Sep 25, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats running back Evan Hull (26) runs the ball for a touchdown as Ohio Bobcats cornerback John Gregory (13) pursues him during the first half  at Ryan Field. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

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Evan Hull and Northwestern run over Ohio

Ultimately, Northwestern’s decision on a starting quarterback mattered little as the Wildcats ran over and around visiting Ohio University in a 35-6 victory Saturday in Evanston, Ill.

Evan Hull piled up a career-high 216 rushing yards and two touchdowns on just 22 carries, including a 90-yard scoring run in the first quarter, as the Wildcats (2-2) were never threatened. Northwestern went with quarterback Ryan Hilinski, who began the year third on the depth chart, with Andrew Marty sidelined by injury. Hilinski finished 12-of-20 passing for 88 yards.

Ohio fell to 0-4 for the first time since 2008 and has yet to win for first-year head coach Tim Albin. Kurtis Rourke completed 20 of 29 passes for 166 yards and rushed for 33 more. But Rourke also had an interception and a lost fumble and left the game with an injury late in the fourth quarter. Backup QB Armani Rogers had a team-high 68 rushing yards.

Ohio avoided its first shutout in eight years when Rogers scored on a 55-yard run on the game’s final play. The extra point was not attempted.

Hull erupted for 161 yards and two scores in the first half alone to power the Wildcats to a 17-0 lead by intermission.

Ohio nearly avoided the shutout on its first possession, but Tristian Vandenberg was wide right on a 31-yard field goal attempt. The Bobcats never got that close to the end zone again until Rogers’ game-ending run.

Northwestern cashed in on Rourke’s fumble with Hull’s 17-yard touchdown run around the right end for a 7-0 lead on its second possession. Late in the first quarter, Hull exploded up the middle for a 90-yard touchdown dash — barely touched — and the Wildcats led 14-0.

Charlie Kuhbander converted a 24-yard field goal inside the final minute of the opening half for the 17-0 lead. Kuhbander made it 20-0 with a 26-yard field with 14:52 remaining.

Northwestern tacked on a 7-yard touchdown from Anthony Tyus III and added the two-point conversion to make it 28-0 with 6:00 left. Jake Arthurs added a 5-yard touchdown run with 42 seconds left for the Wildcats’ final score.

The Wildcats racked up 373 rushing yards on 51 attempts, averaging 7.3 yards per carry. Ohio finished with 348 total yards.

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
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