2016 Outback
Bowl Page


Played January 1, 2016

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, FL
Attendance: 53,202

Northwestern's 2015 regular season record: 10-2 overall, 6-2 conference.  Second place, B1G West; tied for fourth place, Big Ten

Coach: Pat Fitzgerald

Captains: Deonte Gibson, Traveon Henry, Christian Jones, Dan Vitale

Opponent: Tennessee

NU/Tenn. series record (prior to bowl): Tennessee led, 1-0

  1 2 3 4 F
NU 0 6 0
TN 7 10 7 21  45


TN: J. Dobbs 14-yard run (A. Medley kick), Q1 00:14 NU 0, TN 7
TN: A. Medley 35-yard FG, Q2 10:47
NU 0, TN 10
NU: Justin Jackson 5-yard run (kick failed), Q2 5:40
NU 6, TN 10
TN: A. Kamara 11-yard run (A. Medley kick), Q2 2:18
NU 6, TN 17
TN: J. Hurd 3-yard run (A. Medley kick), Q3 4:40
NU 6, TN 24
TN: J. Dobbs 18-yard run (A. Medley kick), Q4 11:42
NU 6, TN 31
TN: J. Kelly 1-yard run (A. Medley kick), Q4 4:24
NU 6, TN 38
TN: E. Berry 100-yard intercept (A. Medley kick), Q4 00:08
NU 6, TN 45

NU Falls To Volunteers in Tampa

USA Today Image

Northwestern's spectacular 2015 campaign came to a disappointing end in the Outback Bowl, as the Wildcats fell to #23 Tennessee, 45 to 6 in Raymond James Stadium. With the loss, NU pulled up just short in its quest for a first-ever eleven-win season.

The game marked the first meeting between Northwestern and Tennessee since the 1997 Citrus Bowl, Payton Manning's NFL-here-I-come party.
Tennessee and NU had an eerily similar back half to the 2015 season: shaky midway through the year (actually, in Tennessee's case, substantially worse than shaky), both teams lost to an eventual CFP contender and then ripped off five straight wins.

However, Tennessee's four losses included very close games against the best teams in the nation. The Volunteers were likely the best eight-win team in the country, and they displayed their strength against NU, taking a first quarter lead and never looking back.

For the Wildcats, it was a tough day across the board against a powerful opponent. There were glaring errors by NU's offense, special teams, and-- surprisingly, given the rest of the season-- its highly-regarded defense. Still, there were a few bright spots for NU: Justin Jackson managed the Wildcats' only score, in an effort that placed him fifth on the program's list of single-season rushing yards; Traveon Henry's 16 tackles tied the Outback Bowl record; and Godwin Igwebuike was not far behind with 14 tackles.