Budzien, Wildcats Boot Boston College, 22-13

Budzien’s five field goals were the most for an NU kicker since Joel Howells had five against Penn State in 2005. On Saturday, Budzien scored 15 points for the Wildcats with field goals from 42, 20, 29, 41 and 19 yards out.

Junior running back Mike Trumpy led the Wildcats with 106 yards on the ground on 16 carries and found the end zone late in the game to secure the victory for Northwestern. Fellow tailback Venric Mark compiled 77 yards on the ground and another 42 yards on seven receptions.

The Wildcats utilized quarterbacks Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian as Colter finished 16-of-20 for 144 yards and Siemian was 14-of-20 for 123 yards. Colter also had 66 yards on the ground as the Wildcats accounted for 560 yards of total offense (293 rushing, 267 passing).

The NU defense limited BC to just 25 rushing yards as the Eagles had 316 yards of total offense. Chi Chi Ariguzo, the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, led NU with 10 tackles.

Northwestern started off the afternoon with a 12-play scoring drive that culminated in a 40-yard field goal by Budzien, matching his season-long set a week ago vs. Vanderbilt. Boston College put three points on the board on its opening possession, driving 61 yards but stalling on the 4-yard line with back-to-back incompletions that set up a Nate Freese field goal.

Northwestern countered by driving 72 yards to the BC 3-yard line, a drive highlighted by a deep 41-yard completion by Colter to sophomore Tony Jones. BC snuffed out two QB keepers near the end zone, however, setting up a 20-yard field goal effort by Budzien to put NU in front, 6-3.

Trevor Siemian took over at quarterback following a stop by the NU defense and directed the 'Cats down the field, with a little help by a 14-yard end-around run by Tony Jones on the first play of the second quarter. Once again, however, the Wildcats were forced to settle for a field goal in the red zone, this time a 29-yard kick by Budzien.

Northwestern came through on defense on the ensuing series with Ariguzo delivering a big hit and pass breakup early in the drive, and Tyler Scott sacking BC quarterback Chase Rettig on a third-and-7 play.

NU’s offense kept clicking as Siemian again orchestrated a lengthy drive into the red zone, but the Wildcats came up empty following a fumbled snap on a fourth-and-1 play at the BC 4-yard line. The Eagles capitalized on the extra possession, quickly marching 96 yards and scoring on a 31-yard scoring strike from Rettig to Johnathan Coleman.

The Wildcats, however, ran the two-minute offense to perfection to get back into field goal range, going 55 yards on nine plays in 1:36 to take a 12-10 lead into halftime thanks to a 41-yard Budzien field goal, his fourth of the game.

NU’s alternating QB system continued to keep BC off balance, as Colter re-entered the game and oversaw a 19-play drive for NU. The Wildcats received a fortuitous bounce in the red zone when Mark had the ball jarred loose on a would-be first down run, with center Brandon Vitabile there to recover for the `Cats. Budzien’s fifth field goal, this time a 19-yarder, gave NU a 15-10 lead that would shrink to 15-13 when BC answered with a 34-yard boot on its next drive.

Northwestern punted for the first time on its next possession and BC’s offense stalled on the following drive, resulting in another punt. NU drove to BC’s 33-yard line but was moved back to the BC 42 after a sack on third down. The Northwestern special teams unit then gave Boston College unfavorable field position on its next drive as Brandon Williams’ 41-yard punt was downed at the BC 1-yard line.

Backed up in front of their own end zone, the Eagles went three-and-out on their next drive with three incomplete passes. With 2:35 remaining, Northwestern took over at the BC 44-yard line and three plays later, found the end zone for the first time Saturday with Trumpy’s 27-yard rushing touchdown, expanding the lead to 22-13.

Boston College picked up four first downs on its final drive, but was unable to score as Northwestern hung on for the 22-13 win.

Northwestern completes its 2012 nonconference schedule Saturday, Sept. 22, when it hosts FCS foe South Dakota at 2:30 p.m. in Ryan Field. Season, single-game and group tickets are available by calling 888-GO-PURPLE.

Records: NU (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten), Boston College (1-2, 0-1 ACC)
Next NU Event: Saturday, Sept. 22 vs. South Dakota • 2:30 p.m. CT • Evanston, Ill.
Source: NUSports.com
Photo: Chicago Tribune