Sept. 24, 2012
Northwestern (4-0, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Indiana (2-1, 0-0 Big Ten)
Saturday, Sept. 29 11 a.m. CT
Ryan Field (47,130) Evanston, Ill.
TV: Big Ten Network (Crew: Kevin Kugler, Chris Martin)
Radio: 720 WGN (Chicagoland) (Dave Eanet, Ted Albrecht, Sam Valenzisi) and WNUR (89.3 FM)
Live Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLIVE | Gametracker
Northwestern vs. Indiana -- Weekly Release | 2012 Northwestern Football Yearbook
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Northwestern passed all four of its nonconference tests in the month of September and now turns its attention to Big Ten play, hosting Leaders Division foe Indiana Saturday at Ryan Field. The Wildcats, who received the third-most votes by a Big Ten team in the AP and USA Today Coaches poll this week, are seeking to begin the season 5-0 for the third time in five years.
Saturday is Evanston Day at Ryan Field, with discounted tickets available for all City of Evanston residents. Interested fans should contact the Northwestern Athletics ticket office by calling 888-GO-PURPLE.
The series between the Wildcats and Hoosiers has been as competitive as any in recent seasons. Prior to Northwestern's shootout victory in Bloomington last year (59-38), the previous seven NU-IU meetings were decided by a total of 26 points (3.7 per game). The 'Cats earned a gritty three-point win at Memorial Stadium in 2010 and in 2009 came back from a 28-3 deficit to defeat IU, 29-28, in the largest comeback in Northwestern football history.
Northwestern's victories over Vanderbilt, Boston College and South Dakota in the last three weeks have extended its streak of home wins against nonconference foes to 13 games, tied for the 12th-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, while their next chance to extend the streak will be Sept. 7, 2013, vs. Syracuse.
With one-third of its regular-season schedule complete, the Northwestern defense has completed five quarters in which it has held the opposing offense scoreless, already half the number (10) it posted in 13 games a year ago. The 2012 Wildcats also boast an additional four quarters in which they have surrendered only a field goal.
Junior RB Venric Mark found the end zone three times in the win over South Dakota, becoming the first NU player to rush for three touchdowns in a game since Kain Colter against Eastern Illinois last year. Mark stands fifth in the Big Ten with 99.8 rushing yards per outing and is eighth in the country with 178.5 all-purpose yards per game.
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, which ranks 20th nationally in completion percentage (68.6), is one of nine teams in the country that is yet to throw an interception in 2012. Colter has not thrown in a pick in his last 137 pass attempts dating to the 2011 season-opener.
Northwestern welcomed a special guest to Ryan Field for its win over South Dakota last week. Chief Robert Stella of the Navy SEALs, who during training camp in Kenosha taught Northwestern mental toughness and team-building techniques that the Wildcats have since embraced, delivered a pregame speech to the Wildcats and was honored on the field during the game. Afterward, Pat Fitzgerald and the team delivered the game ball to Chief Stella as a token of appreciation for his efforts in preparing NU for the 2012 campaign.
Northwestern-Indiana Series Information
All-Time Series Record: Northwestern leads, 45-34-1
Series in Evanston: Northwestern leads, 28-16-1
Last Meeting: Oct. 29, 2011
Northwestern 59, Indiana 38
This is the 81st all-time meeting between Northwestern and Indiana, two schools that squared off for the first time in 1899. The Wildcats are riding a streak of seven wins in the last eight games in the series, with IU's lone victory in that stretch coming in a 21-19 win on Oct. 25, 2008, in Bloomington.
Second-year Hoosiers head coach Kevin Wilson spent three seasons (1999-2001) as the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Northwestern. NU head coach Pat Fitzgerald joined the Wildcats' staff in 2001, the last of Wilson's three years in Evanston. Wilson arrived at NU alongside head coach Randy Walker, with whom he had worked under at Miami (Ohio).
Download the complete game notes and weekly release, linked in PDF form at the top of the page.
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