Not a lot went right in Bloomington. Hunter Johnson got injured. The defense was torn apart. And three-and-outs came way too frequently. Northwestern has now gone 13 straight quarters without scoring. Once again, not too much to be happy about as Northwestern dropped to 1-7 (0-6 B1G) on the year. Here’s our weekly stock report:
3rd Down draw plays
Northwestern ran them, and actually ran them pretty well. Both Aidan Smith, Hunter Johnson, and even Kyric McGowan were able to secure first downs on critical third down plays with their feet. Unfortunately, that’s about all the offense had going for them in this one.
BuffaLouies boasts the title “World’s Best Wings,” and genuinely might be the closest thing to it in the midwest. The sports bar ambience coupled with crispy barbecue wings made for the perfect pregame establishment, and our dining experience there made the trip to Bloomington all the worth while.
Honorable Mentions: Causing false starts, Fitz’s anger, Riley Lees, Adetomiwa Adebawore, Marching Band
This one was a killer. NU fumbled three times! Including the first play of the game that negated a huge gain on the ground.
Penix seemed like he had at least 5 seconds on three straight drop backs. Coupling that with the way the secondary matched up with the Hoosiers receivers was a recipe for disaster from kick-off.
Most notable were back-to-back huge completions on the drive that put Indiana up 24-3 midway through the second half. The first completion went for 41 as the second one went for 35 in a game-killing drive. In both completions, the defensive backs were nowhere to be found.
The one time that Northwestern did bring the house on a blitz, Peyton Ramsey was able to read right through it and found Stevie Scott on a swing route for a 20-yard score.
Greg Newsome II
From the get-go Newsome was being targeted as Indiana openly attacked whatever side of the field he was covering. Spoiler alert - it worked. The opposing wide out had miles of separation on almost every single one of the completions. Not to mention a blatant pass interference penalty called on him in the back of the end zone.
A line of 9-97 comes from a lack of focus and composure. Giving up nine penalties and 97 accompanying penalty yards is something that coaches despise, especially a perfectionist like Fitz.
Implementing a :bend don’t break” defense only works when the defense is able to hold in the red-zone. Unfortunately, due to two ill-advised pass interference penalties, the Hoosiers were able to have a second chance at punching it in for six on two separate occasions. Penalties kept drives alive and led to touchdowns instead of field goals.
Following a missed roughing the passer call, Johnson limped off of the field after returning from his extended absence. The sight of him being helped off of the field is a salt in the wound sort of ordeal. He finished the game 7-17 for 65 yards. The secondary also took a few hits as cornerbacks Greg Newsome and Cam Ruiz were banged up in the first half as they struggled to keep pace with IU’s impressive receiving corps.
Honorable Mentions: Penalties, having fun, hope in a better world, scoring a touchdown, forcing a turnover, sports, everything