Northwestern might be entering Friday night’s game against Ohio State with a 1-4 record, but Ryan Day doesn’t need a reminder of how dangerous the Wildcats can be. The defense, in particular, Day has been very impressed with so far.

Coming off a year in which Northwestern won the B1G West, things haven’t gone quite as expected. A brutal front-loaded schedule has had the Wildcats struggling to find offensive success, which has cost the team four games already.

Sports Betting in Big Ten Country

Ohio sports betting apps are officially launching on January 1, 2023.

Pre-registration is now available at FanDuel Ohio for an extra $100 bonus. Go pre-register now.

21+ and present in OH. Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

If there is a positive about Pat Fitzgerald’s bunch, though, it’s that they’re still playing solid defense. Day is aware of how well Northwestern played in games against Stanford, Wisconsin and Nebraska, in particular.

“I think they do a tremendous job on defense,” Day said Monday. “Pat (Fitzgerald) is as good a coach as there is in the country. It’s hard to find a yard on them.”

Northwestern is allowing 318 yards per game this season, which ranks ninth in the B1G. That’s certainly not a great figure, but they are holding teams to an average under 20 points per game on the year. It’s why the Wildcats have had a shot in most of their first five games.

Obviously Northwestern needs to figure some things out offensively to have a chance against a high-powered team like Ohio State. But the Wildcats have Day’s attention heading into the Friday showdown.