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Northwestern 45, Massachusetts 6

EVANSTON, Ill. - After waiting his turn for nearly three months, Evan Hull made the most of his opportunity.

The freshman running back had four touchdowns and 220 yards rushing as Northwestern snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 45-6 victory over UMass.

Hull averaged 9.2 yards on 24 carries and became the first Wildcats player with at least 200 yards and four touchdowns in a game since Tyrell Sutton against Northern Illinois in 2005.

Hull had a total of 15 yards and eight carries (an average of 1.9 yards) before moving into the starting lineup because of injuries.

"I put a lot of work into this, so to have this happen for me was a very good feeling," he said.

Northwestern (2-8) last won on Sept. 14 with a 30-14 victory over UNLV.

"A great team win," Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. "I'm really happy for our guys. It's been a long time in the making for a win."

Quarterback Randall West was 19 of 36 for 175 yards and Bilal Ally had 66 yards rushing on 16 carries for UMass (1-10), which has dropped five straight.

UMass led 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and had a chance to expand the lead on the first play of the second quarter. However, Cooper Garcia's 30-yard field-goal attempt was blocked by Joe Gaziano and Chris Bergin picked up the ball at the 15 and returned it 85 yards for the game-turning touchdown.

"The protection was good," UMass coach Walt Bell said. "The field goal just got hit low and they turned it back for a touchdown. "It had a chance to be a really close game at halftime, the majority of that being because of the way our defense played."

After Garcia connected on a 23-yard field goal, Hull had a 6-yard TD run for a 14-6 lead with 7:59 left in the first half. Less than three minutes later, Hull had a 38-yard TD run to cap a 95-yard drive to make it 21-6. Hull had three rushes on the series for a total of 90 yards.

Charlie Kuhbander hit a 31-yard field goal in the third - following an interception by Blake Gallagher - to make it 24-6.

Hull had a 46-yard TD early in the fourth for a 31-6 advantage and added a 31-yard TD a few minutes later to make it 38-6.

"I'm ecstatic for him," Fitzgerald said of Hull. "He's a great young man. He's got a bright future. Obviously, we're depleted at that position and I'm really proud of him playing the way he did."

Northwestern's final score was an 11-yard TD run by Raymond Niro after Hull left the game.

"We started to wear down in the back half of the game," Bell said. "Having a really young, really thin defense on the field for that amount of time, I just thought the Big Ten football started to wear on us a little bit."

Associated Press

November 16, 2019