Dan Persa's heroics lift Wildcats past Iowa


Ricky Stanzi, Denard Robinson and Terrelle Pryor get more attention, but Dan Persa could be the most valuable quarterback in the Big Ten.

I hope Persa can take a moment to enjoy himself after leading Northwestern to a 21-17 come-from-behind win against No. 13 Iowa. The Northwestern junior suffered an apparent foot injury after throwing the game-winning touchdown pass to Demetrius Fields with 1:22 left. Persa was absolutely brilliant in the win, completing 31 of 42 passes for 302 yards with two touchdowns. Unfortunate that he ended up getting hurt.

Iowa appeared to have the game firmly in control, up 17-7 early in the fourth quarter. But Ricky Stanzi made his first major mistake in some time, throwing a wounded duck that Northwestern's Brian Peters intercepted. Northwestern then wore down the vaunted Iowa defense and Stanzi and his receivers showed a lack of poise on the final drive.

That's five wins for Northwestern in its past six games against Iowa, which likely has fallen out of the Big Ten race. The mojo the Hawkeyes had in 2009 clearly isn't there, and you can brand this season as a disappointment, given the preseason expectations.