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NCAA Game Summary - Northwestern at Iowa



(Saturday, November 7th)

Final Score: Northwestern 17, (8) Iowa 10

Iowa City, IA (Sports Network) - Northwestern scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns in a span of just over six minutes immediately following an injury to Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi, as the Wildcats pulled off a 17-10 upset of the eighth-ranked and previously-undefeated Hawkeyes at Kinnick Stadium.

Stanzi was hurt with 11:46 left in the second quarter and Iowa holding a 10-0 lead. He walked off the field gingerly under his own power, appearing to favor his right ankle, after a sack and a fumble in the end zone. In the third quarter, he returned to the field with a boot on his right foot.

Marshall Thomas recovered Stanzi's fumble in the end zone for a Northwestern touchdown and the Wildcats added another score on a Dan Persa touchdown pass following an interception of redshirt freshman James Vandenberg a few minutes later.

Northwestern (6-4, 3-3 Big Ten) held Iowa without a point the rest of the way and won for the second time in its last three games. The Wildcats also won at Kinnick Stadium for the third straight time.

"I think we're starting to play our best football of the year," said Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. "It has nothing to do with Iowa, it has everything to do with us. I really believe we're starting to hit our stride."

The Hawkeyes (9-1, 5-1) entered the day fourth in the BCS standings, but had a 13-game winning streak stopped and, more importantly, saw their dreams of a possible national championship dashed with Stanzi on the sideline.

"This doesn't end the season. It's disappointing certainly," said Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. "This team has worked hard and has been a tremendous group to be around daily. This is going to hurt today, hurt tomorrow, but we're going to have to move on quickly."

Iowa can still claim at least a share of the Big Ten crown with victories over Ohio State and Minnesota.

Stanzi finished 4-of-9 for 134 yards with a 74-yard touchdown pass to Marvin McNutt on the third offensive play of the game. The Hawkeyes added a 39-yard field goal from Daniel Murray on their next possession for a 10-0 lead just over five minutes into the game, but the momentum clearly changed early in the second quarter.

With Iowa on its own six-yard line after a punt, Stanzi was sacked by Corey Wootton and fumbled in the end zone. Thomas recovered to give Northwestern a touchdown with 11:46 remaining in the half.

Vandenberg took over behind center for Iowa on the next series and threw an interception on his first pass attempt.

Quentin Davie picked off the first-down throw and returned it to the Iowa 46. The Wildcats converted with a 10-play series, as Persa threw a four-yard scoring strike to Drake Dunsmore to make it 14-10 with 5:20 to play before the intermission.

Iowa turned it over again on its next possession when Brandon Wegher fumbled. The Wildcats recovered at the Hawkeye 42, but gave it back a few moments later when Persa was picked off in the end zone.

Vandenberg had the Hawkeyes in position to cut into the deficit on their first series of the third quarter, but Murray missed a 46-yard field goal try.

The Wildcats added three points early in the fourth quarter on a 47-yard field goal from Stefan Demos.

Iowa could not muster a threat offensively under Vandenberg and the last series ended with a fourth-down incomplete pass from the Iowa 32.

Vandenberg completed just 9-of-27 passes for 82 yards, but the Iowa rushing game managed just 65 yards.

Persa, who shared time at quarterback with Mike Kafka, finished 5-of-9 for 37 yards through the air and was Northwestern's leading rusher with 67 yards on 17 carries. Kafka completed 10-of-18 passes for 72 yards.

Game Notes

Iowa had won eight straight home games since a 22-17 loss to Northwestern last September...The Hawkeyes last beat the Wildcats at home in 2002...Iowa still leads the all-time series, 46-22-3...Northwestern, now bowl-eligible, visits Illinois next Saturday.

11/07 18:50:08 ET