Rapid Recap: Northwestern 17, Iowa 10 (OT)


Alec Carroll/The Daily Northwestern

Clayton Thorson runs with the football. The junior quarterback passed for 192 yards against the Hawkeyes.

Max Gelman, Reporter


What Northwestern and Iowa lacked in offense, they made up for in overtime excitement.

The Wildcats (4-3, 2-2 Big Ten) edged the Hawkeyes (4-3, 1-3) 17-10 in their first overtime game since Nov. 15, 2014, at Notre Dame. Iowa came back to tie the score at 10 with 1:30 left in the game, but NU took care of business in the extra period thanks to a clutch third-down catch-and-run from senior running back Justin Jackson, leading to a one-yard rushing score. The Hawkeyes went four-and-out in their overtime possession.

With the win, the Cats clawed back to .500 in conference play. They face Michigan State at home next week.


1. NU’s offense slept in. The Cats did not get off to a good start offensively, going into halftime with just 107 yards and 0 points. Thorson looked skittish despite relatively little pressure, and Jackson couldn’t get much going on the ground. The Cats rolled out of bed in the second half though, putting together a 12-play, 66-yard scoring drive midway through the third quarter. Thorson sparked the series with a 21-yard scramble on third-and-15, putting NU deep into Hawkeyes’ territory.

2. The Cats’ defense locked down in the second half. Iowa racked up plenty of yards in the first half, moving the ball downfield with relative ease between the 20s. The Hawkeyes totaled 238 yards before the break but only managed one touchdown, which came right before halftime. Iowa managed just 67 yards in the second half though, including 32 rushing yards from Akrum Wadley, and 41 passing yards and a fourth-quarter interception from Nate Stanley. NU sealed the game by forcing a turnover on downs in overtime, a cherry on top of a strong performance from the team’s defense.

3. Neither team seemed to trust their kickers. The Cats defense bent but didn’t break in the red zone, forcing Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz into multiple tough fourth-down choices. The Hawkeyes finished the afternoon 1-for-3 on fourth downs, and Iowa kicker Miguel Recinos missed a 38-yard field goal in the first quarter. Additionally, coach Pat Fitzgerald elected to go for it on six fourth downs, converting on three and continuing a pattern of aggressive decision-making from NU’s coach.


– Clayton Thorson: 21-for-36, 192 passing yards
– Justin Jackson: 25 carries for 93 yards
– Iowa: 4.7 yards per play. NU: 4.1 yards per play

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