MINNEAPOLIS, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Brendan Smith scored on a 48-yard pass interception with 12 seconds left Saturday, helping Northwestern stun 20th-ranked Minnesota 24-17.
The pick came after the Big Ten Conference's leading receiver, Eric Decker, could not catch Adam Weber's pass near midfield. Smith grabbed the deflection and scored.
The loss ruined homecoming Saturday for the Golden Gophers, whose 7-1 start was their best since the 2002 season.
NU quarterback Mike Kafka completed 12-of-16 passes for 143 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also gained 217 yards on 27 carries after starting in place of C.J. Bacher, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Seven receivers caught passes worth 159 yards for the Wildcats (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten), who committed five turnovers in last week's loss to Indiana, but none this week.
Weber went 31-for-51 for 327 yards, one touchdown and the one interception. He also gained 53 yards on 16 carries for the Golden Gophers (7-2, 3-2).