Evan Hull rushed for four touchdowns and Chris Bergin returned a blocked field goal for a score as Northwestern shook off a slow start to cruise to a 45-6 win over Massachusetts on Saturday in Evanston, Ill.
Hull finished with 220 yards on 24 carries for Northwestern (2-8), which recorded its first win since posting a 30-14 victory over UNLV on Sept. 14. The Wildcats were held scoreless by UMass (1-10) in the first quarter before erupting for 21 points in both the second and fourth, respectively.
The game changed 17 seconds into the second quarter, with the Minutemen leading 3-0 and preparing for a short field goal try.
Northwestern’s Joe Gaziano blocked the kick and Bergin scooped up the ball and sprinted up the right sideline for an 85-yard score.
After that play, Northwestern snapped into focus while Massachusetts’ depleted defense failed to stop the Wildcats’ rushing game.
Hull flourished midway through the second quarter and kept producing long runs for Northwestern.
Hull scored on a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats a 14-6 lead with 7:59 left in the second quarter. He then delivered a 38-yard touchdown run with 5:18 left in the half to push Northwestern’s lead to 21-6.
Northwestern kept feeding the ball to Hull in the second half, and the freshman continued to excel. Hull dashed 46 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter. He then ran for a 31-yard touchdown to make the score 38-6 for the Wildcats with 9:06 remaining.
Aidan Smith finished 7 of 13 for 76 passing yards and two interceptions for Northwestern.
Massachusetts quarterback Randall West finished 19 of 36 for 175 yards and one interception. Backup Andrew Brito was 6 of 10 passing for 52 yards.
UMass running back Bilal Ally carried 16 times for 66 yards.
— Field Level Media