Illinois at Northwestern o Nov. 24, 2012
Ryan Field o Evanston, Ill.
Northwestern Team Notes
This was the 106th meeting between Northwestern and Illinois, with the series 54-47-5 in the Fighting Illini's favor. The Wildcats have drawn even with Illinois in Evanston with the series knotted at 27 wins and three ties. NU broke Illinois two game series streak with the win today.
The Wildcats have taken four straight from the Illini at Ryan Field (Illinois defeated Northwestern two years ago at Wrigley Field, technically an NU home game). The Illini have not won in Evanston in 10 years.
NU and Illinois are tied with two wins apiece for the Land of Lincoln trophy. Northwestern won the final Sweet Sioux Tomahawk trophy in 2008.
Northwestern scored at least 50 points for the first time this season and the first time since amassing 59 against Indiana on Oct. 29, 2011. NU has scored 40-plus three times in 2012.
This year's five-year class won its 39th game, the most of any five-year NU class. The current seniors have helped NU advance to postseason play in all five years of their careers.
NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald won his 49th game as Wildcats head coach, tying him for the most wins of any Northwestern coach with Lynn "Pappy" Waldorf, who also won 49 contests, from 1935-46.
Fitzgerald is 15-9 in November games and has a winning record in the 11th month of the year in five of his seven years at the NU helm.
Over the past four seasons, the 'Cats have compiled a 12-6 record in November (including four wins over ranked opponents during the month).
The Wildcats are 13-4 in regular-season games dating back to Oct. 29, 2011, including an 8-2 mark at Ryan Field.
Northwestern held a halftime lead today for the 10th time in 12 games this season. The 'Cats have outscored their foes 194-99 in the first half in 2012.
In nine of the 12 games this season, NU had a 100-yard rusher (Venric Mark has eight 100-yard contests in 2012).
The Wildcats' 338 rushing yards is the second-highest total this season (394 vs. Indiana). Today's tally marked the fourth time NU has passed 300 rushing yards in a game in 2012.
Going into the game, NU ranked third in Big Ten rushing offense. The 'Cats now average 230.9 ypg in 2012.
Northwestern ran the ball 67 times today, a team high for the season. That is the most since rushing 67 times against Eastern Illinois on Sept. 10, 2011. The amount is the highest total in the Big Ten this season (Wisconsin has 64 on one occasion).
The Wildcats have 60 or more rushing attempts twice in 2012 (60 vs. Boston College) and five times exceeding 50.
The Wildcat offensive line gave up two quarterback sacks today, but only five in the last seven games and just 17 in 2012 overall.
For the second consecutive game, the Northwestern defense today created four turnovers with three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The three interceptions are most in a game for NU this season. The 'Cat defense now has five pickoffs in the past two games.
NU owns a turnover ratio of +13 in 2012.
The Wildcats have at least one fumble recovery or interception in 47 of the last 50 contests and in all but one game (Iowa) this season.
Northwestern has now scored in double figures in 72 straight games and held opponents to under 20 or fewer points in seven of 12 games this season.
NU scored six times in seven visits to the red zone today. The 'Cats are 45-of-51 in the red zone this year (88 percent success rate) with 31 TDs (22 rush, nine pass).
The Wildcats came into the game ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten and seventh nationally in fumble recoveries, and today recorded their 16th fumble recovery of the year.
Northwestern Individual Notes
QB Kain Colter had his second-best completion percentage of the season, successful on 9-of-11 passes. He was a perfect 10-of-10 against Minnesota on Oct. 13.
Colter tossed a career-high three touchdown passes today.
Colter ran for his 23rd career rushing touchdown, which moves him past fellow QB Zak Kustok into sole possession of sixth on the all-time NU TD list.
Colter now has 12 rushing scores this season, good enough to tie him for seventh on the Wildcat season list with Ron Burton (in 1958) and Jason Wright (2002).
RB Venric Mark's 127-yard rushing effort (7.1 yards per carry) gives him eight games with over 100 yards rushing this season. He has five 100-yard games in the last six contests.
Mark has 1,310 rushing yards in 2012, placing seventh on the Northwestern all-time season rushing list. Today he passed Bob Christian (1,291 yards in 1989), Mike Adamle (1,255 in 1970) and Jason Wright (1,234 in 2002).
Mark has 2,048 all-purpose yards this season, which put him in second place on the Wildcats single-season all-purpose yardage list, second only to Damien Anderson's 2,195 in 2000.
Mark now ranks fifth in career all-purpose yardage with 3,970 yards, passing Ricky Edwards (3,924) today.
WR Tony Jones caught his team-leading fourth touchdown pass today and the fifth of his career.
OL Paul Jorgensen's 24-yard touchdown catch was his first reception and first touchdown of his career.
LB David Nwabuisi picked off his fourth career interception today, which leads all current Wildcats. His three interceptions this season also pace all active NU players.
LB Chi Chi Ariguzo led all tacklers with 10 solo stops and paced the Wildcats with 11 total tackles. Included in that total were two tackles for three yards lost and a quarterback sack for two yards.
DL Max Chapman's safety was Northwestern's first safety since scoring one against Indiana on Oct. 24, 2009.
DE Quentin Williams' quarterback sack today gives him 3.5 this season and 6.5 in his career, both second among current Wildcats.
S Ibraheim Campbell secured his third career interception today and his first since he had two against Michigan on Oct. 8, 2011.
K Jeff Budzien has converted all 96 PATs in his Wildcat career, extending his school record for consecutive conversions.
Budzien's 44-yard field goal ties as his longest in 2012 and the second-longest of his career (47-yard FG vs. Indiana).
Budzien's two field goals today, give him 17 three-pointers in 18 attempts this season. He is also six-of-seven on tries over 40 yards.