After four disappointing home games to start the season, Northwestern picked up their first win of the season on the road against the Iowa Hawkeyes lead by Austin Carr and Justin Jackson.
Northwestern (2-3) traveled to Iowa City on Saturday knowing their season was on the line.
It’s simple. Beat Iowa and stay alive in the Big Ten West with a 1-1 record, or fall to 0-2 in a division lead by Nebraska, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Well, Northwestern did what they had to do and picked up an upset win over Iowa 38-31.
Senior receiver Austin Carr has arguably been the best receiver in the Big Ten this season, and he added to his stats again on Saturday. Carr lead the Wildcats receiving group with six catches for 73 yards, and hauled in three touchdowns, according to ESPN.com.
After being held last week to only 79 rushing yards, junior running back Justin Jackson got back to his 2015 season form after rushing the ball 26 times for 171 yards, along with one rushing touchdown. Jackson also caught three passes in the backfield for 13 yards, according to ESPN.com.
But it wasn’t the 171 yards that was the bright spot for Jackson on Saturday. In his third season at Northwestern, Jackson eclipsed a personal milestone of over 3,000 total rushing yards.
Redshirt sophomore quarterback Clayton Thorson kept his team in the game all day after not allowing a single turnover. Thorson tied his season-high in passing touchdowns in a game, having three of them, all going to his big playmaking receiver Austin Carr. Thorson completed 18-of-30 passes for 164 yards, and also added 11 yards on the ground on nine carries, according to ESPN.com
Also worth noting is Wildcats kicker Jack Mitchell. The senior kicker struggled last week against Nebraska after not executing a 27-yard field goal and one extra point – and head coach Pat Fitzgerald put him on notice after saying in the postgame press conference that the kicking job is “wide open.”
But Fitzgerald went back to the senior kicker against Iowa and Mitchell converted on his one field goal attempt, a 25-yard field goal, and his five extra points.
After a big upset win over Iowa, the Wildcats will have two weeks to prepare for their next opponent having next Saturday off. Northwestern will have their hands full when they travel to East Lansing, Michigan on October 15 when they take on the Michigan State Spartans.
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