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NWEST

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Thorson leads Northwestern over No. 20 Wisconsin 31-17

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) This was no narrow escape for Northwesten against a struggling opponent. Not this weekend.

The Wildcats took out one of the Big Ten's heavyweights and strengthened their chance for a spot in the conference championship game.

Clayton Thorson ran for two touchdowns and threw for one, and Northwestern beat No. 20 Wisconsin 31-17 on Saturday.

The first-place Wildcats (5-3, 5-1) solidified themselves as contenders for the Big Ten West championship while gaining some revenge for a loss at Camp Randall Stadium early last season that helped prevent them from winning the division.

They increased their lead over the Badgers (5-3, 3-2), Purdue and Iowa to 1 1/2 games. The Boilermakers lost 23-13 at Michigan State, while the Hawkeyes came up short at No. 17 Penn State 30-24.

With quarterback Alex Hornibrook sidelined by a concussion and the defense without several injured starters, it was simply a rough afternoon for Wisconsin. Northwestern turned two fumbles by star running back Jonathan Taylor and another by quarterback Jack Coan into 17 points on the way to its fourth straight victory.

The Wildcats went on a 17-0 run in the second half after rallying to beat then-winless Nebraska in overtime and topping struggling Rutgers by three last weekend.

''Around here, a lot of times we're called the Cardiac `Cats,'' Thorson said. ''I don't know how much we like that name. But we haven't given anyone any reason not to call us that so it's nice to get a win like that.''

Northwestern struggled early on for the second straight season. Now, the Wildcats have their sights set on their first appearance in a Big Ten championship game.

''I think our team is starting to improve,'' coach Pat Fitzgerald said. ''I think we're growing up. There were some growing pains there early. ... I think these guys have had faith. They just stayed the course, had belief and are getting a reward for that effort. They can't stop now.''

Thorson was a bit shaky again after struggling in a narrow win at Rutgers. He completed 17 of 30 passes for 167 yards with three interceptions against a short-handed defense. But he ran for two TDs in the first half and found Kyric McGowan for a 24-yard score in the third quarter.

Freshman Isaiah Bowser had his second straight 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 117 on 34 attempts. He scored on a 2-yard run early in the fourth, making it 31-10 after Coan fumbled deep in Badgers territory .

''I was proud of the effort certainly of a lot of our guys, but we need to play better football,'' Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said. ''We need to take better care of the football. When you turn it over and you're backed up in the opponent's red zone, that's hard.''

Coan was 20 of 31 for 158 yards and a touchdown in his first career start.

Taylor, the nation's leading rusher, ran for just 46 yards on 11 carries after finishing with 100 or more in eight straight games.

Garrett Groshek ran for 68 on seven attempts. But the Badgers lost for the second time in three games.

''We had complete faith in Jack,'' fullback Alec Ingold said. ''He was poised out there. Everyone else had to step up and we didn't get it done.''

PULLING AWAY

Northwestern was leading 14-10 early in the third when Wisconsin's Jack Sanborn got flagged for roughing the punter. That set up Thorson's TD pass to McGowan in the back of the end zone.

Taylor then lost his second fumble of the game when Paddy Fisher poked the ball out as he was tackled and Montre Hartage recovered at the Wisconsin 42. That led to a 26-yard field goal by Charlie Kuhbander, making it 24-10 with 2:39 left in the quarter.

The Wildcats added to their lead early in the fourth after Coan dropped the ball on a fake handoff, picked it up, scrambled and fumbled again. Northwestern's Nate Hall recovered at the Wisconsin 13, and Bowser's 2-yard run made it 31-10.

KICKER OUT

Northwestern kicker Drew Luckenbaugh suffered a lower-body injury prior to the game and did not play. Kuhbander kicked field goals and extra points. Jake Collins handled kickoffs.

THE TAKEAWAY

Wisconsin: With a chance to move into first place in the division, the Badgers simply came out flat. The offense struggled to move the ball without Hornibrook, and the turnovers didn't help.

Northwestern: Bowser seems to be establishing himself as the workhouse running back. The Wildcats struggled running the ball for a few weeks after Jeremy Larkin was forced to stop playing football because of a spinal condition following the third game.

