Treyvon Green rushed for 158 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries, while Kain Colter accounted for a pair of scores, as No. 17 Northwestern notched a 38-17 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday in a non-conference bout at Ryan Field.
Colter completed 6-of-7 passes for 40 yards with a touchdown and an interception while adding 106 yards and a score on 15 carries for the Wildcats (3-0), who recorded their second straight 21-point triumph.
The victory extended Northwestern's home winning streak in non-conference action to 15 in a row.
Tyler Van Tubbergen threw for 202 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception on 16-of-41 passing, with freshman wideout Corey Davis catching five passes for 112 yards and a score for the Broncos (0-3), who were coming off a 27-23 setback against FCS foe Nicholls State.
"Well I thought we responded very well on defense tonight early, I think that shows what type of team this is with as many youngsters and inexperienced players as we have," Western Michigan coach P.J. Fleck said. "I love that because that's the how, that's what this foundation is going to continue to be built on."
Northwestern's offense struggled to find its rhythm in the early going, as Colter was picked off on the team's third play from scrimmage before the Wildcats lost yards on their second touch and went three-and-out.
Jeff Budzien missed a 42-yard field goal try on Northwestern's third touch before Van Tubbergen moved the Broncos to the Northwestern 20, setting up Andrew Haldeman's 37-yard field goal to make it 3-0 late in the first.
The Wildcats' offense finally broke through early in the second when Colter capped a 7-play, 57-yard trek with a 4-yard TD surge, but on Western Michigan's next play from scrimmage, Van Tubbergen hooked up with Davis on a 75-yard score to put the Broncos on top, 10-7, just 11 seconds later.
Colter quickly countered, ripping off a 10-yard run before picking up 18 more down to the Western Michigan 11. Three plays later, Colter found Christian Jones for a 6-yard touchdown to give Northwestern a 14-10 lead.
Following a three-and-out from Western Michigan, Colter and Mike Trumpy combined on an 8-play, 50-yard march that Trumpy finished with a 4-yard TD run to make it 21-10 with 2:15 left in the half.
After a quick punt from the Broncos, Trevor Siemian moved the Wildcats inside the WMU 20, setting up Budzien's 35-yard field goal in the waning seconds of the half to send Northwestern into the break with a 24-10 cushion.
The Wildcats forced a Western Michigan punt to open the second half before Northwestern put together a lengthy 14-play, 87-yard trek that made it a three-score game late in the third.
Northwestern converted a pair of third downs on the march, which Green capped with a 1-yard TD plunge to make it 31-10 with 4:38 left in the third.
Trumpy fumbled the ball away on the first play of Northwestern's next touch and two plays later, Van Tubbergen hit Josh Schaffer for a 25-yard touchdown to bring the Broncos within 31-17 with under a minute remaining in the third.
Green restored Northwestern's 21-point cushion just four plays into Northwestern's ensuing touch, as he surged up the middle before bouncing it to the outside en route to a 42-yard score for a 38-17 lead less than a minute into the fourth.
"I'm just doing my job. The opportunity presented itself, so I'm just stepping up to a role when a guy is down," Green said.
Northwestern's defense stood tall from there, forcing the Broncos to turn the ball over on downs on two of their final three possessions to hang on for the victory.
Though both of these teams hail from the Midwest portion of the country, there has never been a matchup between them previously ... Northwestern racked up 31 first downs and 471 yards of total offense, including 332 on the ground ... Jones finished with five catches for 60 yards for the Wildcats ... Western Michigan finished 5-for-18 on third-down efficiency.