to watch Coach Fitzgerald talk about the state of his offense
to watch Coach Fitzgerald on the fan and student turnout
to watch Nick Roach
talk about the defensive effort
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Sept. 16, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Led by a sterling defensive effort, Northwestern chalked up its first home victory of the season with a 14-6 win over Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Corey Wootton's interception in the fourth quarter stopped a scoring threat and Deante Battle's late fourth-quarter interception sealed the win for the Wildcats (2-1).
The Eagles were at the Northwestern 32 when Tyler Jones overthrew Eric Deslauriers in the end zone with about six minutes left. Wootton then picked off a pass at the 27, and the Wildcats had to weather one more Eastern Michigan threat.
Battle picked off Jones at the Northwestern 47 with about a minute left. The Eagles were held to just 134 yards on offense and converted 2 of 15 third downs.
Tyrell Sutton led Northwestern with 91 yards rushing, his second straight game with 90 or more yards.
Mike Kafka delivered a 6-yard touchdown run on the game's opening possession but was 10-of-18 for 76 yards with an interception. Andrew Brewer replaced him and led a 72-yard touchdown drive on the Wildcats' first possession of the second half, carrying it in from the 1 to boost Northwestern's lead to 14-6. He completed 6-of-8 passes for 34 yards.
With the score 7-6 after the Eagles punted to start the third quarter, Sutton carried six times for 44 yards as Northwestern increased its lead to eight. He started the drive with a 9-yarder and broke off runs of 19 and 10 yards. Brewer contributed a 10-yard run to go with that touchdown.
Although Saturday's game was the first between the programs, they weren't exactly strangers. Eastern Michigan coach Jeff Genyk was a Wildcats assistant for 12 years before being hired in December 2003, and five members of his staff either played or coached at Northwestern.
For the second game this season, Northwestern did not allow a touchdown. The Eagles tallied two field goals today. In the season opener at Miami (Ohio), Northwestern limited the RedHawks to three points.
Northwestern also limited Eastern Michigan to just five first downs.
(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)