(AP) Dan Persa and Kain Colter combined to throw five touchdown passes Saturday, and Drake Dunsmore hauled in a school-record four TDs to lead Northwestern past Indiana 59-38. It was a record-setting day for the Wildcats (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten), who scored nine times before finally punting in the fourth quarter. Dunsmore also became Northwestern’s all-time leader in yards receiving by a tight end, and the five TD passes tied the school’s single-game team record. Northwestern finished with 616 total yards, just short of another school record (647). Indiana (1-8, 0-5) lost its sixth straight and has now given up 40 or more points in four straight games for the first time since 2005. Read the full AP recap, see the box score and check out our Big Ten scoreboard.
Check out our quarter-by-quarter recap, powered by Narrative Science:
FINAL: Drake Dunsmore torched Indiana’s secondary, hauling in seven passes, 114 receiving yards and four touchdowns in a 59-38 victory Saturday at Memorial Stadium. The game was a shootout, with the offensive units for both teams putting up big numbers. Northwestern (3-5) and Indiana (1-8) rode their powerful offenses to a combined 1104 total yards. The Wildcats’ passing game looked unstoppable at times against the Hoosiers’ defense. Northwestern’s air attack couldn’t be contained, as it torched Indiana for 301 yards and five touchdowns. The Hoosiers’ Tre Roberson passed for 169 yards, completing 14 of 26 throws. He tossed one touchdown and one interception. Roberson was also a threat on the ground, as he rushed for 121 yards on 22 attempts. Indiana racked up 488 total yards. In addition to Roberson’s efforts through the air, Stephen Houston ran for 151 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Dan Persa threw for 263 yards while going 16-20 for the Wildcats. He threw three touchdowns and no interceptions. Persa also ran for 41 yards on four attempts
FOURTH QUARTER: In the fourth quarter, Stephen Houston fought back for Indiana. He ran for 40 yards and one touchdown, but the Hoosiers couldn’t come back, falling 59-38. Northwestern made its lead 59-31 when Jacob Schmidt turned a handoff into a two-yard touchdown on the last play of a seven-play, 68-yard drive. Indiana closed the gap to 59-38 when Houston pounded in a two-yard touchdown run to cap off a 55-yard drive. The Wildcats’ Schmidt reached the 100-yard rushing mark for the game thanks to 17 in the quarter, and ended his day with 108 yards in all.
THIRD QUARTER: Thanks to a mean rushing attack, Northwestern now leads 52-31. The Wildcats rushed for 108 yards in the quarter. The Wildcats opened up the lead, 45-21, after Kain Colter and Drake Dunsmore hooked up for a nine-yard touchdown to end a six-play, 60-yard drive. Indiana made the score 45-28 after Stephen Houston pounded in a 15-yard touchdown run to finish off an 80-yard drive. Northwestern opened up the lead, 52-28, after marching down the field for a five-play, 38-yard drive that ended when Jacob Schmidt ran three yards to paydirt. The Wildcats started in good field position when Venric Mark’s big kickoff return. The Hoosiers closed the gap to 52-31 when Mitch Ewald made a 38-yard field goal to finish off a 50-yard drive. Pass plays were an afterthought for Indiana, as the Hoosiers threw just one pass on that drive. Houston clinched a 100-yard rushing game with 57 in the quarter, part of his 111-yard day through three quarters for Indiana. Northwestern’s Colter topped 100 yards receiving for the game in the quarter, and has plenty of time to add to his 115 yards and six catches. The Wildcats are knocking on the door to begin the fourth quarter, with the ball at the Hoosiers’ two-yard line.
SECOND QUARTER: Northwestern’s offense looked sharp in the second quarter, scoring 21 points, and the Wildcats now lead 38-21. Northwestern racked up 132 passing yards and 78 rushing yards in the quarter. The Wildcats had five long plays in the quarter, including Dan Persa’s 22-yard pass to Drake Dunsmore. Northwestern made its lead 24-7 when the Wildcats scored on Persa’s pass on the last play of a five-play, 51-yard drive. Indiana closed the gap to 24-14 when D’Angelo Roberts turned a handoff into a 26-yard touchdown to finish off a 68-yard drive. The Hoosiers crossed midfield on Stephen Houston’s 31-yard run from the 43-yard line. Indiana kept the ball on the ground during the drive, throwing only one pass. Northwestern opened up the lead, 31-14, after Persa and Dunsmore hooked up for a 10-yard touchdown to end a seven-play, 96-yard drive. The Wildcats’ drive was keyed by Persa’s 57-yard pass. A 26-yard drive that ended when Tre Roberson found Duwyce Wilson open for a 26-yard touchdown pass helped the Hoosiers narrow the deficit to 31-21. A fumble recovery by Indiana set the Hoosiers up to start the drive. Northwestern added to its advantage when Persa tossed a six-yard touchdown to Dunsmore, the last of a 10-play, 80-yard drive to give the Wildcats the lead, 38-21. Pass plays were an afterthought for Northwestern, as the Wildcats threw just two passes during that series. Northwestern’s Dunsmore topped 100 yards receiving for the game in the quarter, and has plenty of time to add to his 105 yards and six catches. The Wildcats’ Persa passed for 132 yards in the quarter to put him over 200 yards for the game. Persa has 230 yards through the air so far today.
Northwestern will get the ball to start the second half.
FIRST QUARTER: Northwestern’s offense looked sharp in the first quarter, scoring 17 points, and the Wildcats lead 17-7 at the end of the first quarter. Northwestern threw for 127 yards and ran for 68 yards in the quarter. The last 17 points have been scored by the Wildcats. Indiana struck first when Tre Roberson kept it himself for a 12-yard touchdown run, the final play of a six-play, 77-yard drive. The Hoosiers crossed midfield on Roberson’s 32-yard pass to Shane Wynn from the 23-yard line. Indiana kept the ball on the ground during the drive, throwing only one pass. Northwestern made the score 7-3 after Jeff Budzien kicked a 37-yard field goal to finish off a 40-yard drive. Kain Colter’s 29-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Ebert gave the Wildcats the lead, 10-7, and was the final play of a five-play, 58-yard drive. Northwestern expanded its lead to 17-7 thanks to a six-play, 87-yard drive that ended when Treyvon Green ran one yard to paydirt. The Wildcats will start the second quarter with possession at the Hoosiers’ 26-yard line.
See some of the best in-game tweets:
Fitz's best line, when talking about how the players step up as leaders: "I sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher this time of year."—
Teddy Greenstein (@TeddyGreenstein) October 29, 2011
Indiana's 7 freshmen starters on defense are the most this season for an FBS team.—
Jeff Rabjohns (@JeffRabjohns) October 29, 2011