MARQUETTE – The Northern Michigan University football team suffered a 23-13 loss in their season opener against Northwood Saturday night at the Superior Dome. The Timberwolves dominated time of possession, controlling the ball for more than 41 minutes.

“We just didn’t play well,” said Wildcats head coach Chris Ostrowsky at the post game press conference. “We didn’t make good decisions and we didn’t execute.”

The Timberwolves controlled the ball with their run game. Northwood compiled 254 yards on the ground on 52 carries. Jared Briguglio was the T’Wolves leading rusher with 165 yards on 28 carries. He scored both touchdowns for Northwood.

NMU’s defense dealt with Northwood’s ‘woodbone’ offense and pistol formations. Ostrowsky was relatively pleased with how the defense played.

“Our defense played good enough for us to win,” he said. “If you give up 23 points you should win the game.”

The Wildcats defense did struggle getting off the field. Northwood converted 6 of 13 third downs in the game. NMU was just 2 of 10 on third down.

“There were definitely some long drives in there,” said NMU senior linebacker Nick Krause. “We have to get off of the field on third down. You can’t be on the field that long and expect to win.”

NMU’s offense finished the game with 260 yards. Quarterback Shaye Brown completed 17 of 29 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown. Brown was also picked off twice. The second interception was the final play of the game.

Kelvin Smarwt was the Wildcats’ leading receiver. Smarwt caught six passes for 99 yards, including a 31-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter.

NMU is 0-1 to begin the season. The Wildcats travel to Quincy next Saturday, Sept. 13. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m.