Northwestern vs. Illinois
Nov. 19, 2005
Northwestern Post-Game Notes
With the win, Northwestern improves to 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten. The victory assures the Wildcats of a winning season, their first since 2000. (NU was 6-6 in 2004 and 6-7 in 2003.)
This was the 99th meeting between the two schools. (It was the 59th meeting since the advent of the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk Trophy in 1945.) Northwestern now trails in the overall series with Illinois 51-43-5. In the Sweet Sioux series, Illinois leads 31-26-2. The Wildcats, who have recorded three straight victories in the series, have won 7 of their last 11 contests vs. the Fighting Illini. NU's three-game series win streak is the longest successive win streak by one team since Illinois posted seven straight straight triumphs from 1979 to '85.
For the first time in school history, Northwestern has recorded four or more Big Ten wins in three straight seasons. Since the 2003 season, the Wildcats are now a combined 14-10 vs. Big Ten foes (4-4, 5-3, 5-3).
Northwestern coach Randy Walker is now all alone in second place on the school's all-time victory list with a 37-45 career record. He also won his 96th career game (16th season). The only coach ahead of Walker on NU's all-time victory list is Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf (49-45-7, 1935-46).
Northwestern QB Brett Basanez became the 36th player in NCAA Division I-A history to surpass the 10,000-yard mark for career passing yards. He completed 25-of-31 passes for 240 yards and 2 TD's. His 80.6 completion percentage was a single-game school record, bettering the 80.0 (24-of-30) he set against Michigan State earlier this season. He also rushed for a career-high 85 yards, giving him 325 yards of total offense. Basanez now has 10,164 career passing yards (32nd all-time) and 11,128 yards of total offense (17th all-time).
Basanez upped his single-season school-record passing yardage total to 3,206 yards.
Basanez moved into second place on Northwestern's all-time passing TD list (42) with two TD passes today. He also upped his single-season passing TD total to 19, which ties him for second place on Northwestern's season list. Zak Kustok has NU's single-season mark with 20 (set in 2001).
Basanez, a Unitas Award finalist and a Davey O'Brien semifinalist, made his 45th career start today, the last 39 in succession.
An update on Basanez's career numbers and where he stands on the Big Ten and NCAA's all-time lists:
875 pass completions (first on NU list; second on Big Ten list-151 behind Drew Brees, Purdue)
1,514 pass attempts (first on NU list; second on Big Ten list-164 behind Drew Brees, Purdue)
10,164 passing yards (first on NU list; third on Big Ten list-297 behind Chuck Long, Iowa)
11,128 total offense yards (first on NU list; third on Big Ten list-236 behind Antwaan Randle El, Indiana)
1,897 offensive plays (first on NU list; third on Big Ten list-20 behind Antwaan Randle El, Indiana)
Basanez now has thrown 19 TD passes and rushed for 7 TD's, giving him 26 total TD's, second behind Zak Kustok's 31 (20 passing, 11 rushing) in 2000. Basanez has 60 total career TD's (42 passing, 18 rushing), second only to Kustok's 64 (42 passing, 22 rushing).
Northwestern, which came in with the nation's ninth-best total offense average, finished the game with 596 yards, eclipsing the 500-yard mark for the sixth time this season and the seventh time in their last 13 games. Heading into its bowl game, Northwestern is averaging a school-record 492.7 yards per game. (NU averaged 467.9 ypg in 2000).
The Wildcats set a single-game school record for first downs, totaling 36 in the game. NU racked up 35 first downs in a 2000 win over Illinois.
The Wildcats rushed for 300-plus yards for the second time this season. Northwestern ran for 313 against Wisconsin on Oct. 8. Today's 356 yards are the most since the Wildcats gained 357 yards in their 2003 Motor City Bowl game vs. Bowling Green.
Senior WR Mark Philmore has caught a pass in all 39 career games played. He moved into a fourth-place tie with Lee Gissendaner on NU's all-time receptions list and now has 156 catches. Philmore also climbed several notches on the school's career receiving yardage list, from ninth to sixth place (passing Jon Schweighardt, Sam Simmons and Brian Musso). He now has 1,723 career receiving yards.
