Hilinski’s two TD passes push Northwestern to Rutgers 21-7

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EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Ryan Hilinski threw a 267 yard and two touchdown pass to raise Northwestern to a 21-7 win over the Rutgers on Saturday afternoon.

Hilinski, who made his third start since his transfer from South Carolina, kicked Malik Washington 64 yards in the first quarter to open the score for the Wildcats (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten) with a 98-yard drive. touchdown pass. Completion – Hilinski’s tallest as a Wildcat – helped his team get their first conference win of the season.

Washington drove through a downfield defender on touchdown hold and finished with 84 receiving yards on five catches. Wide fielder Stephon Robinson Jr. He had 115 yards and took the pressure off a Wildcats rush attack that struggled to advance throughout the day. The ground play, which is often key to Northwestern’s offensive approach, combined just 137 yards in 48 tries.

Northwestern seemed like a fitting matchup for the Scarlet Knights (3-4, 0-4 Big Ten), who are playing three games in a row against currently top 10 opponents. But five of his first six runs resulted in punts. , Rutgers were unable to muster enough offense to avoid opening the conference game with four consecutive losses. Quarterback Noah Vedral hit all four of his passes in Rutgers’ only scoring drive in the game, but created a completely inconsistent day and went 18 on 30 for 152 yards.

Marshall Lang added a 2-yard touchdown reception to the second, and Andrew Clair’s fourth-quarter TD run rounded out Northwestern’s lead, which was leading 14-7 at the half.

The Scarlet Knights missed an opportunity to tighten the game in the third round as Valentino Ambrosio missed a goal from 33 yards after the game penalty was delayed forcing the team to make an attempt to go for the fourth down.

CARRY

Rutgers: After losing four times in a row, the Scarlet Knights’ 3-0 start to the season is slipping into rear view. Ending this slippage would require better play than a defense that allowed a total of 1,531 yards in their last three games. Another shaky performance from Vedral means coach Greg Schiano won’t be avoiding questions about a QB trade any time soon. Rutgers will have the chance to reunite with a goodbye next week, followed by a visit to Illinois.

The Northwestern: Wildcats needed a win to save their season after being eliminated by Nebraska on October 2. They took a Saturday thanks to the enhanced play of Hilinski and the Wildcats defense allowing only 222 total yards. While a strong show against the average Rutgers offense won’t solve all of Northwestern’s defensive concerns, performance can certainly serve as a building block. The Wildcats will need to get as much momentum out of the victory as possible, as their next three weeks include matches against the top twelve opponents in Michigan and Iowa.

QB1

Hilinski opened the year in third place for the Wildcats, but saw weekly pass distance climbs at every start. Northwestern has switched between three quarterbacks in their first three games and will need stability in that position if they are to recover from a shaky start to the season. Hilinski can provide that for the Wildcats with yet another prolific performance.

SCENES FOR PUNTER

Rutgers bookie Adam Korsak, who has just started winning the Ray Guy Punter of the Week award for the third time this season, put in another solid effort on Saturday. Nine tails threw 403 yards, four of which landed inside the 20-yard line.

FLAGS IN MANY

Rutgers tied for the second least penalty in the Big Ten this season, but Saturday was marked as frequent. The Scarlet Knights took 11 penalties for 91 yards, including an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for sideline interception that helped keep Northwestern’s fourth-quarter score alive.

NEXT

Rutgers: October 30 in Illinois.

Northwest: Saturday in Michigan.

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