EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Alex Padilla took over for the struggling Spencer Petras and led three scoring drives, Tyler Goodson ran for 141 yards and a touchdown and No. 22 Iowa beat Northwestern 17-12 on Saturday night to stop a two-game losing streak.
The Hawkeyes (7-2, 4-2 Big Ten) got the bounce-back win they were seeking coming off lopsided losses to Purdue and Wisconsin, though it wasn’t exactly a breeze.
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 immediately sealed it with his second interception, sending the Wildcats to their third straight loss.
Padilla led two touchdown drives in the first half after Iowa went nowhere on its first three possessions. And the Hawkeyes won for the first time since beating Penn State on Oct. 9, after getting outscored 51-14 over the previous two games.
Padilla 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 of 4 for 4 yards.
Goodson finished 12 yards shy of his career high after he was held to a combined 95 yards against Purdue and Wisconsin. He scored from the 13 late in the first quarter and broke off a 41-yard run early in the second to help set up a touchdown by Arland Bruce IV.
Jermari Harris had an interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter. And the Hawkeyes hung on to beat Northwestern after dropping four of the previous five meetings.
Marty started at quarterback 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.
Hull had 89 yards receiving and 41 rushing. The defense took a hit when defensive end Samdup Miller exited in the first half with a lower body injury, and the Wildcats remained winless since beating Rutgers on Oct. 16.
Iowa’s slide in the poll figures to stop after the Hawkeyes plummeted in recent weeks.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes need to get more from an offense that struggled to score, though the defense did its job.
Northwestern: The Wildcats continued to struggle after being outscored 74-21 over losses to Michigan and Minnesota.
Iowa: Hosts Minnesota on Nov. 13.
Northwestern: At Wisconsin on Nov. 13.