Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) - Pat Fitzgerald never won a bowl game at Northwestern as a player, but now he's helped end the Wildcats' long postseason drought as a coach.
An elongated 64-year stretch to be exact.
Venrick Mark, Trevor Siemian and Tyris Jones all ran for touchdowns in No. 21 Northwestern's 34-20 win over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl.
The Wildcats' lone bowl win prior to Tuesday was a victory over California in the 1949 Rose Bowl.
Kain Colter and Siemian split time at quarterback. Siemian threw for 120 yards on 12-of-21 efficiency with an interception, while Colter tossed two picks and completed 9-of-15 passes for 76 yards. Colter added 75 yards on the ground for Northwestern (10-3), which made its fifth consecutive bowl appearances and had dropped nine straight postseason tilts coming in.
Dan Vitale caught seven passes for 82 yards in the win.
Tyler Russell struggled mightily and completed just 12 passes on 28 attempts for 106 yards with four interceptions for the Bulldogs (8-5), who lost five of their last six contests to close the year after a 7-0 start.