Drive Chart
NEVADA
NWEST

No Text

Thorson's late TDs lift Northwestern over Nevada 31-20

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Clayton Thorson knew Northwestern's 31-20 comeback victory over Nevada wasn't all his own doing.

But for a moment, the junior who threw for two touchdowns and ran for two critical fourth-quarter scores in the season opener for both teams couldn't help but bask in the spotlight.

''I love it,'' Thorson said. ''Everyone else does all the work, and I punch it in.''

His two 1-yard plunges, the first for a 24-20 lead and the second for insurance, made the difference on the scoreboard. His leadership may have made more of a difference in the second half.

When receiver Bennett Skowronek fumbled after taking the ball deep into Wolf Pack territory in the second quarter, it was Thorson who told him to let it go.

''I was able to refocus after that,'' said Skowronek, who had six of his eight receptions in the second half, including two catches worth 41 yards on Northwestern's go-ahead drive.

For Thorson, a 352-yard passing day is just another routine outing. For Northwestern, Thorson's 237-yard second half was what was needed to overcome a Nevada defense playing for the first time under head coach Jay Norvell.

''We expected to have to adjust,'' Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said.

One adjustment came on Thorson's first 1-yard scoring play. After stacking the line of scrimmage with linebackers on previous plays, the Wolf Pack allowed a gap, and Thorson exploited it, following the block of right guard Tommy Doles.

''They had a lot of guys in different areas,'' Fitzgerald said.

It was the final play in a 75-yard drive that finished off a comeback from a 17-7 deficit. Nevada built its lead on a pair of Ty Gangi touchdown passes and Spencer Pettit's 31-yard field goal late in the first half, then lost it almost as quickly on Charlie Kuhbander's 23-yard field goal and Thorson's 19-yard game-tying TD pass to Riley Lee.

''There's no consolation,'' Norvell said. ''We really came here to win the game. That was our goal; to come here to win the game. We tried to show the players how we could win the game all the way through training camp.''

Nevada's defense kept it close until it began to show the strain of being the field for 38 minutes. The Wildcats wore the Wolf Pack out.

''They kept battling, kept fighting, making Northwestern work and that was incredibly encouraging,'' Norvell said.

Gangi couldn't get the one interception he threw out of his mind.

''I had some throws I wish I could have taken back; decisions I wish I could have taken back,'' said Gangi. ''We came to win. We just didn't come out on top.''

''To get to the locker room down two (scores) and go back in up two shows a lot of resiliency,'' Fitzgerald said. ''But we've got a ton of work to do.''

TAKEAWAYS

Nevada: The Wolf Pack showed plenty in Norvell's first game as head coach, for three quarters. But Nevada allowed 152 yards and two touchdowns in the final quarter, and that was the difference.

Northwestern: Thorson's 163.6 quarterback rating may not hold up all year, but it signified why coach Pat Fitzgerald has faith in the junior. That, and the 18 wins he's piled up in two-plus seasons.

KEY NUMBERS

Nevada: Gangi, having won a preseason battle with Alabama transfer David Cornwell for the start, threw for 199 yards and two touchdowns. That was enough for Norvell to say he'd start next week against Toledo.

Northwestern: Justin Jackson ran for 109 yards on 30 carries, part of the reason the Wildcats controlled the clock so thoroughly. He moved into 15th on the Big Ten's all-time rushing list with 4,238 career yards.

INJURY REPORT

Nevada receiver Kaleb Fossum suffered a dislocated kneecap, and had it popped it back into place before leaving the field on a cart in the third quarter. He did not return.

UP NEXT

Nevada: The Wolf Pack return home to host MAC foe Toledo next week.

Northwestern: The Wildcats travel to Duke for a rematch of last year's 24-13 Northwestern win.

LAST WORD

''He had a good start to the year, but I'm not going to compare him to a Biletnikoff finalist; give me 12 weeks,'' Fitzgerald said when asked about receiver Bennett Skowronek's eight-catch day.

Copyright 2017 by STATS. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.

Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 0:52
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
20
31
Touchdown 0:52
18-C.Thorson runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
8
plays
-1
yds
02:37
pos
20
30
Point After TD 5:28
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
20
24
Touchdown 5:28
18-C.Thorson runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
12
plays
37
yds
04:45
pos
20
23
Field Goal 10:17
48-S.Pettit 33 yards Field Goal is Good.
4
plays
-48
yds
01:14
pos
20
17
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 6:16
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
17
Touchdown 6:21
18-C.Thorson complete to 19-R.Lees. 19-R.Lees runs 19 yards for a touchdown.
9
plays
70
yds
3:01
pos
17
16
Touchdown 6:16
18-C.Thorson complete to 19-R.Lees. 19-R.Lees runs 13 yards for a touchdown.
11
plays
27
yds
03:28
pos
17
16
Field Goal 11:39
14-C.Kuhbander 23 yards Field Goal is Good.
10
plays
-10
yds
02:28
pos
17
10
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 0:41
48-S.Pettit 41 yards Field Goal is Good.
12
plays
27
yds
02:20
pos
17
7
Point After TD 9:48
48-S.Pettit extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
14
7
Touchdown 9:57
6-T.Gangi complete to 1-M.Mannix. 1-M.Mannix runs 41 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
51
yds
0:32
pos
13
7
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 5:31
48-S.Pettit extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
7
Touchdown 5:31
6-T.Gangi complete to 19-W.Demps. 19-W.Demps runs 11 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
17
yds
01:42
pos
6
7
Point After TD 7:13
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
0
7
Touchdown 7:13
18-C.Thorson complete to 15-M.Wilson. 15-M.Wilson runs 33 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
-13
yds
03:57
pos
0
6
Team Stats
1st Downs 19 27
Rushing 8 10
Passing 9 14
Penalty 2 3
3rd Down Conv 5-14 8-19
4th Down Conv 0-2 3-5
Total Net Yards 341 503
Total Plays 63 87
Avg Gain 5.4 5.8
Net Yards Rushing 142 155
Rush Attempts 26 49
Avg Rush Yards 5.5 3.2
Net Yards Passing 199 348
Comp. - Att. 16-37 28-38
Yards Per Pass 5.4 9.2
Sacked - Yards Lost 0-0 1-4
Penalties - Yards 8-100 6-50
Touchdowns 2 3
Rushing TDs 0 1
Passing TDs 2 2
Other 0 0
Turnovers 2 2
Fumbles - Lost 2-1 1-1
Int. Thrown 1 1
Punts - Avg 5-35.0 3-47.7
Return Yards 111 49
Punts - Returns 2-18 0-0
Kickoffs - Returns 4-90 3-49
Int. - Returns 1-3 1-0
Kicking 4/4 5/6
Extra Points 2/2 4/4
Field Goals 2/2 1/2
Safeties 0 0
1234T
Nevada 0-1 7100320
Northwestern 1-0 70101431
199 PASS YDS 348
142 RUSH YDS 155
341 TOTAL YDS 503
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
T. Gangi 6 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
43.2% 199 2 1 100.9
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
43.2% 199 2 1 100.9
T. Gangi 16/37 199 2 1
D. Cornwell 12 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
0% 0 0 0 0.0
D. Cornwell 0/1 0 0 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Kincaide 5 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
15 86 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
15 86 0
J. Kincaide 15 86 0 31
K. Moore 23 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
5 40 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
5 40 0
K. Moore 5 40 0 13
T. Gangi 6 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 16 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
4 16 0
T. Gangi 4 16 0 11
M. Mannix 1 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 1 0
M. Mannix 1 1 0 1
G. Dahn 10 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 -1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 -1 0
G. Dahn 1 -1 0 -1
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
M. Mannix 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 76 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 76 1
M. Mannix 2 76 1 41
W. Demps 19 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 51 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 51 1
W. Demps 5 51 1 24
K. Fossum 7 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 36 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 36 0
K. Fossum 4 36 0 12
B. Scott 88 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 19 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 19 0
B. Scott 1 19 0 19
J. Kincaide 5 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 9 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 9 0
J. Kincaide 2 9 0 7
K. Moore 23 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
K. Moore 1 5 0 5
B. O'Leary-Orange 17 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 3 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 3 0
B. O'Leary-Orange 1 3 0 3
D. Johnson 19 DB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
D. Johnson 0 0 0 0
T. Armstrong 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
T. Armstrong 0 0 0 0
J. Brent 9 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
J. Brent 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
A. Paulhus 50 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
11-4 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
11-4 0 0.5
A. Paulhus 11-4 0.5 0
D. Baber 5 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-3 0 0.0
D. Baber 8-3 0.0 0
M. Reed 90 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
8-0 0 0.0
M. Reed 8-0 0.0 0
G. Sewell 7 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.5
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.5
G. Sewell 6-2 0.5 0
J. Silva 93 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
J. Silva 5-1 0.0 0
A. Muhammad 3 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
A. Muhammad 5-1 0.0 0
A. Rufus 2 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
A. Rufus 5-1 0.0 0
E. Moody 18 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 1 0.0
E. Moody 3-0 0.0 1
E. Muhammad 4 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
E. Muhammad 3-1 0.0 0
T. Wilson 34 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-2 0 0.0
T. Wilson 3-2 0.0 0
H. Sekona 96 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
H. Sekona 2-0 0.0 0
J. Sawyer 8 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-1 0 0.0
J. Sawyer 2-1 0.0 0
K. Adams 52 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
K. Adams 2-0 0.0 0
V. Crumbie 1 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-2 0 0.0
V. Crumbie 2-2 0.0 0
P. Choudja 95 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-2 0 0.0
P. Choudja 1-2 0.0 0
D. Brown 25 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Brown 1-0 0.0 0
