Kane Colter and Trevor Simien combined to go 22-24 for 277 yards with three touchdown passes and one touchdown run in a dominant first half. Colter also had 96 yards on the ground in the first half.
The Wildcats took a 34-7 halftime lead and cruised from there. They finished 30-37 for 375 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions. Colter also added 102 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
Tony Jones had a career day with nine catches for 175 yards, including a 47 yard touchdown reception from Simien. Treyvon Green added 71 yards on 14 carries and his third touchdown in two weeks.
The Wildcats began the game with a four play 75 yard drive in 51 seconds. It ended with a eight pass from Colter to Green to open the scoring. Before the Orange knew what hit them it was 20-0 Northwestern 20:39 into the game. They never got closer the rest of the way.
The Wildcat defense contributed for the second straight week. After three interceptions at Cal last week, NU picked off Oklahoma transfer Drew Allen four times.
The pass defense was again an issue. A week after allowing 455 yards to Cal freshman Jared Goff, they gave up 301 to Syracuse. Only 119 of those came in the first half when the game was decided.
The game was the seventh straight home opening win for Northwestern and its 14 consecutive win over a non-conference opponent.
The Wildcats host Western Michigan next week. The Broncos have started 0-2 with losses at Michigan State and to Nicholls State at home.
The Broncos were 4-8 last season with losses in five of their last six. The game is an 8pm kickoff on the Big Ten Network.