Minnesota Gophers’ seniors end home play with win over Northwestern

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn (50) eyes Northwestern Wildcats running back Justin Jackson (21) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)

The game was Senior Day, the final home game of 2016.  One strange statistic that came out of the game was that Minnesota improved to 6-1 in 2016 when losing the coin toss.

Mitch Leidner had a great final game at TCF Bank Stadium, completing 14 passes for 197 yards, scoring a touchdown through the air and on the ground.  With the rushing touchdown, Leidner’s 32 rushing touchdown of his career, he tied Laurence Maroney for fourth in school history for rushing touchdowns and holds the rushing touchdown record for quarterbacks.

Leidner and receiver Rashad Still connected for a 62 yard reception in the second quarter, a career best for both players.  Tight End Drew Wolitarsky caught four passes, including a touchdown, on the afternoon and has caught a pass in 24 games.

The final score settled at 29-12 as the University of Minnesota Golden Gopher seniors, including fifth year senior, Lakeville native Mitch Leidner, completed their final game at TCF Bank Stadium.  The Gophers will wrap up their regular season at the Wisconsin Badgers on November 26.

Photos by Stu Bailey, Rick Corwine and Matt Blewett

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers cheerleaders in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers cheerleaders in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) breaks loose in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) breaks loose in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Goldy Gopher announces a Minnesota Golden Gophers first down in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Goldy Gopher announces a Minnesota Golden Gophers first down in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn (50) eyes Northwestern Wildcats running back Justin Jackson (21) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn (50) eyes Northwestern Wildcats running back Justin Jackson (21) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Northwestern Wildcats offensive lineman J.B. Butler (59) after a tackle for loss in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Northwestern Wildcats offensive lineman J.B. Butler (59) after a tackle for loss in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: The student section in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: The student section in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) celebrates a defensive stop in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) celebrates a defensive stop in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back KiAnte Hardin (3) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back KiAnte Hardin (3) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Northwestern Wildcats place kicker Jack Mitchell (8) kicks a field goal (missed wide right) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Northwestern Wildcats place kicker Jack Mitchell (8) kicks a field goal (missed wide right) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Flynn Nagel (2) is brought down by Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman (36) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Flynn Nagel (2) is brought down by Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Blake Cashman (36) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers cheerleaders in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – NOVEMBER 19: Minnesota Golden Gophers cheerleaders in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Matt Blewett/Icon Sportswire)
A good day for Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
A good day for Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Shannon Brooks (23) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Cheer in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Cheer in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) in his last home game in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) in his last home game in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) fights for yards in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) fights for yards in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) got pressured all day in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) got pressured all day in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) breaks up a pass in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive back Antoine Winfield Jr. (11) breaks up a pass in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Goldy in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Goldy in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky (82) in the end zone in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky (82) in the end zone in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Ben Skowronek (88) complete a pass in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Ben Skowronek (88) complete a pass in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Rashad Still (88) picks up the insides kick in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Rashad Still (88) picks up the insides kick in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) poses with a fan in his last home game in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) poses with a fan in his last home game in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Victory in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Victory in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Rick Corwine/The Minnesota Sports Report)
Pass intended for Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Eric Carter (9) is intercepted by Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Marcus McShepard (17) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Pass intended for Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Eric Carter (9) is intercepted by Northwestern Wildcats wide receiver Marcus McShepard (17) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) hands the ball off to Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner (7) hands the ball off to Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) runs for a gain in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers running back Rodney Smith (1) runs for a gain in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn (50) sacks Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers linebacker Jack Lynn (50) sacks Northwestern Wildcats quarterback Clayton Thorson (18) in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky (82) carries the ball for huge yardage in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)
Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky (82) carries the ball for huge yardage in the game between the Northwestern Wildcats and Minnesota Gophers on November 19, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn. (Photo by Stu Bailey/The MN Sports Report)