No. 17 Northwestern 34, Mississippi State 20: The Wildcats took advantage of four interceptions by Tyler Russell to earn their first bowl victory since the 1949 Rose Bowl by winning the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.
Northwestern (10-3) didn't manage much on offense either, and it had to overcome three interceptions of its own - two from Kain Colter and one from Trevor Siemian - to claim its first 10-win season since reaching the Rose Bowl in 1995.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 13-0 lead on Quentin Williams' 29-yard interception return for a touchdown and a pair of field goals from Jeff Budzien, but the Bulldogs came back to tie it at 13 with two field goals from Devon Bell and Russell's 18-yard scoring toss to Arceto Clark.
Tyris Jones and Siemian scored rushing touchdowns to put the Wildcats up 27-13 at the end of three. Russell's 14-yard scoring strike to Malcolm Johnson pulled Mississippi State back within a touchdown, but his fourth interception set up Venric Mark's 2-yard touchdown run to seal it.
The loss snapped a streak of five straight bowl victories for the Bulldogs (8-5), dating to the 1999 Peach Bowl. They had won bowl games each of the past two seasons.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The win was Pat Fitzgerald's 50th as Northwestern's coach, breaking a tie with Lynn Waldorf (1936-45) for the most in school history. … Mississippi State's defense finished the season with 19 interceptions, tied for the second-most in school history (22 in 1994). … The Wildcats had lost nine consecutive bowl games.