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Northwestern bounces back, beats Iowa 28-17

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Northwestern bounces back, beats Iowa 28-17

EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) Kain Colter scored three rushing touchdowns and threw for another score as Northwestern defeated Iowa 28-17 on Saturday.

The Wildcats (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) have been struggling with their passing game, but had success running the ball. Colter rushed for 166 yards and Venric Mark ran for 162 yards. Mark became Northwestern's first 1,000-yard rusher since Tyrell Sutton in 2006.

Northwestern has won four of its last five against the Hawkeyes (4-3, 2-1), who fell further out of contention in the Big Ten Legends Division. Iowa was hurt by sacks, penalties and lack of execution on offense.

Running back Mark Weisman, a native of Buffalo Grove, Ill., exited late in the second quarter with an injury and rushed for just 21 yards. Damon Bullock finished with 107 yards rushing for Iowa.

Iowa cut the lead to 28-17 with 6:37 remaining on quarterback James Vandenberg's 1-yard run to cap an 84-yard drive after the Hawkeyes recovered a fumble.

Iowa drove to the Northwestern 24 with 1:44 left, but Vandenberg threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-2 to end the threat. Vandenberg went 24 for 38 for 214 yards and ran for two touchdowns.

Northwestern has struggled in the fourth quarter, collapsing in losses to Nebraska and Penn State.

Both teams were looking to bounce back from crushing home losses. Northwestern blew a 12-point lead in the fourth quarter against Nebraska, and Iowa was routed 38-14 by Penn State last week.

Northwestern jumped on Iowa early. The Wildcats scored on their opening drive on a 5-yard run by Colter for a 7-0 lead in the homecoming game. He carried the ball five times for 43 yards, including runs of 18 and 20 yards, during the drive.

Iowa answered with a 40-yard field goal. The Hawkeyes reached the NU 28, but Vandenberg fumbled a snap for a loss of 6 yards for third-and-14, and Iowa had to settle for the field goal.

Two plays later, Northwestern turned the ball over, but Iowa was unable to take advantage. The Hawkeyes' B.J. Lowery intercepted Colter's long pass attempt, and Iowa drove to the NU 33, but the Hawkeyes committed a delay-of-game penalty on fourth-and-3 and had to punt.

Northwestern marched 99 yards on its next drive, with Mark running for 72 yards on the first play. Colter later scored on a 2-yard run for a 14-3 lead.

Iowa reached the Northwestern 23 before halftime, but Vandenberg was sacked for a loss of 6 yards on third down. He threw short on fourth down, turning the ball over to Northwestern, which led 14-3 at halftime.

The Wildcats grabbed a 21-3 lead shortly after halftime. Northwestern started at the Iowa 4 after Tyris Jones blocked a Hawkeyes punt and Colter scored his third touchdown on a 4-yard rush.

Northwestern took control on Colter's 47-yard touchdown pass to Christian Jones with 10:43 left in the third quarter.

Iowa scored its first touchdown on Vandenberg's run with 22 seconds left in the third quarter to make it 28-10.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

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USA TODAY Sports

Capitals Faceoff Podcast: On to Vegas!

The Capitals are the Eastern Conference Champions!

After dispatching Tampa Bay in Game 7, the Caps claimed the conference crown for just the second time in franchise history. But they're not done yet. Now it's on to Vegas to face the Golden Knights for the Stanley Cup.

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir break down the Caps' win over the Lightning and look ahead to the matchup with the Knights.

Check out their latest episode in the player below or listen on the Capitals Faceoff Podcast page.

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Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

Michigan's Moritz Wagner could be Wizards' solution for a stretch-five

The pre-draft workout process can be an exhausting journey for players, with so many flights, hotel rooms and NBA arenas that they can all blend in together. Michigan big man Moritz Wagner, though, may have felt a sense of comfort in Washington for his pre-draft workout for the Wizards on Wednesday.

It was just over a year ago that his Michigan Wolverines cut down the nets at Capital One Arena as champions of the Big Ten conference.

"It was good memories, man. Never gets old," he said while glancing around the stadium.

Wagner, 21, will be seeing a lot more of Capital One Arena once he joins the NBA ranks and it is conceivable he ends up in Washington. They hold the 15th pick in the first round and the 44th pick in the second round and Wagner could be within their reach.

Wagner had an impressive workout in Washington and could provide what the Wizards need. He is a big, mobile and can spread the floor. Wagner was terrific at stepping out to hit threes off pick-and-rolls at Michigan and that ability would work well with Wizards All-Star point guard John Wall.

Wagner measured in at just under 7-feet at this month's NBA Combine, fifth-tallest among those who attended. He averaged 14.6 points as a junior this past season and made 39.4 percent of his threes on 4.1 attempts per game.

With three years of college experience and an NBA-ready jumper, Wagner believes he can step right in and help the Wizards.

"I think what we did at Michigan, sharing the ball and playing as a team, very organized basketball, that can help big-time," he said. "It's basically pro basketball I was playing on a different level."

As Wagner will tell you, he is very confident in his abilities. He is comfortable in his own skin and that includes openly discussing his faults. He feels good about his ability to score at the next level. Defense is where he needs to prove himself.

Despite his size, Wagner wasn't much of a rim protector in college. He averaged just a half-block a game as a junior. The Wizards need rim protection badly and he likely would not provide that.

Wagner, though, believes he can bring more to the table defensively than the numbers would suggest.

"I think I've been an offensive guy all of my life, but the more that you mature as a player, you understand that both sides are important. Without defense, you aren't going to play at any level," he said.

"I think the most important thing that I wasn't able to show in college is that I'm able to switch the ball-screen, especially with the way the league is going. Switch on everything and stay in front of guards as a big guy."

Wagner is from Germany and looks up to Mavs legend Dirk Nowitzki, who is entering his 21st season and will be in the Hall of Fame someday. Nowitzki's game has always been built around shooting and, though he developed into a decent shot-blocker in his prime, was never an elite rim protector.

Wagner hopes to follow in his footsteps playing a similar style.

"He was my MJ. He kind of shows you 'okay, this is possible and this is doable.' It's just basketball," Wagner said. "It gives you a lot of hope. It gives you a lot of belief and motivation."

Hear more from Wagner in his one-on-one interview with Chris Miller in our latest Wizards Tipoff podcast. His interview can also be found in the video above:

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