Northwestern defeated Iowa 21-17 during a second half comeback

(WSCR) – After trailing 17-7 in the third quarter, Northwestern caught an interception to near the goal line to kick-start a comeback. For the fifth time in six seasons, the Wildcats have defeated Iowa.


AP Sports Writer

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Dan Persa threw for 318 yards and two late touchdowns before being helped off the field, and Northwestern handed No. 13 Iowa another devastating loss, beating the Hawkeyes 21-17 on Saturday.

Iowa (7-3, 4-2 Big Ten) can just about forget about a BCS berth. Its game against Ohio State next week just lost much of its luster, and once again, Northwestern (7-3, 3-3) spoiled the Hawkeyes’ season, beating Iowa for the fifth time in six games.

Northwestern was trailing 17-7 after Ricky Stanzi threw for two touchdowns early in the third, but an interception near the goal line by Brian Peters got the comeback started.

Persa led the Wildcats on an 85-yard TD drive, completing 7 of 8 passes and capping it with a 6-yard pass to Jeremy Ebert that made it a three-point game with 6:21 remaining. Iowa then punted and the Wildcats struck again.

A scrambling Persa capped a 91-yard drive with a perfect pass to Arby Fields, who beat Micah Hyde in the left corner of the end zone for a 20-yard TD. That made it 21-17 with 1:22 left, but while the Wildcats were celebrating, Persa was on the ground clutching his right calf even though he wasn’t hit on the play.

Iowa had one more chance, reaching the Northwestern 39 with 26 seconds left after Ricky Stanzi hit Marvin McNutt with a 23-yard pass on fourth-and-15. Vince Brown sacked Stanzi for a 7-yard loss on second down, and after an incompletion, Peters and Hunter Bates broke up a Hail Mary in the end zone.

Updated November 13, 2010

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