Rapid Reaction: Northwestern upsets Stanford 16-6

Bobby Pillote, Gameday Editor

The future of Northwestern football may have already arrived.

All eyes were on redshirt freshman Clayton Thorson making his first start, and the quarterback didn’t disappoint against No. 21 Stanford. He often looked the part of rookie, missing more throws than he should have, but avoided making any big mistakes, completed some key throws and ripped off a dazzling 42-yard touchdown run for the only end zone visit of the game.

Youngsters on the defensive side of the ball also impressed. Sophomore Anthony Walker, now the full-time starter at middle linebacker after filling in last season, was all over the field with 10 tackles, four tackles for loss and half a sack. He also had two pass break-ups and a near-interception that could have sealed the game in the fourth quarter.

The game was eventually iced in the closing minute thanks to an interception by sophomore safety Kyle Queiro.

And, of course, there was Justin Jackson.

The sophomore running back picked up where he left off in 2014, rushing for 134 yards on 28 carries. And he was reliable when the Wildcats needed him most, consistently picking up chunks of yards in the fourth quarter to help grind down the clock.

Overall, NU gained 330 yards to Stanford’s 240, out-gaining the Cardinal 225-85 on the ground.

What looked to possibly be a rebuilding year for NU is now anything but, with the Cats earning a statement victory over a ranked opponent. If the underclassmen keep outperforming their age, bigger things may be in store for 2015.

Correction: A previous version of this story misspelled the name of Northwestern safety Kyle Queiro. The Daily regrets the error.

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