Football: Northwestern offense clicking going into halftime

Rohan Nadkarni, Gameday Editor

First Quarter: Northwestern ran a four-play, 75-yard opening drive that resulted in a touchdown pass within the first minute of play. Senior quarterback Kain Colter started after sustaining a concussion in the season opener. He threw a 7-yard pass to junior Treyvon Green to put the Wildcats ahead 7-0.

With three minutes and 15 seconds left in the first quarter, senior kicker Jeff Budzien gave the Cats a 10-0 lead on a 32-yard field goal. Colter led an 11-play, 41-yard drive to put NU in position for the score.

Syracuse’s offense finished the first quarter with only three first downs and 50 total yards. The Orange failed to move the ball into NU territory.

Second Quarter: After entering late in the first quarter, junior quarterback Trevor Siemian found sophomore superback Dan Vitale on a 20-yard touchdown pass with 12 minutes and 38 seconds left in the second. The pass ended a nine-play, 91-yard drive.

After an interception by sophomore safety Traveon Henry, NU capitalized with a 21-yard field goal from Budzien. Siemian completed a 43-yard pass to junior receiver Tony Jones during the drive.

Syracuse got on the board after Budzien’s second field goal with a 10-play, 86-yard drive that resulted in a three-yard touchdown run with six minutes and 29 seconds left in the first half.

However, NU kept its foot on the gas and responded with a score of its own. Colter re-entered the game and led the entire drive at quarterback. He managed two big runs, including a 33-yarder on third down and 17-yard jaunt for a score. The rushing touchdown gave the Cats a 27-7 lead.

Syracuse moved the ball near midfield on its last drive of the half, but the Cats put a stop to the threat with an interception from junior linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo.

With less than a minute on the clock, Siemian led a quick drive, featuring a 28-yard completion to senior wide receiver Rashad Lawrence. With two seconds left in the half, Siemian found junior wide receiver Christian Jones for a touchdown to send NU into the half with a 34-7 lead.

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