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Northwestern drops third in row as QB change sparks No. 22 Iowa

Alex Padilla took over for the struggling Spencer Petras and led three scoring drives, Tyler Goodson ran for 141 yards and a touchdown and the Hawkeyes held on to win 17-12.

Iowa running back Tyler Goodson runs for a touchdown Saturday in Evanston.
Nam Y. Huh/AP

Northwestern entered its game Saturday night against No. 22 Iowa with a couple of things in its favor. The Wildcats had won four of the previous five meetings, and the Hawkeyes were stumbling into Evanston on a two-game skid in which they were outscored 51-14.

Neither made much of a difference as Iowa (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten), sparked by a quarterback change and a strong running game, beat Northwestern 17-12.

Alex Padilla took over for the struggling Spencer Petras and led three scoring drives, and Tyler Goodson ran for 141 yards and a touchdown.

Northwestern (3-6, 1-5) pulled to 17-12 with 2:21 remaining on Andrew Marty’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Evan Hull and quickly got the ball back after Iowa went three-and-out. But Dane Belton sealed it with his second interception, sending the Wildcats to their third straight loss.

Marty started at QB for the Wildcats after replacing Ryan Hilinski in last week’s blowout by Minnesota and threw for 270 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

“I think there’s some really gutty and gutsy and tough plays that he made,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “When you play the quarterback position, you look back and want some plays back. But I thought he responded really well to adversity.”

Hull had 89 yards receiving and 41 rushing. The defense took a hit when end Samdup Miller left in the first half with a lower-body injury.

Padilla led two touchdown drives in the first half after Iowa went nowhere on its first three possessions. He came in late in the first quarter and completed 18 of 28 passes for 172 yards. The sophomore helped get the offense going after Petras went 2-for-4 for four yards.

The game was delayed for about five minutes in the first half when protesters walked onto the field with several signs, including ones that read “Stop funding the war on Palestine” and “Abolish NUPD. Invest in Black Lives.”