Sept. 17, 2012
Northwestern (3-0, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. South Dakota (1-1, 0-0 MVFC)
Saturday, Sept. 22 2:30 p.m. CT
Ryan Field (47,130) Evanston, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network (Crew: Wayne Larrivee, Jon Jansen, Evan Fitzgerald)
Radio: ESPN 1000 (Chicagoland) (Dave Eanet, Ted Albrecht) and WNUR (89.3 FM)
Live Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLIVE | Gametracker
Northwestern vs. South Dakota -- Weekly Release | 2012 Northwestern Football Yearbook
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In its final tune-up before the start of Big Ten play, undefeated Northwestern welcomes FCS opponent South Dakota to Ryan Field Saturday (2:30 p.m., BTN).
With a gutty 22-13 victory over Boston College Saturday, Northwestern's streak of consecutive home victories against nonconference foes reached 12 games, tied for the 14th-longest active streak among FBS programs. The Wildcats have not lost to a team from outside the Big Ten at Ryan Field since falling to Duke on Sept. 15, 2007.
The Wildcats have represented the Big Ten well this season, going 3-0 against BCS automatic qualifier schools (the other 11 Big Ten Conference schools are 1-8 in such games). NU, which was one of 10 FBS schools to play BCS conference foes in the first two weeks and the only team in that bunch to open 2-0, joined FBS newcomer Massachusetts (0-3) as the only team to open 2012 with three games vs. BCS conference squads.
Spearheaded by RB Venric Mark, RB Mike Trumpy and QB Kain Colter, the 2012 Wildcats have averaged 202.7 rushing yards per game, with the aforementioned trio averaging better than 4.6 yards per attempt on their 122 combined carries. With Mark rushing for 123 yards against Vanderbilt and Trumpy going for 106 against BC, NU has had 100-plus-yard individual rushing performances in back-to-back games for the first time since Trumpy and Dan Persa achieved the feat against Indiana and Penn State, respectively, in 2010. Should a Wildcat top the 100-yard plateau this week, it would be the first time since the second week of the 2007 season that NU has had a 100-yard rusher in three consecutive outings.
Northwestern's quarterback tandem of Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian has generated big-time offensive production while still managing to take care of the ball. NU is one of 16 teams in the country that is yet to throw an interception in 2012, despite having the third-most passing attempts (103) among those 16 teams.
With a defensive line rotation that includes as many as eight regular contributors, NU pass-rushers have made their presence known in opponents' backfield this year. Defensive linemen Brian Arnfelt (2), Tyler Scott (1) and Quentin Williams (1) have combined for four forced fumbles in three games, with Scott and Arnfelt also combining for 8.0 tackles for loss. The Northwestern defense also has 10 QB hurries and 13 pass breakups thus far in 2012.
Northwestern-South Dakota Series Information
All-Time Series Record: Northwestern leads, 4-0
Series in Evanston: Northwestern leads, 4-0
Last Meeting: Oct. 1, 1927
Northwestern 47, South Dakota 2
Northwestern is facing South Dakota in what might be considered a season of firsts for the Coyotes. For starters, South Dakota is playing its first season under the direction of head coach Joe Glenn, a 1971 alum of the program with more than 20 years experience as a head coach.
The Yotes also are in their first year as a member of the Missouri Valley Football Conference after previously competing in the Great West Conference. South Dakota became the 10th member of the MVFC, which produced last year's FCS national champion when North Dakota State defeated Sam Houston State, 17-6, in the 2011 title game.
Northwestern and South Dakota are renewing a series that dates back to 1924, when the Wildcats hosted the Coyotes in four consecutive season-openers between 1924 and 1927. NU won all four games by a combined score of 123-9, with the closest margin of victory coming in a 14-7 win on Oct. 3, 1925.
Download the complete game notes and weekly release, linked in PDF form at the top of the page.
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