Northwestern QB Persa out for rest of season

Northwestern was able to fight back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit and likely knock Iowa out of the Big Ten race Saturday afternoon at Ryan Field in Evanston. But in the process of the 21-17 win, the Wildcats lost starting quarterback Dan Persa for the rest of the season.

The dual-threat signal caller ruptured his Achilles on his game-winning touchdown pass to Demetrius Fields with 1:22 remaining, according to head coach Pat Fitzgerald in his postgame news conference.

The junior will have surgery to repair the injury Saturday evening.

Persa was once again gritty and efficient, completing 31 of 42 passes for 302 yards with two touchdowns against the Hawkeyes. NU has now won five of its past six games against Iowa.

Backup Evan Watkins will start for the Wildcats next Saturday when they host Illinois at Wrigley Field. It will be his first career start.

For Persa and the Wildcats, the injury overshadows an otherwise exciting day for the program as it prepares for an historic meeting with the rival Illini at the home of the Chicago Cubs next week.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

Upcoming Games

Aug 5th, 8:00 PM

Dallas

Pittsburgh

@

Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Washington

New England

@

Aug 12th, 7:30 PM

Pittsburgh

Philadelphia

@