Did Northwestern want to prove a point against No. 21 Stanford in the first game of the season. Yeah, maybe. But the Wildcats probably just wanted to win a game after back-to-back 5-7 seasons — a streak that followed five straight bowl appearances.
The Cardinal was on the wrong end of a 16-6 loss against Northwestern that saw Stanford really struggling to score. The Wildcats were carried by a strong run game and an equally strong defense that held Stanford senior QB Kevin Hogan, to 155 yards and an interception, completing 20 of his 35 passes. He also threw this interception to seal Stanford’s season-opening loss Saturday at Ryan Field.
Northwestern redshirt QB Clayton Thorson made his debut for the Wildcats and shocked the Cardinal defense with a 42-yard quarterback draw for their only TD of the half. Thorson completed 12 of his 24 passes for 105 yards with Justin Jackson adding 134 rushing yards on 28 carries.
Stanford might have some work to do, coming off a 8-5 season that snapped a string of four consecutive BCS bowls.