Rapid Reaction: Northwestern tops Wisconsin 13-7 in thriller in Madison

Alex Putterman, Web Editor


MADISON, Wis. — No. 20 Northwestern beat No. 25 Wisconsin 13-7 Saturday in a wild game in Madison. Here are the positives and negatives from the Wildcats’ victory. 

What went right: NU played great defense, particularly when it came to rushing the passer. The Cats consistently pressured Badgers quarterback Joel Stave, racking up five sacks on the day.

NU also forced Stave into two interceptions, one by senior cornerback Nick VanHoose and the other by sophomore linebacker Anthony Walker.

On offense, sophomore running back Justin Jackson had a productive day, particularly in the first half, ending the game with 139 yards on 35 carries and a first-quarter touchdown.

With the game on the line, the NU defense (with some help from the referees), held just firm enough to come away with the victory.

What went wrong: The Cats’ offense wasn’t great, with redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson accounting for only 60 yards through the air.

Junior kicker Jack Mitchell missed two field goals, which could have eased the team’s victory.

NU almost gave the game away with an inability to convert on offense late in the fourth quarter and ended up one yard from heading home with a loss.

What it means: The Cats are now 9-2, which is vastly better than anyone could have expected entering the season. With each win, NU’s fans can start looking at better bowls. Playing on New Year’s Day is not out of the question.

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