Football: Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 6, Wisconsin 21

Rohan Nadkarni, Gameday Editor

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MADISON, Wis. —

The key:

Northwestern’s offense has been the X-factor of today’s game against Wisconsin.

After clicking early, the unit fell apart and failed to move the ball down the field. Despite strong play from the defense, including three takeaways, the offense could not capitalize. Poor punts also routinely gave the Badgers great field position.

Junior quarterback Trevor Siemian and senior quarterback Kain Colter both struggled, with Colter throwing an early interception. After the pick, Colter seemed almost afraid to throw down field. Siemian has been inaccurate and can’t establish any rhythm during his time on the field.

The Wildcats were poised to take an early lead after strong play from the defense, but the offense really failed in the first half.

What Northwestern needs to win:

Besides restarting the game?

The defense must regain its form. The entire unit was a pleasant surprise early in the matchup, standing up to the Badgers’ rushing attack. If the defense gathers itself, then the offense has a chance to make up ground.

But the defense showed signs of cracking late in the half, with the offense’s lack of first downs forcing the defense on the field more often. Two big plays also sunk a solid effort, with Wisconsin scoring on a 63-yard pass and a 71-yard run.

Simply put, the Cats must perform much better in each phase of the game if they hope to upset the Badgers on the road. A late drive by the offense inspired a little confidence, but Siemian could still not find the end zone. If both quarterbacks start to play up to their potential, then NU may have a chance.

Rohan Nadkarni

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