Aug. 30, 2014
Box Score |
California 31, Northwestern 24
Aug. 30 Ryan Field
Northwestern Game Notes
California was making its first-ever appearance in Evanston, with the two previous NU-Cal meetings having taken place in Pasadena (1949) and Berkeley (2013). This also marks California's first win in the all-time series.
Northwestern saw its streak of nine consecutive opening-day victories (eight under Pat Fitzgerald) come to an end.
The Wildcats also had their run of 16 straight home nonconference wins snapped. Saturday marked the first win at Ryan Field by a non-Big Ten opponent since Duke in 2007.
Northwestern, which ranked 12th among FBS teams in fewest penalties committed per game in 2013, was not assessed any penalty yards in their opener against Cal.
Senior safety Ibraheim Campbell recorded the ninth interception of his career in the second quarter, moving Campbell into a tie with Sherrick McManis (2006-09) and Willie Lindsey (1989-92).
Senior LB Collin Ellis also picked up an interception, the fourth of his career and third against California. Like his two pick-sixes against Cal in 2013, Ellis corralled a tipped pass in the third quarter Saturday to set up Northwestern's third touchdown.
Ellis ranked as NU's leading tackler in the game with 12 total stops, while Campbell tied a career high with 11 solo tackles. That sum matches Campbell's 11 solo stops against Syracuse on Sept. 1, 2012.
WR Cameron Dickerson scored a touchdown on a 54-yard catch-and-run, the longest reception of the junior's career and his third touchdown, first since Oct. 5, 2013, vs. Ohio State.
QB Trevor Siemian made his fourth career start and compiled 229 yards on 23-of-42 passing, reaching the precipice of the 4,000 career passing yards mark (3,946). Siemian also collected the first reception of his career on a trick play in the third quarter, catching a throwback pass from redshirt freshman superback Jayme Taylor and scampering 17 yards before diving for the pylon and the score.
Numerous Wildcats made their NU debuts in the game, including four true freshman: SB Garrett Dickerson, RB Justin Jackson, RB Solomon Vault and DL Xavier Washington. Jackson finished as Northwestern's leading rusher with 40 yards on eight carries and his first career touchdown, a 7-yard run in the third quarter.
Also debuting at Northwestern is wide receiver Miles Shuler, who transferred from Rutgers to Evanston last fall with two years of eligibility remaining. Shuler was Northwestern's primary kick-returner in the game, totaling 60 yards on three returns.
PK Jack Mitchell made his first in-game appearance for the Wildcats and scored six total points, hitting on all three extra point attempts and his first career field goal attempt. Mitchell was true from a distance of 24 yards with 5:18 remaining in the game as Northwestern attempted to complete its comeback.