PURDUE at RV/25 NORTHWESTERN
Purdue 20, Northwestern 17
Oct. 9, 2010
Ryan Field - Evanston, Ill.
Northwestern Post-Game Notes
This was the 78th meeting between Northwestern and Purdue, and 16th straight year the two teams have met. The Purdue win snapped NU's two-game series winning streak. NU is now 4-3 in its last seven meetings with the Boilers. NU and Purdue will not play one another in 2011 and 2012 with the recently announced Big Ten schedules.
Northwestern had its eight-game regular-season winning streak snapped. That was the Wildcats' longest regular-season streak since a nine-game one in 1995.
The Wildcats are now 27-8 in their last 35 games decided by seven points or less. Under current head coach Pat Fitzgerald, NU is now 17-7 in games decided by seven points or less.
Northwestern has now scored in double figures in 40 consecutive games.
Northwestern's attendance figure for this game, 33,847, improved its season attendance total 89,393 for a three-game average of 29,798. That three-game average is 51.1 percent higher than the average of last year's first three home games.
In addition, Northwestern's attendance figure helped the Big Ten Conference establish a new five-game attendance figure for one day-the league's five games produced an aggregate attendance figure of 440,170, for an average of 88,034, breaking the mark of 87,620 set in 1995 (Oct. 28).
Northwestern extended its string of games with at least one interception (defensive takeaway) to 10.
Northwestern converted 8-of-18 (44.4 percent) third-down conversions to keep its season percentage (45-of-90) among the nation's leaders (50 percent ranked 17th nationally in last week's national stats while NU's single-game figure of 44.4 percent would have ranked 36th). The Wildcats have ranked among the nation's leaders in third-down conversion percentage the past three years.
Northwestern outscored Purdue 7-0 in the first quarter and 7-3 in the third quarter to continue its first- and third-quarter domination this season. The Wildcats have outscored their foes 54-16 in the first quarter and 44-12 in the third.
Northwestern led in time of possession for the fifth time in the last six games, and is now averaging 32:47 for the season.
Northwestern has scored first in all six games its played this year.
Northwestern ran a season-high 83 plays against the Boilermakers.
The Boilermakers had two long runs, a 67-yarder by quarterback Rob Henry and a 51-yarder by running back Keith Carlos, which upped their team rushing figure to 232 yards. Minus those two plays, NU held Purdue to 114 yards on 40 carries, or 2.85 yards per carry.
QB Dan Persa completed 30-of-41 passes for 305 yards. His 73.2 percent completion percentage marked the first time this season that he had not completed 75 percent or more of his pass attempts. Persa also rushed for 24 yards and a TD, giving him 329 yards of total offense, the third-highest figure of his career. Persa's 30 completions and 41 attempts are both single-game highs. After six games, Persa is completing 78.0 percent of his passes and averaging 277.2 passing yards per game. He is now averaging 326.3 yards per game of total offense. Persa has thrown 10 touchdown passes and also scored three TD's on the ground.
The 305-yard passing night was Persa's third 300-yard game this season.
Junior WR Jeremy Ebert established career highs for both receptions (11) and receiving yards (124). Ebert is NU's leading receiver this season with 35 catches for 560 yards (93.3 ypg).
S David Arnold, who was playing in just his second game after sitting out the first four contests with a foot injury, notched the Wildcats' 10th interception of the season. Entering the weekend's action, Northwestern ranked seventh nationally in passes intercepted.
P Brandon Williams averaged 41.3 yards per punt (six punts) and had two of his six boots land inside the 20. That gives him 11 (of 26) punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line for the year. Williams had two punts go in the end zone for touchbacks, the first two touchbacks of the season for the rookie punter.
RB Jacob Schmidt scored NU's first touchdown, a 2-yard run in the first quarter, giving him a team-high four rushing TD's this year. Schmidt also became the fourth different player to lead NU in rushing in a game this season. Schmidt finished the game with 75 all-purpose yards (32 rushing and 43 receiving).
With five tackles in the game, LB Quentin Davie is now three tackles shy of 200 for his career.
PK Stefan Demos' 46-yard field goal was his longest of the season and equaled the third-longest of his career.