UP NEXT

Wisconsin: Hosts Rutgers on Nov. 3

Northwestern: Hosts Notre Dame on Nov. 3.

---

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Scoring Summary
4th Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 8:00
27-R.Gaglianone extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
17
31
Touchdown 8:08
17-J.Coan complete to 3-K.Pryor. 3-K.Pryor runs 10 yards for a touchdown.
5
plays
29
yds
01:19
pos
16
31
Point After TD 12:50
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
10
31
Touchdown 12:54
25-I.Bowser runs 2 yards for a touchdown.
4
plays
13
yds
01:32
pos
10
30
3rd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 2:44
14-C.Kuhbander 26 yards Field Goal is Good.
7
plays
39
yds
03:05
pos
10
24
Point After TD 6:32
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good. Team penalty on WIS Offside declined.
plays
yds
pos
10
21
Touchdown 6:32
18-C.Thorson complete to 8-K.McGowan. 8-K.McGowan runs 24 yards for a touchdown.
10
plays
55
yds
04:04
pos
10
20
2nd Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Field Goal 1:04
27-R.Gaglianone 36 yards Field Goal is Good.
9
plays
47
yds
02:40
pos
10
14
Point After TD 3:44
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
14
Touchdown 3:52
18-C.Thorson scrambles runs 5 yards for a touchdown.
8
plays
30
yds
03:03
pos
7
13
1st Quarter
No scoring this quarter
Point After TD 2:21
14-C.Kuhbander extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
7
Touchdown 2:29
18-C.Thorson runs 1 yard for a touchdown.
16
plays
65
yds
05:35
pos
7
6
Point After TD 8:04
27-R.Gaglianone extra point is good.
plays
yds
pos
7
0
Touchdown 8:09
45-A.Ingold runs 4 yards for a touchdown.
5
plays
29
yds
02:20
pos
6
0
Team Stats
1st Downs 17 20
Rushing 11 10
Passing 6 8
Penalty 0 2
3rd Down Conv 4-12 8-17
4th Down Conv 0-2 0-2
Total Net Yards 318 349
Total Plays 65 79
Avg Gain 4.9 4.4
Net Yards Rushing 165 177
Rush Attempts 32 49
Avg Rush Yards 5.2 3.6
Net Yards Passing 153 172
Comp. - Att. 20-33 17-30
Yards Per Pass 4.6 5.7
Sacked - Yards Lost 1-5 0-0
Penalties - Yards 5-54 3-20
Touchdowns 2 4
Rushing TDs 1 3
Passing TDs 1 1
Other 0 0
Turnovers 3 3
Fumbles - Lost 3-3 0-0
Int. Thrown 0 3
Punts - Avg 4-36.8 3-43.3
Return Yards 78 5
Punts - Returns 1-11 2-5
Kickoffs - Returns 4-60 0-0
Int. - Returns 3-7 0-0
Kicking 3/5 5/5
Extra Points 2/2 4/4
Field Goals 1/3 1/1
Safeties 0 0
1234T
20 Wisconsin 5-3 730717
Northwestern 5-3 7710731
153 PASS YDS 172
165 RUSH YDS 177
318 TOTAL YDS 349
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
J. Coan 17 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.5% 158 1 0 118.0
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
64.5% 158 1 0 118.0
J. Coan 20/31 158 1 0
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
G. Groshek 37 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
7 68 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
43 298 0
G. Groshek 7 68 0 20
J. Taylor 23 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
11 46 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
181 1155 8
J. Taylor 11 46 0 10
D. Davis III 6 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 19 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
2 56 0
D. Davis III 1 19 0 19
A. Ingold 45 FB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 12 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
19 129 5
A. Ingold 4 12 1 4
T. Deal 28 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
4 8 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
56 361 5
T. Deal 4 8 0 4
K. Pryor 3 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
9 86 1
K. Pryor 2 7 0 15
J. Coan 17 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
3 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 5 0
J. Coan 3 5 0 5
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
D. Davis III 6 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 55 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
18 205 1
D. Davis III 5 55 0 15
K. Pryor 3 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 52 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
16 197 2
K. Pryor 4 52 1 18
G. Groshek 37 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 20 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
17 142 1
G. Groshek 4 20 0 7
A. Taylor 4 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 16 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
