Once again it was Wake's turn for a comeback, with a 13-play, 69-yard drive capped by Matt Colburn's one-yard touchdown run with just north of two minutes left proving to be the winning score.
But as it did on the Queiro pick-6 Northwestern's defense rose to the occasion, clinching the team's 10th win of the season.
DEFENSE: A. The NU defense got a big break when star United Kingdom running back Benny Snell, Jr., got booted for making contact with an official in the second quarter.
The Wildcats battled and overcame a lot of adversity in the game, which is why I think the decision to go for two was much easier for Stoops to make.
"We want to go out against any opponent and assert our will", said Jackson, a senior from Carol Stream, Ill. The California native completed four straight passes before scrambling for a 3-yard touchdown run to pull Kentucky within 17-14.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald made it back-to-back bowl wins for the first time in program history as the Wildcats beat Kentucky at the Music City Bowl on Friday.
Start of the 2nd Quarter, Northwestern was into United Kingdom territory when Clayton Thorson pitched to Jeremy Larkin, he then pulled up and threw it back to Thorson who was tackled by Jordan Jones and appeared to suffer a knee injury. After fighting for yardage and being tackled by several Northwestern defenders, Benny Snell, Jr. came up and used an officials hands to help him up and questioned him in the process.
It all came down to a 2-point conversion by Kentucky and it was unsuccessful, giving Northwestern a 10 win season. He was carted off the field and never returned.
Even still, Conrad finished with a team-leading four touchdown catches, was tied for third with 286 receiving yards and fifth in receptions (16).
After the game, the official who ejected Snell explained the decision to a pool reporter saying, "I was on top of the play". "The player got up and grabbed my arms and pushed them away". The outcry against the call was intense and included the likes of Tim Tibow and Andre Ware. The nine-point loss to the Badgers particularly stung since Northwestern finished second to them in the Big Ten West - two games back at 7-2 in conference play. There were several other questionable calls from the Pac 12 crew.
Here's what Stephen Johnson and Tavin Richardson had to say about that final play.
NU's best defensive player, linebacker Paddy Fisher, got ejected for targeting with 22 seconds left in the half. The penalty took United Kingdom out of field goal range. Kentucky relied upon his backup, Drew Barker, during Johnson's absence.