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Northwestern’s Home-Opening Victory: Stock Up, Stock Down – A Dominant Performance Worth Stocking Up On!

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Northwestern Bounces Back with Dominant Win Over UTEP

Stock up:

Cam Porter

After a quiet week against Rutgers, Porter had a strong performance against UTEP. He rushed for 90 yards on 17 carries and also had two receptions for 14 yards. Porter’s impact was felt throughout the game and he proved to be a key player in Northwestern’s rushing attack.

Ben Bryant

Bryant improved his performance after a rough Week One. He completed 11 of 17 passes for 116 yards and a touchdown. He also scored a rushing touchdown without throwing any interceptions. Bryant showed great improvement and provided a much-needed boost to Northwestern’s offense.

Mike Bajakian’s gameplan

Bajakian’s gameplan was much more effective in this game. Northwestern scored two touchdowns on well-designed trick plays and ran successful screens throughout the game. The offense looked more balanced and scored more than 24 points for the first time since the 2022 season opener.

Honorable Mentions:

The linebackers, the defensive line, A.J. Henning, Ryan Hilinski, Cam Johnson

Stock down:

Northwestern’s secondary

Although the defense had a good overall performance, the secondary struggled at times. UTEP’s quarterback had success passing the ball, completing 14 of 19 passes for 147 yards in the first half. The two interceptions in the game were made by linebackers, not the secondary. The secondary will need to bounce back in the next game.

Special teams

Northwestern missed some opportunities to improve field position through special teams plays. They failed to block a punt despite positioning themselves well, and there were some missed tackles on UTEP returns. These mistakes could be costly against more athletic Big Ten teams.

Honorable Mentions:

Home-field advantage (even though school has not started yet)

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