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Halftime Thoughts: Northwestern 21, Syracuse 13

Northwestern leads Syracuse 21-13 at the half thanks to some defensive adjustments and the offense getting rolling after a slow start. Here are our thoughts at halftime.

- NU has looked very good in 5-wide sets, setting up some big passes and Colter runs.

- After a bad camp, we weren't too high on the offensive line, and it's had a very bad start today, especially on the inexperienced right side.

- Venric Mark has said his favorite play is running it between the tackles, but he isn't big enough to push the pile with a suspect offensive line.

- Damien Proby has been solid, but other than that it has been a rough start for the linebackers, especially in coverage.

- Venric Mark can still return punts. And catch passes. And run outside. His versatility is still there, even if he can't run up the middle as well as he thought he could.

- The secondary hasn't been tested a ton, but it hasn't given up a big play, which was the problem last year.

- Pat Fitzgerald has had some questionable play calling. When the offense is rolling with 5-wide sets, he goes back to the power running game and gets his offense stuck in third-and-long. He also had the questionable up-the-middle call on fourth-and-short. NU may want to establish the power run, but you can't dwell on that if it isn't working.

- Colter and the receivers look very, very good. It's time to stop questioning Colter's ability as a passer. He can extend plays and make the throws. He'll be a better quarterback than Persa — he's more elusive.

- Deonte Gibson is getting a lot of good pressure off the edge. Mainly playing on third downs, but that could change later in the season if this continues. He was great in the spring and during fall camp.

- NU is getting better pressure late in the half. They still have to be weary of screens, because that's what hurt them in the early-going.