L. Hall 30 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-3 0 0.0
L. Hall 1-3 0.0 0
L. Weber 24 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
L. Weber 1-0 0.0 0
J. McDade 78 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
J. McDade 1-0 0.0 0
N. Gregg 92 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
N. Gregg 0-1 0.0 0
K. Rush 99 DT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
K. Rush 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
S. Pettit 48 K
IN-GAME FG XP
2/2 2/2
SEASON FG XP
2/2 2/2
S. Pettit 2/2 41 2/2 8
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
Q. Conaway 35 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 38.0 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
3 38.0 1
Q. Conaway 3 38.0 1 42
T. Gangi 6 QB
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
2 30.5 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
2 30.5 1
T. Gangi 2 30.5 1 44
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Fossum 7 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 18.0 24 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 18.0 24 0
K. Fossum 2 18.0 24 0
V. Crumbie 1 DB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 27.0 35 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 27.0 35 0
V. Crumbie 2 27.0 35 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
K. Fossum 7 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
2 9.0 13 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
2 9.0 13 0
K. Fossum 2 9.0 13 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
73.7% 352 2 1 163.6
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
73.7% 352 2 1 163.6
C. Thorson 28/38 352 2 1
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
J. Jackson 21 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
30 109 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
30 109 0
J. Jackson 30 109 0 13
J. Roberts 6 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 16 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 16 0
J. Roberts 2 16 0 11
J. Larkin 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
6 16 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
6 16 0
J. Larkin 6 16 0 7
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 14 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
7 14 1
C. Thorson 7 14 1 13
J. Moten IV 20 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 1 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 1 0
J. Moten IV 3 1 0 3
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
B. Skowronek 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
8 123 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 123 0
B. Skowronek 8 123 0 48
M. Wilson 15 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 77 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
3 77 1
M. Wilson 3 77 1 41
J. Jackson 21 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 42 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 42 0
J. Jackson 5 42 0 19
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 35 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
2 35 1
R. Lees 2 35 1 19
G. Dickerson 9 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 29 0
G. Dickerson 4 29 0 12
F. Nagel 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 29 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
4 29 0
F. Nagel 4 29 0 9
K. McGowan 86 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 10 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 10 0
K. McGowan 1 10 0 10
C. Green 84 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 7 0
C. Green 1 7 0 7
Ja. Brown 17 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
Ja. Brown 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
N. Hall 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-2 0 0.0
N. Hall 6-2 0.0 0
J. McGee 41 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
J. McGee 6-0 0.0 0
B. Walsh 10 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
B. Walsh 5-0 0.0 0
P. Fisher 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
P. Fisher 4-0 0.0 0
S. Miller 91 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
S. Miller 4-0 0.0 0
K. Queiro 21 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-3 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-3 1 0.0
K. Queiro 3-3 0.0 1
M. McShepard 7 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
M. McShepard 3-0 0.0 0
T. Lancaster 1 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
T. Lancaster 3-1 0.0 0
G. Igwebuike 16 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
G. Igwebuike 2-0 0.0 0
M. Hartage 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
M. Hartage 1-0 0.0 0
B. Oxley 75 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
B. Oxley 1-0 0.0 0
A. Miller 95 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-1 0 0.0
A. Miller 0-1 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
C. Kuhbander 14 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/2 4/4
SEASON FG XP
1/2 4/4
C. Kuhbander 1/2 23 4/4 7
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
H. Niswander 96 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 47.7 0
SEASON NO AVG IN20
3 47.7 0
H. Niswander 3 47.7 0 54
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Moten IV 20 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 16.3 19 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
3 16.3 19 0
J. Moten IV 3 16.3 19 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:01 NEVADA 45 1:40 3 0 Punt
7:13 NEVADA 25 1:42 10 75 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:56 NEVADA 20 2:39 8 32 Punt
10:43 NEVADA 49 0:55 5 -7 TD
3:01 NEVADA 13 2:20 12 73 FG
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:53 NEVADA 14 0:39 3 4 Punt
11:36 NEVADA 25 1:55 4 28 Punt
6:09 NEVADA 12 3:12 8 42 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:18 NEVADA 27 1:12 5 52 INT
11:31 NWEST 17 1:14 4 -48 FG
5:21 NEVADA 39 1:46 4 8
0:45 NEVADA 29 0:19 4 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:53 NWEST 24 1:41 4 -10 Punt
11:10 NWEST 20 3:57 10 80 TD
5:25 NWEST 26 5:02 13 70 End of quarter
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:08 NWEST 4 1:16 3 3 Punt
9:41 NWEST 17 6:29 14 70 FUMBLE
0:36 NWEST 25 0:06 2 7 End of quarter
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:07 NWEST 45 2:28 10 -10 FG
9:44 NWEST 30 3:28 11 70 TD
2:45 NWEST 4 2:25 7 62 End of quarter
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:59 NWEST 2 1:16 3 81 INT
10:13 NWEST 25 4:45 12 75 TD
3:29 NEVADA 47 2:37 8 57 TD
0:20 NEVADA 29 0:00 1 -1 End of game