Going into their tilt Saturday with the Ohio Bobcats, Northwestern needed to play a complete game before going into Big Ten play.
The Wildcats got back on track and more, dismantling Ohio 35-6 to get back to .500 on the season.
QB Ryan Hilinski got the start for the Wildcats, his first career start in the purple and black. Hilinski finished 12-20 for 88 yards. However, the star of the game was Wildcat RB Evan Hull, who ran for 216 yards and 2 touchdowns. He paced a Northwestern offense that ran for 373 yards as a whole in the contest.
The Ohio offense didn't have the same success, however. QB Kyle Rourke was pressured constantly by the Northwestern front, being sacked 4 times and hurried into making several bad throws. The Bobcat run game was also ineffective, only rushing for 179 yards. Jeffery Pooler Jr., Jeremy Meiser and Adetomiwa Adebawore each had a sack for the Wildcats, with Adebawore continuing his impressive season.
The Bobcats opened up with the ball, and drove down the field within striking distance, but could not convert on a field goal attempt. Northwestern punted on their opening drive, but quickly got the ball back on a Chris Bergin forced fumble. Evan Hull scored his first touchdown of the day from 17 yards out a few plays later. After another Ohio punt, Hull ran for a 90 yard touchdown to put Northwestern up 14-0. Charlie Kuhbander missed his first field goal attempt of the day, a 24-yarder, but nailed another 24-yard attempt to put the Wildcats up 17-0 going into halftime.
After trading punts to open the second half, Northwestern scored on another Kuhbander field goal at the beginning of the fourth quarter, pushing the Wildcat lead to 20 points. Northwestern safety Brandon Joseph picked up his first interception of the year on the next Bobcat drive, but the Wildcats gave the ball back a few plays later on a fumbled handoff between Hilinski and RB Andrew Clair.
The Bobcats were promptly stopped on their next drive, turning the ball over on downs. The Wildcats scored on an Anthony Tyus III touchdown run to make it a 28-0 and effectively putting the game out of reach. Reserve RB Jake Arthurs scored on a late rushing touchdown, and Armani Rogers ran for a 55 yard TD as the clock expired to make it 35-6 Wildcats.
The Wildcats will be in Lincoln next Saturday to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers in their first contest against a Big Ten West team this year.