Oct. 4, 2004
NU FB Game Notes (vs. Indiana)
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EVANSTON, Ill. -- Fresh off its stirring 33-27 overtime victory against nationally ranked Ohio State, Northwestern wraps up a two-game homestand at 11 a.m. this Saturday against its third Big Ten foe, the Indiana Hoosiers. The game -- the Wildcats' fourth home contest in five weeks -- is being televised regionally by ESPN Plus and can be seen locally on WBBM-TV (CBS).
After starting the season 2-0, which included a 30-24 victory at then-nationally ranked Oregon, Indiana has dropped three successive contests to Kentucky (51-32), Michigan State (30-20) and Michigan (35-14). The win over Oregon gave third-year head coach Gerry DiNardo his first road win with the Hoosiers. The Michigan State and Michigan games were played in Bloomington, so this will be the Hoosiers' first Big Ten road game.
Offensively, Indiana is led by senior quarterback Matt LoVecchio, sophomore tailback BenJarvus Green-Ellis and senior wide receiver Courtney Roby. LoVecchio, in his second season at IU after originally attending Notre Dame, has completed 52-of-97 passes for 720 yards and six touchdowns. His favorite target is Roby, who has 26 of the Hoosiers' 55 receptions. He also leads IU in receiving average (17.0 ypr) and touchdowns (four). Green-Ellis, who ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns against NU last year, is averaging 81.2 ypg with three TD's this season.
On defense, the Hoosiers have allowed 456.2 yards per game (11th in the Big Ten), but that statistic is somewhat misleading given the fact that IU has forced 14 turnovers, which ranks sixth nationally. Northwestern has suffered just five miscues this season, so something will give in that department this week. Indiana is allowing 196.2 ypg on the ground and 260.0 ypg in the air.
Northwestern, which ended a 24-game losing skid to Ohio State on Saturday, is attempting to win its third straight game at Ryan Field and move above .500 in the Big Ten. The Wildcats have not done either since the 2000 season when they posted three straight home wins over Northern Illinois, Duke and Indiana, and finished Big Ten play at 6-2.
Tickets are available for this game by calling 847-491-CATS or visiting NU's web site, NUsports.com. Ticket prices are $40 and $20 for lower-level end zone seats. Saturday is Family Day at Ryan Field.
(For a complete set of notes, see the PDF link above.)