The Wildcats will have to do without two key contributors on offense.
Pat Fitzgerald needs Drake Anderson to step up in the second half.
Northwestern running back Jesse Brown and wide receiver Malik Washington have been ruled out for the second half of today’s game against UNLV.
The reasons for their departures were not immediately disclosed. However, as noted by Inside NU, Brown left after he was slow to get up following a brutal hit on a screen pass late in the second quarter.
Brown, a junior, saw substantial playing time in the first half ― amassing more rushing yards than he had prior in his entire collegiate career ― in the absence of Isaiah Bowser, who was ruled out prior to kickoff on Thursday.
Of the Wildcats’ seven running backs on their roster, just John Moten IV, Drake Anderson, and Brown have seen game action today.
Expect redshirt freshman Drake Anderson to be the primary back in the second half as a result of Brown’s exit. Anderson has 50 yards to his name on eight carries at the half. After being handed the ball just twice in his team’s opening week loss to Stanford, Anderson looks poised for a breakout performance. Drake is the son of Northwestern’s second all-time leading rusher, Damien Anderson. After enrolling early, he impressed in spring ball and continued to turn heads through fall camp.
Washington, a first-year, also wowed coaches and media alike for his playmaking ability and ball skills during training camp, especially given his 5-foot-9, 190-pound stature. Prior to exiting the contest, Washington had caught two passes for nine yards, the first receptions of his career.
Northwestern clings to a 16-14 lead over the Runnin’ Rebels with another half left to play at Ryan Field.