Sept. 15, 2008
NU Football Game Notes (vs. Ohio)
Monday Press Conference Video
Full Monday Press Conference
Coach Fitzgerald's opening statement
Fitzgerald on "big plays"
Fitzgerald on his team's depth
Fitzgerald on the linebackers
Fitzgerald on this week's opponent
Wootton on Ohio's mobile quarterback
Bachér on the team's maturity
Sutton on depth at running back
For the first time in seven years, Northwestern is off to a 3-0 start after posting a 33-7 victory over FCS power Southern Illinois last Saturday. All three victories have come against non-conference foes. Northwestern has not gone undefeated in non-league action since 1963 when it played just two non-Big Ten games and defeated Missouri and Miami (Ohio). The last time NU went 3-0 in non-conference action was 1962 when the Wildcats, who were ranked No. 1 nationally for two weeks, defeated South Carolina, Notre Dame and Miami (Fla.).
Northwestern used a balanced offensive effort (148 rushing yards, 185 passing yards) and an aggressive defensive effort (13 TFL's, which included six pass sacks) to defeat the nationally ranked Salukis. NU also received a career day from senior place-kicker Amado Villarreal, who converted four-of-four field goals and all three PAT attempts.
Senior running back Tyrell Sutton scored his fourth, fifth and sixth touchdowns of the season vs. SIU and moved into a fourth-place tie on NU's career scoring list with 210 points. Sutton is three scores shy of tying NU's all-time touchdown mark of 38, held by Damien Anderson (1998-2001).
For the second straight game, the Wildcats turned in a turnover-free performance against Southern Illinois. The mistake-free effort was even more impressive considering the fact that rain (heavy at times) fell throughout the entire contest.
Ohio University, this Saturday's opponent, is 0-3, but that record is misleading. The Bobcats, who are a member of the Mid-American Conference's East Division, have played the preseason league favorites in the Big Ten and the MAC the past two weeks and have given both respective schools, Ohio State and Central Michigan, everything they wanted. Ohio held a 14-6 second-half lead against the Buckeyes before a pair of fourth-quarter scores gave OSU a 26-14 win. Against the Chippewas, who are the two-time defending MAC champions, the Bobcats trailed 31-28 in the fourth quarter and had two chances to overtake CMU. But a pair of turnovers, including a fumble in the end zone, dashed the Bobcats' hopes for a win. Ohio opened the season with a 21-20 loss at Wyoming.
OU is led by quarterback Boo Jackson, who averages 158.3 passing yards and 34.3 rushing yards per game. Running back Donte Harden is averaging 26.7 yards per return and has one return for TD.
NU's players of the game against SIU were: Corey Wootton (defense), Amado Villarreal (offense), Jacob Schmidt (special teams), Quentin Davie (defensive big play) and Tyrell Sutton (offensive big play).
Tickets for Saturday's game ($35 reserved/$25 end zone) can be purchased by calling 847-491-CATS or visiting NUsports.com.
Saturday is NU Faculty and Staff Day, with ticket prices reduced 50 percent. (All faculty and staff are required to show their Wildcard to receive the reduced price.) It is also New Student Week at the Game, and all NU freshmen will be escorted to the game by NU student-athletes and the Ladycats, NU's dance squad.
Meet Brian Musso! Meet Brian on the Randy Walker Terrace at halftime and receive a special teams poster that Brian will autograph.
(NOTE: Tickets for the faculty and staff day promotion must be purchased in advance.)
Radio -- WGN (720 AM) will carry the game live with its 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 live. The contest is also available on the XM Satellite Radio network. (Channels 196-199).
Television -- The Big Ten Network is televising the game, with the broadcast available nationally on Direct TV and Dish Network. Tom Werme (play-by-play), Tony McGee (analyst) and Ron Johnson (sideline) call the action.
(For a complete set of game notes, download the PDF above.)