Clayton Thorson is back under center for the Northwestern Wildcats and boy was it good to see him Thursday night as he helped lead his team to a thrilling 31-27 win over the Purdue Boilermakers on the road.

Talk about a great way to start the Big Ten schedule, right?

Thorson, a senior quarterback from Wheaton, Illinois, may not have planned to be a part of this game a year ago, though. He was projected to be one of the top quarterbacks in this past NFL draft, but a terrible knee injury in the Music City Bowl took him out of the running in that regard.

To add insult to that injury, it came on a trick play, with running back Jeremy Larkin hitting him with a throw-back pass that was beautifully executed, but came to a terrible end when Thorson’s knee buckled under him while being tackled.

It was a terrible twist of fat for Thorson but he worked hard to get back and ready for Northwestern’s season opener. Sure, doctor’s suggested he split time with TJ Green, which he did because he was on a “pitch count”, but in-all Thorson looked good. Larkin carried the day for the Wildcats with 143 yards and two touchdowns, but the quarterback did complete 16-of-26 passes for 172 yards.

He also apparently had another chance to catch a pass from his stud running back, but that was an opportunity that Larkin wanted nothing to do with, according to post-game quotes:

Who could blame the guy?