Northwestern expects to have its starting quarterback back in action this weekend against Purdue.
Clayton Thorson was knocked out of last weekend's win over Penn State with a lower-body injury suffered in the first quarter. He was replaced by Zack Oliver and went to the locker room, and despite throwing a ball around on the sideline, he never reentered the game.
But during his weekly press conference Monday, head coach Pat Fitzgerald told reporters that he expects Thorson to play.
Fitz on Thorson: “He’s doing fine. We expect him to play.” #B1GCats
— #B1GCats (@NU_Sports) November 9, 2015
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Thorson has completed 53.1 percent of his passes this season for 1,177 yards and six touchdowns compared to five interceptions. He's also rushed for an additional 312 yards and five touchdowns.
While the offense has not always run smoothly under Thorson, the redshirt freshman has made strides and was off to a solid start — 5-for-8 for 58 yards — before getting knocked out against the Nittany Lions.
Oliver was solid in relief, throwing a touchdown pass and rushing in for a touchdown in the second quarter. While he and the offense struggled after that, Oliver's big third-down pass to Austin Carr in the final moments of the game helped set up the game-winning field goal.