The Wildcats extended their winning streak to three games with a 24-14 win over Indiana. Northwestern has a winning record for the first time this year, and they won their first homecoming game since 2012.
After an unprecedented 54-point game last week in East Lansing, the ‘Cats came out firing again, scoring two touchdowns and picking up 122 total yards in the first quarter.
But things slowed down in the second half, as the ‘Cats didn’t score at all in the final 30 minutes, and had just 37 yards of total offense in the second half. The ‘Cats couldn’t move the ball at all in the second half, but their first half lead combined with a strong defense was enough to hold on.
Defensively, the ‘Cats were strong all game, making two one-handed interceptions, one from Kyle Queiro and one from Montre Hartage. Queiro became the third Northwestern defensive back to correctly predict his interception with a tweet the night before.
The passing attack was strong to start, as Clayton Thorson continued to show improvement from last year. He took a big hit in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Matt Alviti briefly, but he came back for the ‘Cats final series. Thorson finished with 285 passing yards and three touchdowns.
Austin Carr, who came into the game leading the big ten in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, had another monster game. He had seven catches for 125 yards and a touchdown, though most of that came in the first half.
The ‘Cats were also quite effective in the running game. Justin Jackson had another 100-yard game, and continues to be one of the best running backs in the Big Ten. He had 138 yards from scrimmage on 32 touches.
The Hoosiers struggled to get their offense going in the first half. They tried plenty of deep pass plays, but quarterback Richard Lagow struggled to connect with his receivers. However, they showed signs of improvement in the second half and Lagow finished 35 for 58 with 319 yards.
On the ground, the ‘Cats were able to contain Devine Redding all game. The junior running back ran for over 1,000 yards last year, but still has just one rushing touchdown this season. He finished with 16 carries for 50 yards.
Perhaps the strangest play of the game happened towards the end of the first half, when Northwestern looked like they were lining up for a field goal. Instead, holder Matt Micucci took the direct snap and threw a deep pass into the end zone, which fell incomplete.
The ‘Cats will be in for a tough test next week at Ohio State. We’ll have the call live from Columbus at 2:30 CT.