Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Dan Persa threw for 307 yards and one touchdown as the Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Rice Owls, 30-13, in a non- conference showdown at Rice Stadium.
Drake Dunsmore caught six passes for 87 yards in the win for Northwestern (3-0).
Rice (1-2) was led by quarterback Nick Fanuzzi who completed 20 of his 34 pass attempts for 211 yards, was intercepted once and sacked two times in the setback.
Northwestern opened up the scoring as kicker Stefan Demos connected on a 42- yard field goal, giving the Wildcats the only first quarter score. Demos added a 28-yard field goal early in the second quarter, giving the Wildcats a 6-0 advantage.
The Wildcats then jumped to a 13-0 lead after Quentin Davie picked off a pass from Rice quarterback Taylor Cook and ran it 11-yards for the score.
Rice finally got on the scoreboard as time expired in the first half when Chris Boswell connected on a 31-yard field goal as the Owls went into the intermission trailing 13-3.
Northwestern struck first in the third quarter as Persa completed a pass to Jeremy Ebert for 27 yards and the touchdown, putting the Wildcats up 20-3.
Boswell remained the only option for Rice as he brought the score to 20-6 on a 24-yard field goal.
The Wildcats struck right back as Persa decided to keep the ball and run for an 18-yard score as Northwestern went up 27-6, capping a 12-play, 74-yard drive.
Demos then recorded his third field goal of the night, this time 21 yards out as the Wildcats took a 30-6 advantage.
The Owls were finally able to find the end zone before time expired as Turner Petersen ran for a 10-yard touchdown with just 14 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.
Northwestern, which controlled the ball for more than 34 minutes on the night, generated 451 yards of total offense.