21 373 3
A. Taylor 2 16 0 8
A. Ingold 45 FB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 12 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 93 1
A. Ingold 2 12 0 9
J. Ferguson 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
23 328 3
J. Ferguson 2 7 0 4
A. Krumholz 24 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 5 0
A. Krumholz 0 0 0 0
A. Cruickshank 1 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
A. Cruickshank 0 0 0 0
J. Coan 17 QB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 -4 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
1 -4 0
J. Coan 1 -4 0 -4
Defense T-A SACK INT
T. Edwards 53 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
10-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
10-2 2 0.0
T. Edwards 10-2 0.0 0
E. Bondoc 13 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-1 2 0.0
E. Bondoc 7-1 0.0 1
R. Connelly 43 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-6 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-6 0 0.0
R. Connelly 7-6 0.0 0
O. Sagapolu 99 NT
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
6-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
6-0 1 0.0
O. Sagapolu 6-0 0.0 0
R. Wildgoose 5 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-2 0 0.0
R. Wildgoose 5-2 0.0 0
E. Burrell 25 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-1 0 0.0
E. Burrell 5-1 0.0 0
C. Williams 21 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
C. Williams 5-0 0.0 0
A. Van Ginkel 17 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-0 0 0.0
A. Van Ginkel 4-0 0.0 0
Z. Baun 56 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 1 0.0
Z. Baun 3-1 0.0 1
M. Cone 31 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 1 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 2 0.0
M. Cone 2-0 0.0 1
F. Hicks 20 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 1 0.0
F. Hicks 2-0 0.0 0
C. Orr 54 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Orr 1-0 0.0 0
D. Pfaff 52 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
D. Pfaff 1-0 0.0 0
M. Henningsen 92 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
0-2 0 0.0
M. Henningsen 0-2 0.0 0
Kicking FG LG XP PTS
R. Gaglianone 27 K
IN-GAME FG XP
1/2 2/2
SEASON FG XP
6/9 32/32
R. Gaglianone 1/2 36 2/2 5
Z. Hintze 39 K
IN-GAME FG XP
0/1 0/0
SEASON FG XP
0/1 0/0
Z. Hintze 0/1 0 0/0 0
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
C. Allen 90 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
4 36.8 1
SEASON NO AVG IN20
6 39.0 1
C. Allen 4 36.8 1 39
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
A. Cruickshank 1 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
3 14.3 17 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
19 20.1 17 0
A. Cruickshank 3 14.3 17 0
G. Groshek 37 RB
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 17.0 17 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 17.0 17 0
G. Groshek 1 17.0 17 0
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
J. Dunn 16 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 11.0 11 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
6 11.8 11 0
J. Dunn 1 11.0 11 0
Passing CP/ATT YDS TD INT
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
56.7% 172 1 3 95.8
SEASON COMP% YDS TD INT RTG
60.7% 2077 10 10 119.6
C. Thorson 17/30 172 1 3
Rushing ATT YDS TD LG
I. Bowser 25 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
34 112 1
SEASON ATT YDS TD
60 222 3
I. Bowser 34 112 1 11
C. Thorson 18 QB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
8 29 2
SEASON ATT YDS TD
45 -80 4
C. Thorson 8 29 2 27
K. McGowan 8 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 21 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 34 0
K. McGowan 1 21 0 21
C. Hanaoka 1 RB
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
2 10 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
8 36 0
C. Hanaoka 2 10 0 6
B. Holman 16 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
1 5 0
B. Holman 1 5 0 5
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME ATT YDS TD
1 2 0
SEASON ATT YDS TD
3 10 0
R. Lees 1 2 0 2
Receiving REC YDS TD LG
B. Skowronek 88 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
4 73 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
33 410 1
B. Skowronek 4 73 0 32
