NU dominates fourth quarter, downs Vandy

Venric Mark ran for 123 yards and a late touchdown, Tyler Scott forced a key fumble and Northwestern beat Vanderbilt 23-13 Saturday night. Northwestern (2-0) didn’t score a touchdown in the first three quarters but managed 17 points in the fourth to come away with another dramatic win after beating Syracuse 42-41 in the opener.

The Wildcats finally found the end zone when Mark ran it in from the 7 to give Northwestern a short-lived 13-10 lead with 9:28 left in the game. Vanderbilt’s Zac Stacy then turned a short swing pass into a 55-yard gain that put the ball on the 14, but instead of a touchdown, the Commodores had to settle for a tying 26-yard field goal by Carey Spear.

Scott’s forced fumble led to a recovery by Dean Lowry. That led to a 29-yard TD run by Kain Colter, sending Vanderbilt (0-2) to another difficult loss.

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FINAL: Northwestern took the lead in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 23-13 victory over Vanderbilt on Saturday at Ryan Field. With 2:02 to go, Jeff Budzien kicked a 19-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 16-13 lead. Venric Mark rushed for 119 yards and one touchdown, and Kain Colter picked up 66 rushing yards and one touchdown of his own, as the dynamic backfield duo led Northwestern’s ground attack.

The Wildcats’ defense was questionable at times, but was equal to the task when the situation really mattered. The Commodores only managed to convert on 26.7 percent of their third downs, as they was stymied by Northwestern’s defensive unit in crunch time.

The Wildcats couldn’t slow Vanderbilt’s offense. Northwestern was burned for 322 total yards, but its defense stiffened up when it mattered the most.

The Wildcats finished with 324 total yards, including 134 yards passing while completing 17 of 30 attempts. Rushing was a key ingredient in Northwestern’s offensive mix, bringing it 190 yards on 46 carries.

Jordan Rodgers threw for 216 yards while going 17-33 for the Commodores. He threw one touchdown and no interceptions. Rodgers was also a threat on the ground, as he rushed for 57 yards on 15 attempts. Jordan Matthews was a key target for Rodgers. He caught six passes for 75 yards and one touchdown.

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