Senior LB Tim McGarigle upped his NU-career-leading tackle total to 528 with his 10 tackles today. McGarigle began the day as the nation's fifth-leading tackler. It was the 28th time in his career he recorded a double-figure tackle total.
RB Tyrell Sutton, who rang up 212 yards on a career-most 34 carries, notched his sixth game with 100 or more rushing yards, and his third with 200 or more. He began the day as the nation's eighth-leading rusher with a 117.8 yards per game average. Sutton now has 1,390 season yards (126.4 ypg), which ranks fourth-best on Northwestern's single-season list. Only Damien Anderson (2,063 in 2000) and Darnell Autry (1,785 in 1995 and 1,452 in 1996) have had better single-season rushing performances.
Sutton totaled 236 total yards (212 rushing and 24 receiving), giving him 1,719 yards for the season. He caught five passes, which upped his single-season total to 37, the second-most in school history for a running back.
WR Shaun Herbert moved into sole possession of fifth place on the Wildcats' single-season reception list with his four receptions. He now has 72 catches for the year (three behind D'Wayne Bates).
Northwestern successfully ran its fake field goal play, "Fastball," on its first drive of the second half. The Wildcats scored a TD on the play, with Gerard Hamlett, who was squatting behind the line of scrimmage, taking the ball from Chris Malleo (who received the snap) and running 28 yards around right end for a TD.
Senior DT Barry Cofield intercepted his first career pass, picking off Illinois' Tim Brasic and returning the ball 16 yards to the Wildcats' 30-yard line. The play thwarted a potential Illinois scoring drive, with the Wildcats leading 31-21. The interception was the Wildcats' 17th of the year, three shy of NU's single-season record.
Although Northwestern ranks 22nd nationally in turnover margin, this was the first time this season the Wildcats did not have a turnover in a game.
Illinois Post-Game Notes
Pierre Thomas had a one-yard run for a touchdown in the first quarter, scoring his sixth of the season.
Thomas and E.B. Halsey continued to move up the all-time rushing list with their performances today. Thomas' 97 yards gave him 1,790 for his career, good for 13th on list while Halsey's 41 yards put him at 1,335 for his career and 21st on the career list.
With 136 all-purpose yards today, Thomas now stands at fifth on the career all-purpose yardage list with 3,364 yards.
Tim Brasic finished with 241 yards passing, the second-highest total of his career (277 yards against Wisconsin on Oct. 29) and the sixth time he's gone over the 200-yard mark this season. He threw five passes over 25 yards, the most in a game this season.
Brasic's 53 yards rushing give him 420 for the season, the highest season rushing total ever for an Illinois quarterback.
Illinois' 440 yards of total offense marks the fourth time the Illini have gone over the 400-yard mark this season.
Steve Weatherford finishes his career as all-time punting yardage leader with 43.5 yards per punt, sixth on the list for career punts with 193, and fourth in career punting yardage with 8,402. Weatherford's season total of 2,856 stands as the fifth-best single season yardage mark in Illinois history.
Numerous players on the Illinois defense had career highs in tackles against Northwestern. Kevin Mitchell had 14 tackles, topping his previous high of 12 against Wisconsin on Oct. 29, James Cooper had 12 tackles, besting the seven he had against Michigan State on Sept. 24, and true freshman Brit Miller also had 12 tackles (11 vs. Ohio State) and notched his first career sack, a 12-yard loss.
Senior fullback Jason Davis scored his first touchdown of the season and sixth of his career with his 27-yard catch in the second quarter.
Freshman receiver Derrick McPhearson caught his first touchdown pass of his career on a 27-yard reception at the 1:52 mark of the second quarter.
DaJuan Warren's 10-yard reception in the first quarter gave him his 13th straight game with a reception dating back to last season's Indiana game.
Kendrick Jones had a season-high 95 yards on three receptions, including a 41-yarder in the second quarter.