Alex Padilla relieved a struggling Spencer Petras and directed three scoring drives as No. 22 Iowa held on for a 17-12 victory over Northwestern on Saturday in Evanston, Ill.
The Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) halted a two-game skid that followed their 6-0 start and bounced back from getting outscored 51-14 in consecutive losses to Purdue and Wisconsin. They moved into a four-way tie for the lead in the Big Ten West after Minnesota lost to Illinois while Purdue beat Michigan State and Wisconsin routed Rutgers.
Padilla relieved Petras after Iowa did little on its first three drives. Petras completed 2 of 4 passes for four yards before Padilla entered with 2:16 remaining in the first quarter.
In his seventh career appearance and his first extended playing time since joining the Hawkeyes, Padilla was 18 of 28 for 172 yards.
He had two completions to Keagan Johnson for a combined 43 yards that set up Tyler Goodson’s 13-yard TD run with 22 seconds left in the first. Padilla then guided Iowa to a 14-0 lead on his second series, which Arland Bruce IV capped with a 10-yard run on an end-around.
Goodson finished with 141 yards on 21 carries after being held to 27 rushing yards last week against Wisconsin.
Northwestern quarterback Andrew Marty completed 25 of 44 passes for 270 yards in his second career start but was picked off three times and sacked three times as the Wildcats (3-5, 1-4) were held to 14 points or less for the fourth time in five games.
Evan Hull was held to 41 rushing yards but led Northwestern with six catches for 89 yards. He also scored the hosts’ only TD when he caught a 31-yard pass with 2:21 remaining, although Malik Washington’s pass on the two-point conversion was incomplete.
Iowa was forced to punt on its last drive, but defensive back Dane Belton got his second interception of the game with 1:44 remaining.
Before Hull scored, Northwestern settled for two field goals by Charlie Kuhbander despite getting deep into the red zone.
–Field Level Media