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Rutgers Defeats Northwestern In A 24-7 Game


Since a hazing controversy resulted in a coaching change, investigations, and numerous lawsuits, Northwestern football has been managed by interim coach David Braun.

He was the person who most people looked to when they wanted to know what went wrong at the Big Ten institution in Chicago. It has not been easy these last two months, but Sunday was a rare exception since Braun got to lead the club in its first game following the incident.

Despite losing to Rutgers 24-7, Braun said, “I’ll be honest with you, this is the lightest I have been since I took over.”

“At this point, we’re just playing football,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to look around with these guys. They have been working so hard to get to this point. There’s plenty of things I have to work on, but in terms of the heaviness of it, it was a relief to get a game.”

Braun took over for longtime coach Pat Fitzgerald, who was sacked and subsequently suspended following charges of hazing that arose over the summer and expanded to other university programs.

Gavin Wimsatt, the quarterback for Rutgers, threw a touchdown and ran for another as the Scarlet Knights controlled the ball for nearly 38 minutes and held the Wildcats to just 22 rushing yards and 201 total offensive yards — the fewest they had given up in a Big Ten game.

Since the start of last season, Northwestern has lost 12 straight games.

No one was crying after the game, according to Wildcats linebacker Bryce Gallagher, who led the team with 19 tackles.

Northwestern, which went 1-11 last year, had one bright spot when Caleb Komolafe caught a 1-yard pass from backup quarterback Brendan Sullivan with about 20 seconds left to score.

Transfer from Cincinnati Ben Bryant completed 20 of 35 passes for 169 yards while also throwing two interceptions. Five times he was fired.

Wimsatt (17 of 29 for 163) connected with Ian Strong for an 11-yard touchdown throw to end the first drive for the Scarlet Knights (1-0, 1-0 Big Ten), and he ran six yards for the second. A review revealed Strong had a foot down in the end zone for the first touchdown, which had first been ruled incomplete. After Braun took a chance on a fake punt on the third drive, Jai Patel added a 32-yard field goal. In the third quarter, Kyle Monangai scored on a 15-yard run.

Coach Greg Schiano of Rutgers stated his squad played a good game despite coming off a 4-8 campaign that featured a 1-8 record in the Big Ten.

Many Northwestern (0-1, 0-1) supporters in attendance indicated they expected more from the Wildcats despite their team being down 17-0.

Although hearing about the hazing issue over the preceding two months was upsetting, Zuckerman, whose father Andrew attended the Chicago school, claimed that it had no bearing on his decision to enroll in the institution because he was not going there for football.

Jared Breslaw, who grew up in Chicago and traveled from Miami to watch the game, attended Northwestern games with his father and two brothers.

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