After an emotional victory at Nebraska last week, the main focus for Northwestern was to avoid an emotional letdown in its matchup against Rice. While the offense hasn't been clicking at a high level, the Wildcats have done enough to hold a 7-0 lead after the opening 15 minutes.
Following a shoulder injury that saw him miss the second half against Nebraska, Northwestern QB Dan Persa has come out strong, throwing for 111 yards and a TD in the opening quarter. The lone score came on a 50-yard TD pass to WR Jeremy Ebert, who already has 116 yards receiving. Senior RB Jacob Schmidt rushed for 11 yards on three carries in the opening quarter.
While the offense has stuttered, the strong play on the defensive side of the ball has carried over from the win over Nebraska. The Wildcats defense allowed only 61 total yards in the first 15 minutes, and held the Owls to a measly 2.6 yards per rush.
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