IOWA CITY, Iowa – Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter returned from an ankle injury Saturday, but he couldn’t push the Wildcats to their first Big Ten victory of the season.
Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock found C.J. Fiedorowicz for an 8-yard touchdown pass in the first overtime to give the Hawkeyes (5-3, 2-2 Big Ten) a 17-10 victory. Northwestern (4-4, 0-4 Big Ten) stalled on its drive to lose its fourth in a row.
Colter, who missed the previous game against Minnesota, fueled the Wildcats’ first touchdown drive of the game, but he was sidelined again early in the fourth quarter after diving out of bounds on a run. Trevor Siemian replaced him, and the Wildcats settled for a field goal to tie the game at 10-10. Colter returned on the next drive.
Iowa kicker Mike Meyer missed a 42-yard field goal wide left with 4 minutes, 58 seconds to play.
Northwestern was driving late in the game when Wildcats running back Mike Trumpy couldn’t grab a Colter pitch, and Iowa recovered the fumble. Iowa drove to the Northwestern 35-yard line but couldn’t complete the victory in regulation.
The Wildcats fell behind Iowa 10-0 at halftime. Iowa running back Damon Bullock put the Hawkeyes on the scoreboard first with a 3-yard touchdown run with 9:22 to play in the first quarter. Iowa rushed for 62 yards on the 74-yard drive to start the game.
Meyer made a 38-yard field goal with 9:56 to play in the second quarter to push Iowa ahead 10-0. The drive was aided by 16- and 11-yard passes from Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock to Tevaun Smith.
Trumpy fumbled on the Iowa 30-yard line during the Wildcats’ best drive of the first half, and Iowa linebacker James Morris recovered.
Colter found Dan Vitale wide open in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass with 4:44 to play in the third quarter to cut Iowa’s lead to 10-7. Colter fueled the drive with passes of 31 and 17 yards.
Northwestern defensive end Dean Lowry left the first half with a lower-body injury, and he didn’t return.
Colter missed last week’s 20-17 loss to Minnesota, when the Wildcats totaled just 94 rushing yards in his absence and brought their losing streak to three games. On Saturday, Colter was 3-for-5 for 23 yards and rushed for 36 yards on eight carries in the first half.
Bullock had nine carries for 35 yards, and Mark Weisman rushed for 45 yards on eight carries to lead Iowa in the half.
The game against Iowa was key for Northwestern’s bowl hopes because of the Wildcats’ remaining schedule. In their next three games, Northwestern will face Nebraska, Michigan and Michigan State, all of which sat in the top half of the Big Ten Legends Division entering Saturday. Northwestern closes at in-state rival Illinois.