Injuries in last week’s game left questions for Northwestern looking ahead. Cornerback Daniel Jones was lost for the season, then Star players QB Kain Colter and RB Venric Mark were listed as day-to-day. Kain Colter (Concussion) was questionable but still made the start. Venric Mark (lower body) did not play, perhaps being saved for conference play in a couple weeks when Ohio State comes to town. Until then, these games should just be dress rehearsal for tough competition. Both teams expect to be 4-0 when Ohio State arrives in Evanston, hopefully with ESPN College Gameday and other national coverage.
Today happened to be Chicago Blackhawks day at Ryan Field with appearances from many people in the organization, like chairman Rocky Wirtz, Bryan Bickell, Brandon Saad, Nick Leddy and Andrew Shaw. The game started off with a classic national anthem by none other than Jim Cornelison.
Northwestern received first and it was stressful to see a banged up Kain Colter go out there for the first snap. However, Colter pushed the ball with ease and marched down the field for a touchdown. He was not slow at all, as Northwestern went into the no huddle often. The first play for Northwestern on defense was a sack-fumble which was recovered by the offense. The Defensive line and secondary set the pace for Northwestern’s rout. The Wildcats proceeded to take a 20-0 lead in the second quarter. To stop Colter, Syracuse blitzed and played tight coverage to stop Colter from beating them on the ground. It didn’t stop him from a 16 yard touchdown run to go up 27-7. Second quarterback Trevor Siemian took his first snap at the beginning of the second quarter and he brought explosive plays with his arm. He had three 25+ yard passes in the second quarter as well as two touchdowns. He completed his second touchdown drive with only 44 seconds left in the half. The ‘Cats go into halftime with a hefty lead of 34-7.
The NU defense played very relaxed in the second half allowing Syracuse to move the chains more and get back in the game. Syracuse attacked the flat in the passing game and had some good production. Nonetheless, Northwestern’s defense still competed by catching 4 interceptions against Syracuse’s Drew Allen. After a Siemian 47 yard touchdown pass he ended up with 259 yards, 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Together with Colter, Northwestern had 375 passing yards with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions. This results in a 2-0 Northwestern team looking forward to 0-2 Western Michigan at home next week.