C. Green 84 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
5 36 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
36 320 3
C. Green 5 36 0 11
K. McGowan 8 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 24 1
SEASON REC YDS TD
6 170 2
K. McGowan 1 24 1 24
F. Nagel 2 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
3 18 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
59 711 2
F. Nagel 3 18 0 10
C. Hanaoka 1 RB
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
2 8 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
5 37 0
C. Hanaoka 2 8 0 5
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 7 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
9 92 0
R. Lees 1 7 0 7
J. Jefferson 12 WR
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
1 6 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
8 120 2
J. Jefferson 1 6 0 6
T. Pugh 80 TE
IN-GAME REC YDS TD
0 0 0
SEASON REC YDS TD
0 0 0
T. Pugh 0 0 0 0
Defense T-A SACK INT
B. Gallagher 51 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
9-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
9-1 0 0.0
B. Gallagher 9-1 0.0 0
P. Fisher 42 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
7-0 0 0.0
P. Fisher 7-0 0.0 0
M. Hartage 24 CB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
5-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
5-0 1 0.0
M. Hartage 5-0 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
J. Pace 13 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-2 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-2 3 0.0
J. Pace 4-2 0.0 0
J. McGee 41 S
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
4-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
4-1 1 0.0
J. McGee 4-1 0.0 0
F. Wyatt 92 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
F. Wyatt 3-1 0.0 0
J. Gaziano 97 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-0 0 0.0
J. Gaziano 3-0 0.0 0
T. Williams 3 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
3-1 0 0.0
T. Williams 3-1 0.0 0
N. Hall 32 LB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
2-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
2-0 1 0.0
N. Hall 2-0 0.0 0
T. Whillock 7 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
T. Whillock 1-1 0.0 0
E. Brown IV 98 DE
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 1.0
E. Brown IV 1-0 1.0 0
J. Thompson 99 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
J. Thompson 1-1 0.0 0
T. Goens 83 DL
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-1 0 0.0
T. Goens 1-1 0.0 0
C. Ruiz 18 DB
IN-GAME T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
SEASON T-A INT SACK
1-0 0 0.0
C. Ruiz 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
1/1 4/4
SEASON FG XP
3/6 18/18
C. Kuhbander 1/1 26 4/4 7
Punting NO AVG IN20 LG
J. Collins 49 P
IN-GAME NO AVG IN20
3 43.3 2
SEASON NO AVG IN20
43 39.5 2
J. Collins 3 43.3 2 46
Kickoff Returns NO AVG LG TD
Punt Returns NO AVG LG TD
F. Nagel 2 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 6.0 6 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
1 6.0 6 0
F. Nagel 1 6.0 6 0
R. Lees 19 WR
IN-GAME NO AVG LG TD
1 -1.0 0 0
SEASON NO AVG LG TD
15 5.3 0 0
R. Lees 1 -1.0 0 0
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 NWEST 35 3:11 7 19 Punt
10:29 NWEST 29 2:20 5 29 TD
2:21 NWEST 35 2:02 5 14 Punt
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
13:38 WISC 16 1:00 3 7 Punt
9:09 WISC 1 1:38 5 14 Fumble
3:44 NWEST 35 2:40 9 47 FG
0:29 WISC 27 0:26 4 29 Halftime
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
12:01 WISC 27 0:51 3 3 Punt
6:32 NWEST 35 0:16 3 7 Fumble
2:44 NWEST 35 1:49 5 14 FG Miss
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:34 WISC 8 0:00 1 5 Fumble
12:50 NWEST 35 2:44 10 46 Downs
9:27 NWEST 29 1:19 5 29 TD
6:10 WISC 36 1:09 7 19 Downs
1st POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
11:18 NWEST 15 0:15 3 56 INT
8:04 WISC 35 5:35 16 65 TD
2nd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
15:00 NWEST 43 1:15 3 -1 Punt
12:03 NWEST 39 2:22 8 60 Downs
6:55 WISC 15 3:03 8 15 TD
1:01 WISC 35 0:05 3 -8 INT
3rd POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
0:02 WISC 35 0:00 9 38 Downs
10:36 NWEST 30 4:04 10 70 TD
5:49 WISC 42 3:05 7 34 FG
0:49 NWEST 33 0:00 3 -30 Punt
4th POSS PLAYS YDS RESULT
14:26 WISC 13 1:32 4 90 TD
9:35 NWEST 32 0:00 1 68 INT
8:00 WISC 35 1:36 4 -2 Punt
4:25 NWEST 45 3:00 8 22