Football: Lawrence posts career numbers in biggest spotlight

Senior+wide+receiver+Rashad+Lawrence+had+a+spectacular+night+Saturday+against+the+Buckeyes%2C+collecting+a+career-high+149+receiving+yards+over+eight+catches.+Besides+three+catches+against+Syracuse+on+Sept.+7%2C+he+had+recorded+no+other+yards+before+the+bout+with+Ohio+State.

Annabel Edwards/Daily Senior Staffer

Senior wide receiver Rashad Lawrence had a spectacular night Saturday against the Buckeyes, collecting a career-high 149 receiving yards over eight catches. Besides three catches against Syracuse on Sept. 7, he had recorded no other yards before the bout with Ohio State.

John Paschall, Assistant Gameday Editor

Senior wide receiver Rashad Lawrence has been somewhat of a magician in 2013.

For three out of Northwestern’s first four games, he vanished into thin air, failing to post a single catch. But on Saturday against the Buckeyes, the senior reappeared. He exploded for career highs in yards and receptions with eight catches for 149 yards. Senior quarterback Kain Colter said when the offensive coordinators called Lawrence’s number, he rose to the occasion.

“He made some big plays out there,” Colter said. “We knew from their defense that our outside guys would have a good chance to get open. He did what he did, and he had a big game. I was happy for him, and hopefully he can build on that.”

Lawrence was a reliable option in the passing attack last year for NU, recording a reception in every game but one. Coach Pat Fitzgerald said seeing the senior fail to catch the ball was extremely odd to him, especially at the beginning of the season.

“I think I talked about it after the Cal game, but it was kind of an anomaly,” Fitzgerald said.

Lawrence’s big play of the game came in the fourth quarter, when he caught a quick slant from junior quarterback Trevor Siemian and found a wide-open running lane. He sprinted 67 yards — a career-long reception — down to the Buckeyes’ seven-yard line. That drive led to an NU touchdown that put the Cats in front momentarily. Lawrence said after the game that he doesn’t care which quarterback throws him the ball.

“The game’s so fast I really don’t know who’s in the game,” Lawrence said. “I’m just there to catch them.”

His other receptions were also critical in moving the chains for the Cats’ offense. Of his seven other catches, five of them were for first downs.

The Orlando, Fla., native is part of a core group of true four-year seniors who have made a tremendous impact on the program. Fitzgerald wasn’t shy in praising their efforts, even after Saturday’s loss.

“Those guys have played so much football here for us and played so well,” he said. “Those guys played their tails off. I’m so thankful for them.”

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Twitter: @John_Paschall

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