The Wildcats will host the Ohio Bobcats at Ryan Field this Saturday at 11 a.m., so we’ve compiled a side-by-side comparison of the teams’ latest stats to see how these programs match up.
NU: Pat Fitzgerald, 16th season, (107-83 all-time)
OU: Tim Albin, 1st season, (0-3 all-time)
NU: 1-2 overall, 0-1 in Big Ten
OU: 0-3 overall, 0-0 in MAC East
Northwestern is ahead in matchup wins against Ohio University, 3-1. The last time the Bobcats won a game against the Wildcats was in 1973 when they won 14-12. NU has won every matchup since then.
The two teams have only played each other four times with the first matchup taking place in 1973 and the most recent contest occurring in 2008. The Wildcats have won the three most recent games, with the first victory occurring in 1996
Heading into this week’s matchup with the Bobcats, all eyes will be on the quarterback situation. Last week senior quarterback Hunter Johnson had an abysmal start to the game, he threw three interceptions and had four total turnovers in a quarter and a half of play, which led Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald to sub in fellow senior quarterback Andrew Marty.
Marty had an immediate impact on the game and nearly brought the Wildcats all the way back from down 30. Marty ultimately suffered an injury that forced him to miss the rest of the game, but he finished the night with 151 passing yards, two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown. Junior quarterback Ryan Hilinski was subbed in after Marty’s injury to complete the rare QB trifecta that left major question marks at the QB position.
Northwestern's defense was a tale of two halves this past weekend against Duke. In the first half, the Blue Devils were getting anything they wanted both in the air and on the ground. Graduate QB Gunnar Holmberg finished the game with over 300 passing yards and senior running back Mataeo Durant ran for over 100 yards by himself. The Wildcats allowed Duke to score three quick touchdowns in the first quarter, but in the second half they showed flashes of the elite defense they were last year, refusing to allow a single point. The question is, what version of the defense will we see Saturday?
Head Coach Tim Albin and his Bobcat squad have had a rocky start to the season in his first as a head man. The offense has been hard to come by for Ohio. In their week three matchup against Louisiana Lafayette the Bobcats totaled only 250 yards. The previous week they had 307 total yards against the Duquesne Dukes, but the one consistent in this Ohio offense has been inconsistency. Redshirt junior running back O’Shaan Allison is the only back who has had over 10 carries in each of their past two games. He is someone Northwestern will have their eye on when game planning for the Bobcats.
On the other side of the ball, Ohio has allowed their fair share of opportunities through the air and on the ground. Against Louisiana Lafayette the defense allowed quarterback Levi Lewis to throw 226 yards while also allowing four different running backs to run for over 50 yards. With those numbers in mind, the Wildcats shouldn’t have too much of a challenge scoring against this Ohio defense.