Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 7, Minnesota 7

Rohan Nadkarni, Gameday Editor

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The Key:

Punts.

This was a field position game for most of the first half. Northwestern ran the ball pretty well despite not having its two best ground attackers. Senior quarterback Kain Colter and senior running back Venric Mark are both out of the game with ankle injuries. Colter is acting as NU’s emergency quarterback.

Northwestern scored in the first quarter, with Minnesota answering in the second. Minnesota’s score forced a switch from redshirt freshman Dwight White to freshman Matthew Harris at cornerback, which was a welcome sight for NU’s secondary.

Other than that, there hasn’t been anything memorable about the first half of this snooze-fest. There’s no energy (or peanuts) at Ryan Field, and some of the magic has left this team from the beginning of the season.

What Northwestern needs to win:

Rhythm in the passing game.

Junior quarterback Trevor Siemian hasn’t looked great for the second straight week. The Wildcats’ offense looks fairly lost without its two-quarterback system.

Siemian’s best play of the game came on an overthrow, when his pass was tipped to another receiver for a big gain. He also threw another interception, and was lucky the pick wasn’t returned for a touchdown.

Perhaps the game will liven up in the second half once the fans, players and coaches wake up. NU is much better than the Golden Gophers, and once the Cats play up to their potential — or a little more aggressively — they should pull away in the second half.

— Rohan Nadkarni

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