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(Saturday, September 7th)
Final Score: (19) Northwestern 48, Syracuse 27
Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - The quarterback combination of Trevor Siemian and Kain Colter proved too much for Syracuse on Saturday, as the Northwestern duo accounted for five touchdowns in the 19th-ranked Wildcats' 48-27 victory over the Orange at Ryan Field.
Colter and Siemian alternated series throughout the game, with Siemian tossing three touchdown passes and Colter throwing one and running for another for the Wildcats (2-0), who opened their season with a 44-30 win over California.
Siemian finished an efficient 15-of-19 passing for 259 yards, while Colter completed 15-of-18 passes for 116 yards and rushed 11 times for 87 yards in the victory.
"The guys up front, those five guys played a heck of a game. They made it really easy on us," Siemian said of he and Colter combining for a 30-of-37 effort. "(Syracuse is) such a heavy blitz team, but we didn't have a whole lot of pressure in our face. Our guys on the outside can play and we know that. So we just get the ball to them and make us look good."
Northwestern wideout Tony Jones led all receivers with nine catches for 185 yards and a touchdown.
Syracuse signal-caller Drew Allen passed for 279 yards and a touchdown on 27- of-41 throws, but was picked off four times before being removed in the fourth in favor of Terrel Hunt, who rushed for a 15-yard TD late in the setback.
Jerome Smith and Prince-Tyson Gulley each added a rushing score for the Orange (0-2), who dropped a 23-17 decision to Penn State in their season-opener.
Colter got the start under center and came out firing, completing all four of his passes on Northwestern's opening touch, including an 8-yard scoring strike to Treyvon Green to make it 7-0 less than a minute into the game.
Jeff Budzien buried a 32-yard field goal later in the first to extend Northwestern's lead before Siemian put together a lengthy 9-play, 91-yard trek that culminated in a 20-yard TD toss to Dan Vitale.
Budzien knocked down a 21-yarder on the Wildcats' next touch to make it 20-0 before the Orange offense finally found its rhythm, as Smith finished off an 86-yard march with a 3-yard TD surge to get Syracuse on the board.
Colter quickly answered, converting a 3rd-and-2 with a 33-yard scramble before picking up another first down with a 7-yard toss to Vitale on 3rd-and-5 from the Syracuse 29.
Facing 3rd-and-4 three plays later, Colter scurried out of the pocket and made his way toward the end zone before leaping at the goal line and stretching the ball into the end zone to give Northwestern a 27-7 lead.
Chi Chi Ariguzo picked off Allen on Syracuse's ensuing possession and with under a minute left in the half, Siemian moved the Wildcats down the field by completing five straight passes, including a 5-yard touchdown toss to Christian Jones to send Northwestern into the break with a 34-7 cushion.
Syracuse opened the second half with a 9-play, 75-yard drive that Allen finished with a 16-yard scoring strike to Kendall Moore, but Ross Krautman missed the extra point to leave the Orange facing a 21-point deficit.
"We tried to go faster, we did go faster," Syracuse head coach Scott Shafer said.
Siemian extended Northwestern's lead on the second play of the fourth, finding Tony Jones down the sideline for a 47-yard score.
After an exchange of punts, Gulley ripped off a 9-yard TD run to trim the margin to 41-20, but Green answered with a 28-yard touchdown surge later in the frame to restore Northwestern's 28-point cushion.
Hunt scrambled 15 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth to account for the final margin.
Northwestern converted 10-of-18 third downs, while Syracuse converted 6-of-13 ... Green finished with 66 rushing yards on 14 carries and added two catches for 17 yards ... Christopher Clark led Syracuse's receiving corps with 66 yards on six catches ... Syracuse recorded 29 first downs, compared to 27 for Northwestern.
09/08 02:54:48 ET
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