Northwestern sneaks past Iowa in OT

Northwestern sneaks past Iowa in OT”

Northwestern senior RB Justin Jackson rushed for 93 yards on 25 carries in Saturday's 17-10 overtime win over Iowa. One's a touchdown. One's a drop and the game is over. The Hawkeyes would go on to lose in overtime after Fant let the ball hit his hands and bounce to the turf.

"That split second, it was the difference", Fant said. "I don't know If it's nerves or what, but it seems to take us some time to get going".

The drop, the last of a almost a half dozen by the Hawkeyes during the game, came after the Wildcats had taken the lead on a 1-yard carry by Clayton Thorson in Northwestern's overtime possession. Thorson scored two plays later in what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown. "We didn't make enough of them".

Iowa star linebacker Josey Jewell did not play because of a shoulder injury suffered two weeks ago before the team's bye week.

Coach Kirk Ferentz was quick to point out Iowa had plenty of opportunities to avoid another close loss. "That certainly was the case today. We need to finish things off".

Iowa failed to collect any points from two first-quarter drives inside the 30-yard line and led only 7-0 at halftime despite holding a 238-107 yardage advantage at the time.

Combined, it created plenty of frustration.

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Meanwhile, Iowa running back Akrum Wadley was thoroughly bottled up by a resurgent NU defensive line in the second half and finished with 90 yards. "We haven't been a fast-starting team, but we can keep working to change that".

But, the Hawkeyes didn't show that. The offense dominated the time of possession by marching the ball 22 yards, for almost 10 minutes in the first two drives, but came away with zero points. Both the Wildcats and Hawkeyes wound up playing a knock-down, drag-out, slobberknocker of a game reminiscent of that three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust era.

Iowa did move the ball on its opening possession against the Wildcats, using consecutive passes of six and 26 yards to Nick Easley and a 9-yard completion to T.J. Hockenson on the first five plays to set an aggressive tone against Northwestern.

Close Modal Window Hang on for a minute.we're trying to find some more stories you might like. "Northwestern's defense was tough, but we need to be better than that".

The end result was a victory in the first overtime game at Ryan Field since 2007 and an above-.500 record for the Cats (4-3, 2-2) for the first time since the season's opening week. "We came out and made some mistakes we didn't make in the first half". "It just wasn't there".

"He's a good player, and for the most part, we did a decent job of dealing with him", cornerback Manny Rugamba said.

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