12:00 PM ET, October 9, 2004
Ryan Field, EVANSTON, IL
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) -- Noah Herron ran for a career-high 197 yards and three touchdowns, including a 16-yard scoring run in the second overtime that gave Northwestern a 31-24 victory over Indiana on Saturday.
Demetrius Eaton sacked Matt LoVecchio on fourth down to end Indiana's hopes of forcing a third overtime, and the Wildcats flooded onto the field to celebrate. It's the second straight year the Hoosiers (2-4, 0-3 Big Ten) and Wildcats (3-3, 2-1) have gone to overtime, with Northwestern winning both games.
It also was the second straight overtime game for Northwestern, which upset Ohio State last weekend.
Courtney Roby became Indiana's career receptions leader with eight catches for 150 yards. He has 149 catches, one more than Thomas Lewis. But Roby's big day wasn't enough to keep the Hoosiers from dropping their fourth straight.
The Wildcats had hoped to use this game to prove their shocker over Ohio State last weekend was no fluke. But they spent most of the game looking nothing like the team that beat the Buckeyes. They couldn't seem to get in a rhythm offensively, and they couldn't shut Indiana down when they got them in third-and-longs.
But with less than two minutes in regulation, the Wildcats finally rallied. Brett Basanez connected with Ashton Aikens on 11 and 18 yard passes to set up Brian Huffman's 32-yard field goal that tied it with 29 seconds left.
The Hoosiers got the ball first in overtime, and LoVecchio connected with Jahkeen Gilmore on a 25-yard scoring pass on the second play. Basanez converted on fourth-and-6, hitting Mark Philmore for a 12-yard gain and the first down.
Then, on third-and-2 at the 2, Basanez dropped back to pass -- and found Indiana linebacker Paul Szczeny in his face. Basanez scrambled all the way back to the 20 and with several Hoosiers closing in on him, lofted a pass toward the end zone.
Taylor Jones was sliding to his left with a cluster of Hoosiers around him, but he somehow managed to pluck the ball out of the air for the score. Huffman made the extra point, tying it at 24 and sending it into a second overtime.
On fourth-and-1, Herron took the ball and juked right, finding a hole and sprinting untouched into the end zone for the 16-yard score that put Northwestern ahead 31-24 -- its first lead since the first quarter.
LoVecchio connected with Roby for a 7-yard gain, but he threw incompletions on his next two attempts. Then, on fourth-and-3, Eaton bulldozed through the Indiana line and slammed LoVecchio to the ground for the game-ending sack.
LoVecchio finished 27-of-50 for 329 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Though the Hoosiers had 429 yards of offense, only 100 came on the ground.
Basanez was 28-of-48 for 254 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Horn had six catches for 62 yards.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||10-20||8-18|
|4th Down Conversions||0-1||2-3|
|TD||3:49||NOAH HERRON 6 YD RUN (BRIAN HUFFMAN KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 36 yards.
|TD||9:14||AARON HALTERMAN 3 YD PASS FROM MATT LOVECCHIO (BRYAN ROBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||8:43||COURTNEY ROBY 48 YD PASS FROM MATT LOVECCHIO (BRYAN ROBERTSON KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 92 yards.
|TD||2:52||NOAH HERRON 49 YD RUN (BRIAN HUFFMAN KICK)|
Drive info: 9 plays, 94 yards.
|FG||11:28||BRYAN ROBERTSON 35 YD FG|
Drive info: 14 plays, 63 yards.
|FG||0:29||BRIAN HUFFMAN 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 49 yards.
|TD||0:00||JAHKEEN GILMORE 25 YD PASS FROM MATT LOVECCHIO (BRYAN ROBERTSON KICK)||24||17|
|TD||0:00||TAYLOR JONES 2 YD PASS FROM BRETT BASANEZ (BRIAN HUFFMAN KICK)||24||24|
|TD||0:00||NOAH HERRON 16 YD RUN (BRIAN HUFFMAN KICK)||24||31|