Sept. 18, 2013
Weekly News Conference Free Preview | The Wednesday Skip Report
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Off to a 3-0 start for the third time in four seasons, No. 18/16 Northwestern closes the nonconference portion of its 2013 schedule against a fellow undefeated, hosting Football Championship Subdivision foe Maine (3-0) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.
To catch the 'Cats in action, tune your TV dial to Big Ten Network or enjoy the radio broadcast on WMVP-ESPN1000 in Chicago. Follow live tweets on @NU_SportsLIVE and share your photos and excitement from the game by using the hashtag #B1GCats to join the conversation.
Last week, Northwestern improved to 3-0 with a win over Western Michigan in primetime at Ryan Field. Check out the video below for a recap of the Sights and Sounds of the Game presented by Cricket Wireless:
Gameday Promotions (Call 888-GO-PURPLE for more information on any of the following promotions):
'Kits and 'Cats Week -- Go Wild!: With the dawn of a new academic year on the horizon, Northwestern University and the City of Evanston are coming together for 'Kits and 'Cats Week - Go Wild! As game day draws near, Downtown Evanston will become the place to be on Thursday (Sept. 19) for the 'Kits and 'Cats Week Kick-Off celebration on a pedestrian-friendly Sherman Ave. between Church St. and Clark St. The entire block will be closed to traffic for the event, which will take place from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free parking for the Kick-Off is available at the Sherman Avenue Garage (ticket must be validated at the event)
Hispanic Heritage Night: Northwestern would like to invite fans to Ryan Field for a celebration of Hispanic heritage and a day filled with culture, tradition and football. Event highlights to include a special keepsake gift and cultural performances in Wildcat Alley. Discount tickets can be purchased IN ADVANCE of game day when purchased online using a special promotion code.
Father-Daughter Day: Wildcat Father and daughters are invited out to cheer on the 'Cats as they take on Western Michigan. Special events have been planned for the family and discount tickets can be purchased IN ADVANCE of game day when purchased online using a special promotion code.
Evanston Day: City of Evanston residents are invited to experience Big Ten football in their backyard as Northwestern hosts Maine. Join Mayor Tisdahl and President Schapiro for this special event. Special discounted tickets can be purchased in advance online.
Wildcat Alley Fan Fest Presented by Cricket Wireless: Wildcat Alley is the FREE pregame fan fest area located only 100 yards northeast of Ryan Field. Wildcat Alley opens three hours before kickoff at each home game. Wildcat Alley is fun for guests of all ages and features interactive games, face painting, giveaways, Willie the Wildcat, cheerleaders, a performance by the Northwestern marching band and much more. For more information on Wildcat Alley or the new Wildcat Alley Tailgate Garden, CLICK HERE
Fans are reminded that parking in the lots on the east and west sides of Ryan Field is restricted only to season ticket holders who are in possession of a season-long parking pass. If you do not have a parking pass, please head directly to the FREE lots on campus to park. Please be advised that due to ongoing construction on Northwestern's lakefront campus -- specifically at the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion and Aquatic Center -- parking will be limited this fall. All free lots on campus are available on a first-come, first-earned basis, and tailgating IS permitted in these lots. Free shuttles run between campus and Ryan Field before, during and after games.
Additionally, Ryan Field is conveniently located less than three blocks away from both the CTA Purple Line (Central Street station) and the Metra (Central Street/Evanston Station). Visit transitchicago.com or metrarail.com for gameday transit schedules.
Northwestern Game Notes
Remarkably, Northwestern's effort of 38 points and 471 yards against Western Michigan constituted season lows in both categories thus far in 2013, a testament to the offensive efficiency Northwestern has displayed through three games. NU enters play today having scored at least 30 points in five straight games going back to last season, the longest such streak in school history. This year also marks the first time the 'Cats have tallied 30-plus points in their first three games to start a season since 1962 (37 vs. South Carolina; 45 vs. Illinois; 34 at Minnesota), the same year NU rose to a No. 1 national ranking under head coach Ara Parseghian.
With his second-quarter interception against Western Michigan, junior safety Ibraheim Campbell extended his string of consecutive games with a pickoff to five dating to last season's regular-season finale vs. Illinois. Campbell set a school record in the process, breaking the previous mark of four straight games with an INT established by Brett Whitley in 1985. The interception was the eighth of the season by Northwestern, placing the Wildcats alone in first place nationally for most picks.
In the absence of injured starter Venric Mark, junior tailback Treyvon Green has taken over the reins and carried the load in the backfield for the Wildcats. Green ranks 21st in the country with 117.7 rushing yards per game after his career-best 158-yard effort on 20 carries against Western Michigan. He also paces Northwestern with six touchdowns this season, with five rushing and one receiving. QB Kain Colter also bolstered the Northwestern rushing attack against the Broncos, joining Green in the 100-yard club with 106.
Entering Saturday's game, Northwestern claims a stellar 16-4 record in the last 20 regular-season games it has played dating to Oct. 29, 2011. After wrapping up nonconference action today against the Bears, the Wildcats will enjoy the first of two idle weeks next Saturday before gearing up for Big Ten play against top-5 ranked Ohio State on Homecoming weekend in Evanston (Saturday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m.).
This weekend, head coach Pat Fitzgerald and Northwestern will pay tribute to former Wildcats offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar, who lost his battle with cancer last week at the age of 64. Dunbar, whose career included stops at Minnesota, Cal, Northern Iowa and Northern Illinois among others, came to Evanston as an assistant in 2001 and then coordinated Randy Walker's spread attack from 2002-05, during which time Fitzgerald served as NU's linebackers coach. All NU players Saturday will wear a `MD' sticker on their helmets in memory of Dunbar.
The Maine Black Bears are led by 21st-year head coach Jack Cosgrove, a Maine lifer who also played in the program and is a 1978 Maine graduate. The Bears are 3-0 this season with victories over Norfolk State, Massachusetts and Bryant.
Offensively, senior quarterback Marcus Wasilewski is the engine that makes the Bears go, having racked up 739 yards and five touchdowns through three games while also ranking as the team's top ground-gainer with 194 yards and two rushing TDs. Still, Maine likes to spread the ball around, with four different players having rushed at least 25 times this season.
On the other side of the ball, Maine is led by a pair of underclassmen linebackers in sophomore Cabrinni Goncalves and freshman Christophe Mulumba, who have recorded 26 and 25 tackles, respectively. Goncalves also boasts 3.0 TFL and 2.0 sacks.
For complete Northwestern and Maine game notes, download the PDFs linked at the top of the page.
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