It was a disappointing start to the Northwestern football season, but it was not unexpected. In the team's first game since a hazing scandal cost former head coach Pat Fitzgerald his job, the Wildcats (0-1, 0-1 in the Big Ten) cdropped a 24-7 decision to Rutgers. Quarterback Ben Bryant tried to take on much of the blame for the defeat, but there were plenty of reasons for the defeat.
Bryant on his showing: "Definitely not happy with my performance. We'll be back next week though, and we'll get better."
— Inside NU (@insidenu) September 3, 2023
Rutgers (1-0, 1-0 in the Big Ten) started the game with confidence and aggression. The Scarlet Knights scored on long drives on its first 2 possessions of the game and Northwestern never recovered. Rutgers had several fourth-down opportunities on both drives, and the Scarlet Knights were successful on all of them.
Northwestern did not have the same kind of success on its early drives. They could not get more than 1 first down those possessions, and that allowed Rutgers to mount a huge time of possession advantage. The Scarlet Knights had the ball for nearly 38 minutes.
Ben Bryant was under center for the majority of the game for Northwestern. He completed 20 of 35 passes for 169 yards. He did not have any touchdowns passes and he threw 2 interceptions.
The quarterback said that the Wildcats had to improve as a team and he has to do a better job of leading the team. “Definitely not happy with my performance,” Bryant said. “We'll be back next week though, and we'll get better.”
Northwestern hosts Texas-El Paso September 9.
Rutgers quarterback Gavin Wimsatt was solid in leading his team to the victory. He completed 17 of 29 passes for 163 yards with 1 touchdown and he also ran for a touchdown