In a game that saw both teams lose key offensive weapons in the first half under far different circumstances, No. 21 Northwestern managed to hold off Kentucky by the final score of 24-23 to win the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Seconds later, a flag was thrown and Snell was ejected from the game for contact with an official.
Northwestern quarterback Clayton Thorson has the size and arm strength of an National Football League quarterback and has understandably had scouts on him all year long.
A 3-yard touchdown run by Stephen Johnson with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter pulled Kentucky to within three. He only has three 50+ yard rushing games, but the threat of Johnson scrambling is enough to at least force Northwestern defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz to prepare for it. 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. Safety Kyle Quiero provided the winning margin taking Northwestern's second interception 26 yards for a TD with 7:49 left.
Thorson caught a 24-yard pass from backup running back Jeremy Larkin and was tackled by linebacker Jordan Jones near the left sideline. United Kingdom hasn't won a bowl game since 2008.More news: OR bakers lose their appeal
Late in the busy - and pivotal - second quarter, Kentucky's Johnson went to the locker room with what appeared to be an injury to his right throwing arm. Thorson completed 4 of 8 passes for 35 yards before departing. Snell had six rushes for 15 yards and a score.
A few seconds before the half, Northwestern's leading tackler, Paddy Fisher, was ejected for targeting.
Thorson was replaced by Matt Alviti, and Justin Jackson scored on a 5-yard run on the next play for a 10-3 lead.
Northwestern is looking to finish the season with another 10-win season which has been somewhat rare under Fitzgerald. Courtney Love added 10 tackles in the loss.