on its first three possessions and finished with four touchdown passes, and the Gophers bounced back from their first loss of the season.
The Gophers (10-1, 7-1 Big Ten, No. 10 CFP), who lost at Iowa last week, strengthened their grip on first place in the West Division.
Morgan, the Big Ten's leading passer, came out firing following a week in concussion protocol after absorbing back-to-back sacks by the Hawkeyes. The redshirt sophomore, listed as questionable until Saturday morning, has thrown 26 touchdown passes this season to set a school record. Morgan threw three TD passes to Rashod Bateman and one to Tyler Johnson against Northwestern (2-9, 0-8).
Morgan zipped a 19-yard TD pass to Bateman in the corner of the end zone to end a 10-play, 56-yard drive on Minnesota's first possession. After Shannon Brooks ran in from 9 yards, Morgan hit Bateman for a 10-yard TD and 21-0 lead. Bateman's other TD catch was a 7-yarder in the third quarter.