Oct. 31, 2011
NU FB Game Notes vs. Nebraska Northwestern (3-5, 1-4 Big Ten) at No. 9/9 Nebraska (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten)
2:30 p.m. CT Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011
Memorial Stadium (81,067) Lincoln, Neb.
Television: Big Ten Network
Radio: WGN (720 AM), WNUR (89.3 FM), Sirius (Channel 94), XM (Channel 198)
Internet: WGNradio.com, WNUR.org
In-game Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLIVE
After an impressive offensive showcase on Saturday, Northwestern will try to carry that success over to its first trip to Nebraska since the Huskers joined the Big Ten Conference. The Wildcats are on the road for the final time before closing the regular season with a trio of home games.
The month of November has been kind to Northwestern in recent seasons, with the Wildcats posting a 7-4 mark in the final month of the regular season since the start of 2008. That includes a 4-2 record on the road in November.
Northwestern's quarterback platoon of Dan Persa and Kain Colter, which began with NU's Big Ten opener at Illinois, has been one of the league's most effective in 2011. In conference-only statistics, the Wildcats lead the Big Ten in passing yards per game with 288.8, more than 50 yards per contest better than second-place Michigan. NU also ranks second in Big Ten play in total offense per game (456.8) and second in passing efficiency (163.9).
Northwestern's offensive display in its victory at Indiana was one for the ages. NU scored on nine of its first 10 possessions -- with the lone exception coming with a kneel-down to end the first half -- and at one point saw four consecutive scoring drives culminate with touchdown passes to senior superback Drake Dunsmore. Dunsmore's four TD grabs set a single-game school record and were enough for him to become NU's career leader in receiving yards by a tight end (1,373). On Monday, the Big Ten selected Dunsmore as the league's Offensive Player of the Week, the first such honor of his career.
Northwestern's 59 points against the Hoosiers marked the most by a Pat Fitzgerald-coached team and the most by the Wildcats since a modern-day record 61 against Illinois in 2000. The 'Cats -- who were not forced to punt against IU until the fourth quarter -- matched a school record for touchdown passes in a game (five) and compiled 616 yards of total offense, 58 shy of the school standard.
A Win Over Nebraska Would ...
Bring NU's current senior class into a tie for the school record for most wins by a five-year class (34, set by 2009 and 2010 seniors).
Move Pat Fitzgerald ahead of Randy Walker (1999-2005) for sole possession of second place on NU's career coaching wins list.
Give the Wildcats 10 road victories in the Big Ten since the start of the 2008 season.
Be Northwestern's first win against a ranked opponent since Nov. 13, 2010 (vs. No. 13 Iowa).
Ticket Information/Next Game
Northwestern's next home on Nov. 12 begins a string of three consecutive home games to wrap up the regular season. The Wildcats play host to Rice University on the 12th, and then will conclude the Big Ten season with Minnesota (Nov. 19) and Michigan State (Nov. 26). Call 1-888-GO-PURPLE to speak to a ticket sales representative.
Rice Kickoff Time Announced
Northwestern and Rice will kick off at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday, Nov. 12, with the Big Ten Network televising the Wildcats' final nonconference game. WGN 720 AM will have the radio broadcast.
(For complete game notes, download the PDF linked at the top of the page.)
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