Evan Hull ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns and Northwestern beat Indiana State 24-6 on Saturday.
Hull led the way for a Wildcats running unit that surpassed last week’s total of 117 yards against Michigan State at halftime and finished with 209. He ran for 51 yards in the first practice of the team and topped it off with a 3-yard touchdown.
“When you look at where you are as a Big Ten team playing against an FCS team, you have to kick the ball,” said Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald. “For the most part, when we got it right on target and executed, I thought we did a good job.”
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The Wildcats (1-1) never dragged, stopping the Sycamores (1-1) in the first clash between the two programs.
After throwing for 283 yards against Michigan State, Hunter Johnson finished with 66 passing yards with a touchdown. The senior completed 9 of 16 assists in his second start as a Wildcat starter.
Freshman Anthony Tyus III rushed for 71 yards for Northwestern, who edged Indiana State 275-169 in total yards and 209-91 rushing.
“The credit goes to our guys,” Fitzgerald said. “They were the ones who performed cleaner, they looked like they were having fun. We’re a long way from where we need to be and that’s what’s most exciting for me as a coach of this group: we can be so much better and we have to commit to that and I know the guys will. “
Anthony Thompson of Indiana State had 132 yards and one touchdown, completing 21 of 34 passes on his second start for Indiana State after being transferred from northern Illinois.
Matt Sora rushed 13 yards to lead the Sycamores.
“It’s very motivating for offense, especially when they give us so much short field,” Hall said of the team’s strong defense. “When we step into the caucus and have that momentum, it’s so important to build on it.”
The Wildcats amassed 92 yards and scored on a 25-yard pass from Johnson to Malik Washington to make it 14-0 with a few minutes left in the first quarter.
Brandon Joseph energized Northwestern to start the second half. The turner backed up 46 yards on a punt that set up a 47 yard field goal. Joseph returned the next 50-yard punt.
Hull added his second touchdown midway through the fourth when he scored on a 13-yard run to make it 24-0.
Indiana State came on late when Thompson completed a 9-yard pass to Zach Larkin.
“We came to win the game and we were confident we could,” said Indiana State coach Curt Mallory. “We didn’t flinch. We came here to fight and that’s the goal of this team. We will continue to stick together.”
Take it away
Indiana State: The Sycamores limited themselves to a two-possession halftime game on the road against a Big Ten opponent, but stalled on offense until it was too late.
Northwestern: The Wildcats rebounded from an opening loss to Michigan State by dealing with an FCS opponent.
Indiana State: The Sycamores play Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.
Northwest: The Wildcats travel to Duke for a game on Saturday.