Experience Wildcat Alley pregame, Chicago Blackhawks Day at Ryan Field
Career: Closed career with a flourish, throwing for a school-record 532 yards in one of the more riveting bowl games in NCAA history, the 38-35 overtime loss to Auburn in the 2010 Outback Bowl ... One of 20 players nationally, and one of three Big Ten quarterbacks, named to the 2009 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award watch list ... Played in the 2010 East-West Shrine Game (Jan. 23, 2010) in Orlando, Fla., where he led the East Team to a 13-10 come-from-behind victory ... Completed 18-of-27 passes for 150 yards and a TD in the game ... Threw a 2-yard TD pass to Penn State's Andrew Quarless with six seconds left to earn the win ... Named the game's Offensive MVP ... Invited to the NFL's 2010 Scouting Combine in Indianapolis ... Tremendous athlete ... A true dual-threat quarterback -- solid runner with a strong throwing arm ... Grew every day as a college QB, on and off the field ... 19 career starts (went 11-8 as NU's starting QB) ... Closed NU career with 4,265 passing yards (eighth all-time), 5,152 yards of total offense (eighth all-time) and 408 completions (eighth all-time) ... Holds NU's single-game (83.3 vs. Syracuse, 2009), single-season (.648 in 2009) and career (.641) marks for completion percentage ... His .641 career completion percentage ranks fourth all-time among Big Ten quarterbacks ... Finished with 887 career rushing yards (third all-time by an NU quarterback) ... Accounted for 30 career TD's (19 throwing, 11 rushing) in 19 career starts.
2009: Team co-captain ... Rivals.com first-team All-Big Ten quarterback ... Named second-team All-Big Ten quarterback by league's coaches and media ... Team's 2009 Offensive Most Valuable Player ... Led Big Ten in passing yards (263.8 ypg), total offense (286.8 ypg), completions (24.5 pg), completion percentage (.648) and fewest interceptions thrown (2.44 percent of all attempts) ... Nationally, ranked 16th in passing yards per game, 12th in total offense and seventh in completions ... Had a string of 117 pass attempts without an interception (ended on second pass attempt in Outback Bowl) ... Finished the season with 3,430 passing yards (third-most in an NU season) and 3,729 yards of total offense (second-most in an NU season) ... Totaled six 300-yard passing games, including a school-record 532-yard passing effort against Auburn in the Outback Bowl ... Completed 47-of-78 passes for 532 yards and 4 TD's (562 yards of total offense) vs. Auburn ... That was the fourth-best passing yardage performance by a QB in NCAA bowl history ... Set an NCAA all-time (regular season and bowl) record with 98 offensive plays (78 passes, 20 rushes) vs. Auburn ... His 47 completions and 78 attempts are a school and NCAA-bowl record ... Set seven Outback Bowl records, which included passing yards, pass completions, total offense and passing TD's ... Landed an honorable mention nod on ESPN.com's All-Big Ten Bowl team ... Two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week (vs. Syracuse, Wisconsin) ... Named team's offensive big playmaker following Syracuse, Miami, Michigan State and Illinois games and team's offensive player of the game vs. Purdue and Wisconsin ... Led NU to a 33-31 win over Wisconsin on Senior Day, throwing for 326 yards on 26-of-40 passing with two TD's ... At Illinois, threw for 305 yards on 23-of-37 passing and ran for a 1-yard touchdown (12 net rushing yards) ... Started at Iowa and played 47-of-83 snaps due to leg injury suffered vs. Penn State ... Completed 10-of-18 passes for 72 yards in the win over the Hawkeyes, managing the fourth quarter after backup Dan Persa was forced out with a hand injury ... Against Penn State, completed 14-of-18 passes for 128 yards and ran for 42 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game in the second quarter due to a leg injury ... Rallied Northwestern to its biggest comeback win in school history vs. Indiana, erasing a 25-point second-quarter deficit ... Threw for 312 yards and two TD's on 26-of-46 passing against the Hoosiers while also rushing for 65 yards and one touchdown on 17 carries ... Completed 34-of-47 attempts for 291 yards and threw for a pair of TD's at Michigan State ... Also ran for for 42 yards on 18 carries vs. the Spartans ... Ran for two touchdowns (the sixth and seventh of his career) and threw for 191 yards on 15-of-31 passing against Miami ... Led NU to a 27-21 win at Purdue after the 'Cats fell behind 21-3 in the second quarter, throwing for 224 yards on 28-of-44 passing while running for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:09 remaining in the game ... Against Minnesota, completed 32-of-47 passes for 309 yards and two TD's ... Set school records at Syracuse by completing his first 16 passes of the game, breaking a 47-year-old Northwestern record for consecutive pass completions ... Also broke Brett Basanez's school standard for completion percentage, finishing the SU game 35-of-42 (83.3 percent) for 390 yards with three passing TD's, one rushing (3 yards) and one receiving (24 yards), becoming the first Big Ten player to throw for, run for and catch a touchdown in the same game since Penn State's Zack Mills on Sept. 4, 2004 ... Against Eastern Michigan, completed 14 of 24 passes for 158 yards and ran five times for 21 yards ... Completed 5-of-7 passes on NU's final possession against the Eagles, driving NU down the field to set up Stefan Demos' game-winning field goal ... Threw for 192 yards on 15-of-20 passing and rushed for six yards on six carries in season opener vs. Towson.
