Updated: November 7, 2013 6:56AM
Mark hits the ground running and receiving
Northwestern running back Venric Mark admitted he was getting a little anxious after sitting out the last three games. He even admitted to lobbying “a little” to play in the Wildcats’ victory Sept. 21 over Maine.
Since the season opener at Cal on Aug. 31, Mark had been nursing a lower-body injury.
Knowing that, the coaching staff didn’t make Mark wait long to see action Saturday. He got a touch on Northwestern’s first play from scrimmage, taking a screen pass from quarterback Kain Colter nine yards.
After a slow first quarter, Mark came out in the second quarter looking like the flashy player he had been before the injury.
At the start of the quarter, Mark ran over Ohio State safety Corey Brown. Brown is 28 pounds heavier than Mark, who also caught a pass on a short out route for a 41-yard gain.
He finished the first half with 92 yards from scrimmage and was back returning punts.
Burned by statesmen
Two Ohio natives had big first halves for Northwestern.
Defensive end Tyler Scott forced a fumble by Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and recovered it. The turnover led to NU’s first touchdown. Scott also had a sack in the first half.
Redshirt freshman defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo, whom Ohio State showed interest in, tipped a Miller pass at the end of the first half that was intercepted by linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo.
Ten NFL teams had scouts on hand. The Bears and Cardinals were expected to send two scouts.