On first and goal from the Iowa 6-yard line, Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa took the snap, scrambled, and leapt to throw a pass. That pass found Jeremy Ebert for what would be the game-winning touchdown. And as if the pass weren't consequential enough, when Persa came down, he appeared to injure his ankle, and was helped off the field.
According to head coach Pat Fitzgerald , the worst-case scenario for that leg injury has come true: Dan Persa has a ruptured Achilles tendon. The injury will cost Persa the rest of his season, of course, and it's not even certain that Persa will be healthy for the start of next season.
Obviously, this is a tough blow for Northwestern, even as the Wildcats celebrate their fifth victory over Iowa in their last six meetings. Persa was the 10th-ranked quarterback in the nation in passing efficiency, and he was also the Wildcats' leading rusher on the season (he still may end up being the team leader even after missing the last three games). He single-handedly tired out the Iowa defense on Northwestern's two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. Dan Persa basically is the Northwestern offense. How the 'Cats will respond to this devastating news against Illinois next week will be something worth watching.