Northwestern evens record with stout win over UTEP

Quarterback Ben Bryant passed for one touchdown and rushed for another, and Northwestern pulled away for a 38-7 win over UTEP on Saturday afternoon in Evanston, Ill.

Joseph Himon II added an 85-yard touchdown catch for Northwestern (1-1), which earned its first win under interim coach David Braun. Jack Lausch and A.J. Henning scored one touchdown apiece on the ground.

Gavin Hardison completed 17 of 25 passes for 192 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for UTEP (1-2). Zach Fryar caught the Miners’ lone touchdown pass.

Northwestern ended the game with 38 unanswered points after UTEP scored first.

Cam Porter led the Wildcats with 90 rushing yards on 17 carries. Bryant completed 11 of 17 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown before he left due to injury and was replaced by Ryan Hilinski, who completed his only pass of the game for Himon’s 85-yard touchdown.

UTEP opened the scoring with 11:08 remaining in the first quarter. Hardison zipped a high pass to Fryar, who leaped to haul in a 4-yard touchdown.

Northwestern evened the score at 7-7 on the next possession. Lausch took the snap from the shotgun formation and scrambled to his right for a 6-yard touchdown.

The score remained tied at halftime before Northwestern grabbed its first lead early in the third quarter. Thomas Gordon caught a pass inside the 10-yard line, bounced off a tackle and dived into the end zone for an 18-yard scoring pass.

Northwestern’s defense set up another touchdown less than three minutes later. Linebacker Xander Mueller returned an interception to the UTEP 3-yard line, and Bryant converted three plays later with a 1-yard rushing score to make it 21-7.

The Wildcats continued to roll late in the third quarter after Hilinski took over for Bryant, who left with what the team described as an upper-body injury. Hilinski faced pressure on his third play and flipped a quick pass to Himon, who found an opening and won a footrace for an 85-yard score.

Henning made it 35-7 in favor of Northwestern with a 4-yard rushing touchdown with 7:07 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Jack Olsen capped the scoring with a 40-yard field goal with 3:53 to play.

–Field Level Media