Northwestern sure is getting used to this overtime thing.
For the second straight game, the Wildcats needed more than 60 minutes to determine a winner, and for the second straight game, the Cats scored a win in extra time. This time, it was Northwestern taking down the 16th-ranked team in the country, Michigan State, in a 39-31 thriller in Evanston.
The Cats nearly won it in regulation, breaking a 10-all tie with a fourth-quarter, trick-play touchdown pass from Justin Jackson and holding a seven-point edge into the game's final minute. But Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke led the Spartans on a last-minute scoring drive, tying the game with a touchdown with 25 seconds left and forcing overtime.
Clayton Thorson pitched a touchdown pass in the first overtime, a feat matched by Lewerke. Lewerke put the Spartans in front in the second overtime, only for Jackson to tie the game with a scoring rush. Thorson tossed a 22-yard pass to Flynn Nagel on the third play of the third overtime and tacked on a two-point conversion to make it an eight-point game before Michigan State got its shot.
But on the Spartans' second play, Lewerke dropped the ball, picked it back up and heaved a throw to the end zone, where Nate Hall intercepted the pass and ended the game.
It was a thrilling finish to an uncharacteristically offense-heavy game for both teams. Northwestern finished with 432 total yards, Thorson passing for 356 of those. Lewerke racked up an astonishing 445 passing yards and threw four touchdown passes, the bulk of Michigan State's 540 total yards.
It was the Spartans' first loss in conference play and just their second loss on the season. The Cats moved to 5-3 and 3-2 in the Big Ten with their third straight win.
Northwestern will try to make it four straight when it travels to take on Nebraska.
Northwestern University tweeted support for one of their football alumni who’s participated in the protests over George Floyd’s death in police custody.
Ifeadi Odenigbo played for the Wildcats from 2012-2016 and finished his four years there with 23.5 sacks.
Odenigbo now plays in Minneapolis-- where these protests began-- for the Minnesota Vikings.
Besides getting out and marching with protestors, Odenigbo has been active on Twitter retweeting posts related to the unrest, including a message from his former coach Pat Fitzgerald.
Odenigbo is the first person in his family to be born in the United States. His parents immigrated here from Nigeria.
RELATED: Nick Foles shares thoughts on George Floyd death protests
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After trying to add a Division I men's ice hockey program at the University of Illinois for nearly three years, the school was finally close. Then the coronavirus pandemic hit.
The Chicago Tribune reported Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman told media on Monday that the university was forced to "hit the pause button" on the hopes and dreams of alums, sports fans and young hockey players with midwest ties.
“Clearly with everything that’s changed here in the last six weeks, it makes sense for us to hit the — at least the short-term — pause button on that project while we wait and let things unfold in the weeks and months ahead,” Whitman said.
According to Whitman, U of I was about a month away from forming the program before the pandemic changed things.
The state of Illinois produces the fourth-most college hockey players but has no Division I hockey team yet.
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