Oct. 18, 2010
No. 8 Michigan State (7-0, 3-0 Big Ten) vs. Northwestern (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten)
11 a.m. CT Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010
Ryan Field (47,130) Evanston, Ill.
Radio: WGN (720 AM), WNUR (89.3 FM)
Internet: wgnradio.com, wnur.org
In-game Twitter updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
Next Home Game: vs. Iowa, Saturday, Nov. 13 Kickoff TBA (announced Nov. 1)
Ticket Information: Single-game tickets remain on sale for all NU home games (the Wrigley Field game is sold out); tickets can be purchased on NUsports.com or by calling 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775).
NU Football Game Notes (vs. Michigan State)
Following an open date midway through its 2010 season, Northwestern begins the second-half stretch with its stiffest test to date, an 11 a.m. homecoming matchup with eighth-ranked Michigan State. The Spartans, who debuted at No. 7 in the first BCS ranking, sit atop the Big Ten standings with a 3-0 mark after knocking off Illinois 26-6 last Saturday.
Prior to its 20-17 loss to Purdue on Oct. 9, Northwestern had won eight consecutive regular-season games, its longest regular-season winning streak since 1995 when the Wildcats won nine successive contests. Northwestern, which started the season 5-0, has won 22 games dating to the start of the 2008 season.
Michigan State's victory over Illinois last Saturday boosted the Spartans record to 7-0, their best start to a season since 1966.
Midway through the 2010 season, junior Dan Persa continues to lead all Division I (FBS and FCS) quarterbacks in completion percentage. After opening the season by completing 19-of-21 passes (90.5 percent) at Vanderbilt, Persa has led the nation in completion percentage each week. He has completed 75 percent or more of his passes in five of six games this year. Persa also ranks fourth among FBS quarterbacks, and second among Big Ten signal callers, in pass efficiency with a rating of 173.3.
With one more victory, Northwestern will become bowl-eligible for a fourth consecutive season. Since 1995, NU has posted nine seasons with six or more victories.
Actress Stephanie March (a 1996 graduate of the School of Communication) and Dale T. Mortensen, winner of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Economics and an NU faculty member, will add star power to the University's 2010 homecoming parade, which begins at 8 p.m. Friday (Oct. 22) at Foster and Sheridan Roads on campus. Prior to the parade, a pep rally will be held outdoors at 7 p.m. at Deering Meadow.
Following this week's contest with Michigan State, Northwestern hits the road for back-to-back games at Indiana and Penn State. The Wildcats, who have won a Big Ten-best 10 road games dating the start of the 2008 season, have won five consecutive road games. NU has posted victories over Iowa, Illinois, Vanderbilt, Rice and Minnesota in its last five away contests.
Ticket Info/Next Home Game
Single-game tickets for 2010 Northwestern football are still available. Ticket information can be found on NUsports.com or by calling NU's ticket office at 888-GO-PURPLE (467-8775).
Tickets for Saturday's game vs. Michigan State remain on sale, with prices at $50 (reserved seats), $35 (end zone), $40 (corner adult reserved) and $20 (corner youth reserved). This weekend, NU will celebrate homecoming in addition to honoring legendary coach Ara Parseghian, who guided the Wildcats from 1956 through 1963. During his tenure, Parseghian's teams defeated seven top-20 opponents. Parseghian also had the Wildcats ranked in five of his last six years, including a No. 1 ranking in 1962.
Radio -- WGN Radio (720 AM, wgnradio.com) will carry the game live with the pregame show starting at 6 p.m. Dave Eanet (play-by-play, Ted Albrecht (analyst) and Sam Valenzisi (sideline) call the action. WNUR (89.3), NU's student station, also will carry the game. The game can also be heard on satellite radio: Sirius (Ch. 121), XM Satellite (Ch. 141).
Television -- SPN is televising the game to a national cable audience. Dave Pasch (play-by-play), Bob Griese (analyst), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Quint Kessenich (sideline) call the action.
(For a complete set of game notes, download the PDF above.)
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