Northwestern 28, Ohio 7
Sep. 21, 1996
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) _ Steve Schnur threw three touchdown passes and Darnell Autry rushed for 115 yards as Northwestern survived early offensive mistakes to defeat Ohio 28-7 Saturday.
Northwestern (2-1) built a 28-0 halftime lead, holding the Bobcats' triple-option attack to 56 yards, and went on to win its home opener for only the second time in 11 years.
Ohio (2-2) finished with 7 passing yards and four turnovers.
Schnur had all three of his scoring passes in the second quarter, tying school records for most TD throws in a quarter and a half. Autry had his 16th consecutive game of at least 100 yards and scored on an 8-yard run.
The first quarter was scoreless even though the Wildcats gained 110 yards and controlled the ball for more than 10 minutes. Northwestern's first three possessions ended at Ohio's 1 when Autry was stopped on fourth down at Ohio's 16 and at Ohio's 34 when Autry fumbled. The Wildcats had to punt the next time they had the ball.
But the Bobcats' first turnover _ Karim Hill fumbling Kareem Wilson's pitch at Ohio's 14 with 10:12 left in the second quarter _ led to Autry's touchdown run and ignited Northwestern's 28-point surge.
Schnur's 9-yard touchdown pass to Darren Drexler made it 14-0.
Another Ohio fumbled pitch gave Northwestern the ball on the Bobcats' 22 with 3:47 left in the half. On the next play, D'Wayne Bates outfought Mark Stubbs to gather in Schnur's TD pass for a 21-0 lead.
Schnur was at his best after Northwestern got the ball on its 35 with 39 seconds left in the half. He completed three passes for 51 yards and scrambled for 14 yards as the Wildcats went 65 yards to score with 5 seconds left. Schnur capped the drive with an 11-yard pass to Brian Musso, who wrestled the ball from Nick Magistrale in the end zone.
Schnur finished 15-of-23 for 202 yards, but was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter.
Before the game, Northwestern's 1995 Big Ten championship banner was unveiled by last year's captains, Sam Valenzisi, Rob Johnson and William Bennett.