Aug. 31, 2009
NU Football Game Notes (vs. Towson)
Northwestern begins its 122nd season of intercollegiate football competition this Saturday, Sept. 5 against the Towson Tigers. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. CT at Ryan Field. The Wildcats are 73-44-4 (.620) in season-opening contests. In the last 14 years (since 1995), the Wildcats are 10-4 (.714) in opening games. NU is seeking to win its fifth straight season-opening game.
Towson is the fifth FCS (Football Championship Series, formerly known as Division I-AA) opponent to visit Evanston, and the third from the Colonial Athletic Association. In 2006 and 2007, the Wildcats hosted CAA programs New Hampshire and Northeastern, respectively.
Towson University, located in suburban Baltimore, named its football stadium after legendary Colts' quarterback Johnny Unitas earlier this decade. In addition to serving as the school's site for football games, Unitas Stadium has hosted the last two NCAA Women's Lacrosse Championships, both won by Northwestern. NU's women's lacrosse team will be seeking its sixth straight NCAA title next spring. The NCAA finals return to Towson in May.
Just prior to kickoff on Saturday, the Wildcats and Tigers are taking part in a national sportsmanship initiative that is being sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) and the NCAA. Both teams will meet at midfield and shake hands about three minutes before kickoff. The handshake is only planned for the first week of games.
Northwestern, which is returning 47 letterwinners for a second straight year, has 10 seniors in its starting lineup--five on offense (quarterback Mike Kafka, wide receiver Zeke Markshausen, wide receiver Andrew Brewer, right tackle Kurt Mattes and left guard Desmond Taylor) and five on defense (defensive end Corey Wootton, defensive tackle Marshall Thomas, cornerback Sherrick McManis, safety Brendan Smith and safety Brad Phillips).
Tickets for Saturday's game ($35 reserved/$25 end zone/$30 corner adult & $15 corner youth) can be purchased by calling 847-491-CATS or visiting NUsports.com.
Saturday is North Shore Community Day, and $13 end zone tickets are available to all North Shore residents (must be purchased in advance).
Area mayors and village presidents will serve as honorary captains on Saturday.
Members of the community can go on the field after Saturday's game to take photographs -- email firstname.lastname@example.org for your pass to the field.
Prior to each home game, Wildcat fans are encouraged to take part in "Walk with Us." When the Wildcats arrive about two hours and 20 minutes before kickoff, fans, along with the NU Marching Band, line Walker Way to help welcome the Wildcats to Ryan Field.
Wildcat Alley, which is situated in the baseball outfield (behind Welsh-Ryan Arena), opens two hours before kickoff each home game.
Radio -- Due to a conflict with a Chicago Cubs, the game will be carried live on WCPT (820 AM) with the pregame show starting at 10:30 a.m. The radio broadcast can also be heard live via the internet at wgnradio.com. Dave Eanet (play-by-play) and Ted Albrecht (analyst) call the action. WNUR (89.3), NU's student radio station, also will carry the game.
Television -- The Big Ten Network is televising the game, with Matt Rosen (play-by-play), Rob Campbell (analyst) and Tony McGee (sideline) calling the action.