Venric Mark has a great day against the Gophers
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org October 13, 2012 10:30PM
Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzpatrick talks to his players against Minnesota in the first half during an NCAA college football game in Minneapolis Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012. Northwestern defeated Minnesota 21-13.(AP Photo/Andy King)
Updated: November 15, 2012 6:49AM
MINNEAPOLIS — If everybody else thought this was going to be about the quarterbacks, Venric Mark quietly knew otherwise.
The Northwestern junior had a career rushing game that included two long touchdown runs in the Wildcats’ big 21-13 bounce-back win at Minnesota. Mark rushed for 182 yards, including 26 on a touchdown run 11 seconds into the game. The seventh-ranked all-purpose runner in the nation added 32 more on kick returns.
But he talked more about sophomore running back Treyvon Green, who left the team Thursday following a death in his family.
‘‘Treyvon’s just an amazing guy,’’ Mark said. ‘‘We feed off his energy during practice. We feed off his energy during games. We knew the running game was going to be important. We knew we were going to play for him.’’
Speaking of QBs
The much anticipated return of Minnesota playmaking quarterback MarQueis Gray didn’t last as long as the Gophers planned, much less make the impact they planned.
Gray, who missed Minnesota’s previous two games with a sprained ankle, left the game late in the third quarter after aggravating the injury on a 15-yard run and didn’t return.
He finished with 86 yards rushing and 66 passing (7-for-11 with an interception). ‘‘It was challenging times to say the least,’’ Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said, ‘‘but that’s part of the game.’’
Senior defensive tackle Brian Arnfeldt, the lone Minnesota native on the Wildcats’ roster, estimated he had 75 friends and family in attendance.
◆ Saturday’s victory was the 36th for the fifth-year seniors, matching the school record for most by a recruiting class, set by last year’s seniors.