Five things to know about Northwestern football

The Rutgers football season will officially be underway on Sunday afternoon when the Scarlet Knights open their season against Northwestern. It will also be a historic day for Rutgers as they will begin their season against a team in their conference for the first time since joining the Big Ten. However, just like Rutgers, Northwestern has plenty to prove after a disappointing 2022 campaign.

Last year, the Wildcats finished with a 1-11 record. As a result, long-time head coach Pat Fitzgerald was fired and replaced with David Braun. As the former defensive coordinator looks to bring the program back to relevance, his main focus will be improving the offense. Last year, the Wildcats averaged 13.8 points a game, the lowest in the Big Ten.

In their matchup with Rutgers, the Wildcats will be looking to turn the page on the 2022 campaign. This opening-day matchup should be a fun game to watch between two Big Ten teams.

Scroll down and check out five things to know about Northwestern football:

Ben Bryant brings experience to the Northwestern offense

As the Wildcats look to improve offensively, Ben Bryant could play a significant role. The University of Cincinnati transfer brings experience to the Wildcats quarterback room. During his time as a Bearcat, Bryant appeared in 27 games and recorded 3,285 yards. He also threw 23 touchdown passes, including a career-high 21 last year. When he does see time under center this year, the Wildcat offense should see a boost in production.

Northwestern hasn’t announced their starting quarterback yet. But Bryant is certainly a solid contender to get the nod.

Cam Porter taking on a new role



With Evan Hull now a member of the Indianapolis Colts, Cam Porter is poised to lead Northwestern’s rushing attack. During the 2022 campaign, the Ohio native added 286 rushing yards to his resume while averaging 3.3 yards a carry. Improving on those numbers would provide a boost to a Northwestern team that averaged 125.1 rushing yards a game last season.

Najee Story is full of potential

During the 2023 campaign, Najee Story will be looking to improve on an impressive sophomore season. Last year, the talented linebacker appeared in all 12 games and recorded 25 tackles. While Story still has room to improve, he saw a significant increase in playing time last year and made the most of his opportunities.

Another big season could be in store for Bryce Gallagher


While the Wildcats coaching staff and roster underwent significant changes over the last few months, Bryce Gallagher will return for his senior season. The Massachusetts native has been a force during his time in Evanston with 116 solo tackles. As the Wildcats defense looks to be a strength this season, Gallagher will be critical to their success.

Rod Heard II preparing to take on new role in the Northwestern secondary

After losing Corners, AJ Hampton to the transfer portal and Cameron Mitchell to the NFL. Rod Heard II will lead the Wildcats secondary. Hears II is coming off his most productive season. In 12 games last year, he recorded 67 tackles and one interception. Starting with Rutgers, the Michigan native will be looking to terrorize opponents passing attacks.

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire