(Saturday, October 24th)
Final Score: Northwestern 29, Indiana 28
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - Stefan Demos kicked a 19-yard field goal with 21 seconds remaining, as the Northwestern Wildcats erased a 25-point deficit to stun Big Ten foe Indiana, 29-28 at Ryan Field.
Mike Kafka had an up-and-down day for Northwestern (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten), throwing for 312 yards and two touchdowns and also running for 65 yards and a score, though he also tossed three second-half interceptions. Andrew Brewer caught eight passes for 135 yards and a touchdown, while fellow wideout Zeke Markshausen finished with eight catches for 94 yards and a score.
Indiana (4-4, 1-3) failed to convert two key fourth downs in the final quarter, which put the momentum clearly in NU's favor. Darius Willis carried 14 times for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the loss, while Ben Chappell threw for 159 yards and also ran for a score.
On the game's first play from scrimmage, Willis broke loose for a crowd- silencing 70-yard touchdown run to give Indiana a quick 7-0 lead.
Later in the first quarter, the Hoosiers capitalized on good field position from a punt return and Chappell scored on a one-yard plunge.
Willis notched his second touchdown run of the day early in the second quarter, capping a 10-play, 76-yard drive with a three-yard score.
Northwestern got on the board with a 28-yard field goal by Demos midway through the second quarter.
But IU struck back only a few seconds later, as Ray Fisher returned the ensuing kickoff 93 yards to give the Hoosiers a 28-3 lead with 7:32 remaining in the half.
However, Kafka engineered back-to-back scoring drives to narrow the deficit heading into halftime. He capped a 75-yard scoring drive with a one-yard touchdown run at the 4:07 mark of the second quarter, and the second touchdown came on an eight-yard pass to Markshausen with seven seconds remaining.
NU cut the margin to 28-19 on a safety following a blocked punt by Ricky Weina with just under six minutes remaining in the third quarter.
The Wildcats defense came through with a fourth-down stand at their own two- yard line on IU's next possession. Kafka capitalized with a 51-yard touchdown pass to Brewer to make it a 28-26 game with 12:33 to play.
Northwestern's final drive covered 65 yards in 13 plays and ate up nearly seven minutes, with Demos punching the game-winner through the uprights.
Chappell completed an 18-yard pass to move the Hoosiers into position to attempt a game-winning 59-yard field goal in the final seconds, but Nick Freeland's kick was short.
Northwestern held a 474-305 edge in total offense, as the Wildcats were able to keep the chains moving by converting 9-of-17 third downs.
10/24 16:33:52 ET