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Dean Lowry, Tyler Scott have big games for NU’s ‘D’

Updated: October 10, 2012 6:38AM

True freshman Ifeadi Odenigbo, the four-star recruit from Centerville, Ohio, made his college debut but it was another true freshman defense end who made the bigger impact in a 23-13 win over Vanderbilt at Ryan Field on Saturday night.

Dean Lowry tipped a pass, pressured Vanderbilt quarterback Jordan Rodgers on several occasions and also recovered the fumble that all but ended Vanderbilt’s potential game-winning drive in the final two minutes.

“It was awesome to see Dean Lowry out there as a true freshman making some plays and getting in Rodgers’ face,” senior defensive end Quentin Williams said.

Defensive tackle Tyler Scott had six tackles, including two for losses, a sack and a forced fumble for Northwestern’s resurgent defense.

Odenigbo played briefly in place of defensive end Deonte Gibson, who injured his elbow against Syracuse, but did not record a tackle.

Injury report

Starting cornerback Nick VanHoose injured his lower back on the second play of the game and did not return.

“Nick is one of our very young, talented guys,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “Hopefully, he’ll be back sooner rather than later.”

Senior Quinn Evans, who transferred to Northwestern to attend grad school after graduating from Stanford, replaced VanHoose. 

“Quinn really stepped up,” Fitzgerald said. “That’s probably the most football Quinn Evans has played in three or four years. I’m a big fan of the NCAA rule on graduate transfers.”

Soldier Field North?

The turf inside Ryan Field was a lush green earlier in the week. Then a tarp was put on to protect the surface from thunder showers. When workers pulled it off, the sun came out sooner and hotter than expected and burned the grass, leaving brown turf polka-dotted with patches of green.

The integrity of the field was not compromised, according to a team spokesperson.

Honoring heroes

The home opener was also “Heroes Day” at Northwestern. The “N” in the center of Ryan Field was red, white and blue instead of purple and white. Players wore identical decals on their helmets to honor the military, police, firemen, Coast Guard, search and rescue and others who put themselves in harms way. A Coast Guard helicopter flew over the stadium after the national anthem.

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