Wildcats rout Maryland 43-3 in Big Ten opener
Northwestern rolled over Maryland 43-3 Saturday night in Evanston, Ill., rolling up 537 total yards in the long-awaited season-opener for both Big Ten squads.
Peyton Ramsey, the grad transfer quarterback from Indiana, led the charge, completing 23-of-30 for 212 yards, throwing for a touchdown and also rushing for a 12-yard score in the first quarter.
The Wildcats secured coach Pat Fitzgerald’s 100th career win (100-79) with the victory.
Northwestern’s Drake Anderson rushed for 103 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries, and Isaiah Bowser added 70 and a score on 23 rushes.
Northwestern had 325 yards rushing and four touchdowns on the ground. Charlie Kuhbander kicked three field goals for Northwestern, which averaged just 297.1 yards and 16.3 points last season, figures that both ranked 13th in the Big Ten.
The victory was the Wildcats’ largest margin of victory in a Big Ten contest since a 48-0 win over Illinois in 1970.
Northwestern marched 75 yards in 14 plays on the Wildcats’ first possession to go up 7-3 on Bowser’s one-yard rush. A.J Hampton intercepted Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa on the ensuing possession and five plays later Ramsey scored for a 14-3 lead at 1:31 of the first period.
Tagovailoa, a transfer from Alabama, was also making his first start.
The Terrapins went 56 yards in 12 plays to cash in on a 33-yard field goal by Joseph Petrino to open the scoring. Tagovailoa went 6-for-7 for 33 yards on the opening march. He finished 14-of-25, but his two first-half interceptions and a Maryland fumble helped the Terrapins dig a 30-3 halftime hole.
Tagovailoa finished with three interceptions and the Terrapins amassed just 171 yards of total offense. Jeshaun Jones, who missed all of last year with an ACL injury, had five receptions for 37 yards to lead Maryland.
Maryland saw its run of 10 consecutive opening game wins, the fifth longest such streak in the country among power five schools, ended. The Terrapins return to action Friday in their home opener against Minnesota. Northwestern takes to the road to play at Iowa next Saturday.
–Field Level Media