Northwestern crushes South Dakota for fourth straight win

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Northwestern crushes South Dakota for fourth straight win

Venric Mark celebrates the first of his three rushing touchdowns in the first half. The junior running back had 97 yards rushing in the first half to propel NU to a 28-0 lead.

Venric Mark celebrates the first of his three rushing touchdowns in the first half. The junior running back had 97 yards rushing in the first half to propel NU to a 28-0 lead.

Rafi Letzter/The Daily Northwestern

Venric Mark celebrates the first of his three rushing touchdowns in the first half. The junior running back had 97 yards rushing in the first half to propel NU to a 28-0 lead.

Rafi Letzter/The Daily Northwestern

Rafi Letzter/The Daily Northwestern

Venric Mark celebrates the first of his three rushing touchdowns in the first half. The junior running back had 97 yards rushing in the first half to propel NU to a 28-0 lead.

Rohan Nadkarni, Assistant Sports Editor

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Northwestern won for the fourth week in a row Saturday, defeating South Dakota 38-7. The Wildcats effectively ended the game in the first half, racing out to a 28-0 lead going into halftime.

The Cats pounded the Coyotes with a strong rushing attack, running for 277 yards on 53 carries. Junior running back Venric Mark contributed 120 yards of the total, carrying the ball 16 times and scoring three of the team’s five rushing touchdowns.

The Cats’ quarterback tandem of Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian combined for 118 yards on 11-14 passing. Colter threw for 46 yards while also gaining 38 on the ground. Redshirt freshman Zack Oliver also saw action in the fourth quarter, completing his only pass for 13 yards.

Both Siemian and Colter had to leave the game at separate points in the first half after taking hard hits from the Coyotes’ defense.

Colter injured his left wrist on a first-quarter drive at the end of a long run, taking himself off the field. Siemian appeared shaken up after a hit that came on an incompletion. Both returned to the game without any apparent issues.

The NU defense performed well for the third straight week, holding South Dakota to seven points and forcing one turnover. The defensive line put constant pressure on South Dakota quarterback Josh Vander Maten, who did manage to run for 38 yards and his team’s only touchdown.

Quinn Evans started at cornerback for the first time for the Cats, but his day ended early with an injury. NU did not provide an update on his status during the game.

The Cats begin conference play next week against Indiana.

Rohan Nadkarni

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