Rapid Recap: Northwestern 49, Bowling Green 7


Lauren Duquette/Daily Senior Staffer

Justin Jackson cuts through the Bowling Green defense. The senior running back found the end zone three times Saturday, matching a career high.

Ben Pope, Reporter


Northwestern ended its recent struggles against non-conference opponents in style Saturday night with a 49-7 rout of Bowling Green at Ryan Field.

Junior quarterback Clayton Thorson set a career high with 370 passing yards, senior running back Justin Jackson added 121 yards and three touchdowns and sophomore wide receiver Ben Skowronek hauled in two scores as the Wildcats (2-1) totaled 678 yards of total offense, the most in a non-conference game under coach Pat Fitzgerald.

After a fairly even first quarter, NU erupted for three second-quarter touchdowns to open up a decisive 35-7 halftime lead, then coasted to victory in the second half.


1. NU regains form after Duke disaster. That the Cats won comfortably was hardly a surprise — they entered as 21-point favorites — but it does serve as a relieving return to normalcy. After nearly every unit turned in a clunker of a performance in last week’s embarrassing 41-17 loss to Duke, those same players were able to regain confidence with a dominant day against a clearly inferior Falcons (0-3) squad.

2. Dickerson emerges as a reliable pass-catching option. After a mistake-laden performance by the wide receivers last week, Thorson looked to a different option frequently Saturday — senior superback Garrett Dickerson — and found great success. Dickerson set career highs in both catches (nine) and yards (150), exploiting plenty of open space both underneath and within the Falcons’ coverage.

3. Third-down defense remains an area of concern. Bowling Green tied the game late in the first quarter with an 81-yard drive that relied on two crucial third-and-medium conversions. That’s not a good sign for an NU defense that entered the day third-worst in the nation in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert 55.6 percent of attempts in the first two games. The Falcons finished 5-for-16 on the day.


– NU first downs: 30
– Paddy Fisher tackles: seven, leading the team for the second straight week
– Total yards for redshirt freshman Jeremy Larkin: 72

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