EVANSTON, Ill. -- Tyrell Sutton ran for 101 yards and three touchdowns, leading Northwestern to a 33-7 victory over Southern Illinois on Saturday.
Sutton had 17 carries, scoring on runs of 44 yards in the second quarter, 2 yards in the third and 15 in the fourth. The Wildcats (3-0) scored 27 unanswered points in a game that was played in a steady rain that closed down a highway north of the city and flooded streets near Ryan Field.
Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher completed 21 of 29 passes for 184 yards and Amado Villarreal kicked four field goals, all under 40 yards.
The Wildcats moved the ball easily, but had trouble finishing off drives in the red zone and needed a career day from Villarreal to bail out the offense early.
Larry Warner ran for 58 yards and a touchdown to lead the Salukis. His 19-yard cutback run to end the first quarter gave Southern Illinois (1-1) a 7-6 lead before Sutton's long run with 11 minutes 11 seconds left in the second put the Wildcats ahead for good.
Northwestern redshirt freshman Jacob Schmidt blocked a Scott Ravanesi punt in the third quarter and recovered it at the Salukis' 10. Villarreal kicked a 20-yard field goal to make it 26-7. Sutton then punched it in early in the fourth.
Southern Illinois gained only 11 yards on 12 plays in the third quarter, seven coming on Joe Allaria's run to end the quarter. Quarterback Chris Dieker went 14-for-22 for 115 yards and Lucien Walker had six carries for 46 yards.
Northwestern defensive end Corey Wootton had two of Northwestern's five sacks and three of its 12 tackles for a loss.
Southern Illinois came in ranked 13th in the Football Championship Subdivision coaches poll.