First half takeaways: Northwestern down big to Ohio State

    First Half Analysis

    There are 30 minutes left in Indianapolis, and Northwestern currently trails Ohio State, 24-7. Here are they key takeaways from the first half.

    1. The secondary is struggling.

    • It looked like Northwestern was going to hold the Buckeyes to 17 points in the first half, but Terry McLaurin beat Greg Newsome for a 42-yard TD reception at the end of the half
    • Dwayne Haskins has absolutely shredded the Northwestern defense for 249 yards, the most in the first half of a Big Ten Championship in the game's history
    • Ohio State receivers consistently got open, as the secondary looked lost for much of the half 
    • In a surprising move, Cam Ruiz got his 4th career start but has gotten beat on multiple occasions
    • Greg Newsome’s return was a welcome sight to see, but he has also not looked great

    2. The Northwestern offense can’t get much going.

    • Thorson has not played the game he needed to play to give Northwestern a chance. He has gone 8-18 for 58 yards and an interception
    • Similarly, Isaiah Bowser has been a non-factor with 3 yards on 4 attempts. The Buckeye defense clearly made stopping him a key part of their gameplan 
    • Outside of a 77-yard touchdown run from John Moten IV (God bless him), Northwestern has 83 yards of offense, not to mention 2 turnovers
    •  Northwestern has converted 2 of 7 third downs. Ohio State, by contrast, has converted 7 of 11

     3. The game looks out of reach.

    • Northwestern is completely outmatched on both sides of the ball, and it is unlikely that that will change 
    • The Wildcats need a turnover-free second half to even have a chance, but there is little to indicate that will happen 
    • This could have been predicted going in, but the gap in athleticism between the two teams is too much to overcome


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