Nov. 17, 2012
Box Score |
Northwestern at Michigan State
Spartan Stadium East Lansing, Mich.
Northwestern Postgame Notes
This was the 53rd all-time meeting between Northwestern and Michigan State and the 25th in East Lansing.
Today represents Northwestern's first victory against the Spartans since 2007, a 48-41 overtime victory at Spartan Stadium.
Northwestern now has a winning road record for the fifth-consecutive season after moving to 3-2 with this victory.
The 'Cats improved to 23-12 in games decided by seven points or less since Pat Fitzgerald became head coach in 2006 and 11-8 in contests decided by three points or fewer in that same span.
The victory was the 48th in the head coaching career at Northwestern, leaving him just one shy of Lynn "Pappy" Waldolf's school record of 49 set between 1935-46.
Northwestern led by a 6-5 margin at halftime, the 10th time in 11 games this season the Wildcats have been ahead or tied after two quarters.
Northwestern surrendered a safety to the Spartans in the first quarter. It had been nearly six years to the day since an opponent last recorded a safety against the Wildcats, dating to Nov. 18, 2006, against Illinois.
The Wildcats came into the game ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten and seventh nationally in fumble recoveries, and today recorded their 13th and 14th fumble recoveries of the year. DT Sean McEvilly fell on Andrew Maxwell's first-quarter fumble and Chi Chi Ariguzo notched his fourth recovery of the year in the third quarter.
The Northwestern defense notched four total takeaways against Michigan State, the most by an NU team since the 'Cats recorded four in back-to-back games against Illinois State and Rice in 2010 (Sept. 11 and Sept. 18, respectively). Northwestern improved to +11 in turnover differential on the season and recorded equal or more takeaways than its opponent for the eighth time in 11 games this year.
Northwestern has scored in double-figures in 71 consecutive games.
True freshman SB Dan Vitale racked up career highs of nine receptions for 110 yards, including a career-long 41-yard reception. He is the first NU receiver to top 100 yards in a game since Kain Colter did so early this year against Indiana (Sept. 29) and the first superback to do so since Drake Dunsmore notched 112 against Indiana on Oct. 29, 2011.
LB David Nwabuisi recorded his second interception of the season and the third of his career, returning it 43 yards for his first career touchdown. It is Northwestern's first "pick-six" since Jordan Mabin's 39-yard INT return against Texas Tech in the TicketCity Bowl (Jan. 1, 2011).
S Ibraheim Campbell was responsible for two caused turnovers on the day. Campbell delivered the hit on MSU quarterback Andrew Maxwell that prompted Maxwell's third-quarter interception, and later in the period stripped the ball from MSU wideout Aaron Burnbridge, also falling on the loose ball.
Lou Groza Award semifinalist Jeff Budzien was 3-for-3 on field goal attempts on the afternoon, connecting from 24, 43 and 27 yards in the first half. Budzien improved to 15-of-16 on field goal attempts this season, including 5-of-6 from 40 yards and beyond.
DT Sean McEvilly recorded his first career fumble recovery when he fell on QB Andrew Maxwell's fumble at the Northwestern 1-yard line in the first quarter.
SB Tim Riley caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Kain Colter, Riley's third career catch and his second touchdown. Riley also collected a 2-yard scoring pass from Colter in last year's Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas against Texas A&M.
S Jared Carpenter notched the first interception of his career, picking off Maxwell late in the third quarter. He set a career high with nine tackles in the game and had two pass breakups on Michigan State's final drive.
LB Damien Proby had a team-high 12 tackles while Campbell finished with 11 tackles, a forced fumble, a QB hurry and two pass breakups.
RB Venric Mark saw his streak of four consecutive 100-yard rushing games come to an end after leaving the game in the first quarter with an upper extremity injury.
With Mark unable to play, WR Tony Jones recorded three kickoff returns for 57 yards, including a career-long 24-yard return. Jones entered the game with one career return for 20 yards.
Other career highs on the day included CB Quinn Evans' seven tackles, LB Drew Smith's four stops and WR Rashad Lawrence's six receptions. Freshman DE Dean Lowry also recorded his first career sack on the day.