The Wildcats wrapped up their out-of-conference games by routing the visiting Coyotes 38-7 in Evanston this afternoon.
Stud running back Venric Mark rushed for three touchdowns, the first of which came less four minutes into the game. Four minutes later, Tyris Jones added a TD of his own to put Northwestern up 14-0. Mark added his second and third touchdowns in the second quarter, which gave the Cats a 28-0 lead going into the half.
The bad news for NU during the first half was that QB Kain Colter had to leave the game with a wrist injury. He did return in the second half, and the Wildcats do have a capable second guy in Trevor Siemian.
In the third quarter, Treyvon Green tacked on a 33-yard TD run in the third quarter before South Dakota finally got on the board. That made the score 35-7, before Northwestern added a field goal in the fourth quarter to make it 38-7.
It was really just a bad day all-around for SD, who racked up nine penalties and also turned the ball over once. They also managed only 13 first downs compared to NU’s 22.
Colter finished the day 7-of-9 for 46 yards and Siemian was 4-of-5 for 72 yards. Third-string QB Zack Oliver’s one and only pass was a completion for 13 yards. Coytoes QB Josh Vander Maten went 17-of-33 for 189 yards. Mark had 16 carries for 177 yards and the three touchdowns and Tony Jones had four receptions for just over 60 yards to lead the Wildcats. Jones also had eight catches for 42 yards and a TD.
Vander Maten had nine carries for 38 yards and their only touchdown and Terrance Terry had five receptions for 66 yards to lead South Dakota. The Coyotes managed only 51 yards on the ground, though they outgained the Cats 189-131 in yards through the air. NU had 408 total yards to South Dakota’s 240.
Northwestern is now 4-0 and will begin Big Ten play at home next weekend against Indiana.