2008: Backup quarterback ... Completed 32-of-46 pass attempts for 330 yards and two TD's while ranking second on the team with 321 rushing yards ... Ran three times for two yards vs. Illinois ... At Michigan, entered the game on NU's second series, rushing three times for 20 yards before leaving the game with a concussion ... Started his second straight game vs. Ohio State, completing 18-of-27 passes for 177 yards while rushing 29 times for 83 yards and one touchdown ... Named team's offensive big playmaker against the Buckeyes ... Racked up 300 rushing yards in his two starts, the most by an NU quarterback in successive games ... Named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts in a 24-17 win at Minnesota ... Also earned an ESPN College Gameday Helmet Sticker for his performance and was named an AT&T All-America Player of the Week candidate ... Posted a career day starting in place of injured C.J. Bachér: rushed 27 times for 217 yards, including a long of 53 yards, and threw for 143 yards and two touchdowns on 12-of-16 passing ... His 217 rush yards set a school and Big Ten record for rushing yards by a QB ... Began the game by completing his first eight passes, including a 36-yard TD strike to Jeremy Ebert ... Also named team's offensive player of the week against Minnesota ... Played final series at Indiana, completing one pass for nine yards ... Against Southern Illinois, completed 1-of-2 passes for one yard and ran for three yards ... Entered the game vs. Syracuse in the fourth quarter, rushing two times for 18 yards, including an 11-yard carry ... Has totaled 835 career passing yards and 3 TD's, and 593 yards and 3 TD's on the ground.
2007: Backup quarterback ... Played most of the fourth quarter against Northeastern and totaled 11 passing yards (2-of-2 passing) ... Had one pass attempt and 8 rushing yards at Ohio State ... Has totaled 505 career passing yards and 1 TD, and 271 rushing yards and 2 TD's.
2006: Started first four games at quarterback before suffering a hamstring injury in the second half of the Nevada contest ... Sat out the Penn State, Wisconsin and Purdue games with the injury ... Made a solid debut at Miami (Ohio), completing 13-of-17 passes (.765) for 106 yards and 1 TD ... Also led all players with 89 rushing yards (5.2 ypc) on 17 carries ... Had a pass efficiency rating of 148.26 for his first college game ... His first TD pass was a 19-yard strike to Tyrell Sutton ... Passed for 173 yards (19-of-32) and ran for 42 yards vs. New Hampshire ... Had an interception and fumble vs. UNH ... Played the first half against Eastern Michigan and ran for 33 yards (6.6 ypc) and his first career TD (6-yard run) ... Completed 10-of-18 passes for 76 yards and an interception vs. EMU ... Had a mixed performance at Nevada: career-high 111 rushing yards, including a 13-yard TD run, and averaged 9.2 ypc ... In the air, completed 9-of-21 passes for 122 yards, with three interceptions ... His 111 rushing yards were the most by an NU quarterback since Zak Kustok ran for 111 yards vs. Bowling Green on Nov. 17, 2001 ... Made first appearance since the Nevada contest against Ohio State, completing 4-of-8 passes for 17 yards ... Averaged 5.5 yards per rush.
High School:SuperPrep All-Midwest Region and Rivals.com Top 25 dual-threat quarterback ... Ranked 50th nationally among all quarterbacks by SuperPrep ... Ranked No. 25 in overall Illinois player rankings by SuperPrep ... Rated 20th in Illinois by Rivals.com and 25th nationally in dual-threat QB ranking ... All-area selection by Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report ... Honorable mention all-state selection ... Team Offensive MVP ... Catholic Metro Blue Offensive MVP ... Chicago Sun-Times and Daily Southtown honorable mention all-area honoree ... Academic All-State ... Led Mustangs to three conference championships and a four-year mark of 35-8 ... In 2004, completed 75-of-129 passes for 1,004 yards and 10 touchdowns ... On the ground, ran for 806 yards (144 carries, 5.6 ypc) and 5 TDs ... Totaled 1,816 yards of total offense and 16 TDs ... Had 164 rushing yards and 126 passing yards vs. Mt. Carmel ... Captain of St. Rita's football and baseball teams ... School's Silver Honor Roll all four years ... Coached by Todd Kuska.
Personal: Born Michael John Kafka ... Son of Michael and Sandra Kafka ... Hails from the same program that produced recent NU punter J.J. Standring ... Communication studies major.
The Kafka File
Q: Name five favorite songs (and artist) on your I-Pod: A: 1. Common Pleasure (Jason Mraz) 2. Satellite (Dave Matthews) 3. That Body (Jeremih) 4. Heart of Life (John Mayer) 5. I'm Me (Lil Wayne) Q: If you could dine with anyone from any period in history, who would it be? A: Albert Einstein Q: What is the greatest lesson in life that you have learned? A: Failing to prepare, is preparing to fail. Q: A song that best describes you? A: Smooth Criminal- Michael Jackson Q: My favorite place to visit is: A: Puerto Rico Q: Facebook or Twitter? A: Facebook Q: Which current NU football player is the biggest jokester on the team? A: Kurt Mattes Q: My favorite thing about NU is: A: My teammates Q: Best part about being a Northwestern football player is: A: Running out onto Ryan Field to a packed house Q: Describe Coach Fitzgerald in five words or less: A: South-Side Q: Describe your position coach in five words or less: A: Offensive Master-mind Q: The best book I have ever read is: A: The Iliad- Homer Q: The person that inspires me the most is: A: My brother Q: When I played football as a kid, I pretended to be: A: Brett Favre Q: My favorite pregame ritual is: A: Visualizing Q: If you could have a starring role in any film already made, which movie would you pick? A: Zoolander Q: My favorite food is: A: Anything, no sushi or tofu Q: My favorite thing about playing at Ryan Field is: A: Scoring touchdowns Q: The best athlete I have played against is: A: Bob Pacini Q: My ultimate SportsCenter highlight will be: A: This year. Q: My favorite television shows are: A: The Simpsons, Family Guy, Always Sunny in Philadelphia Q: If I were not playing football, I would be: A: Playing Baseball Q: The three words that best describe me: A: Witty, Confident, Honest