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    No. 24 Wildcats Begin 2012 Homestretch Saturday at Michigan

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Junior Jeff Budzien is one of 20 national semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, presented to the nation's top kicker.

    NUSPORTSDOTCOM
    Junior Jeff Budzien is one of 20 national semifinalists for the Lou Groza Award, presented to the nation's top kicker.
    NUSPORTSDOTCOM

    Nov. 5, 2012

    RV/21/24 Northwestern (7-2, 3-2 Big Ten) at RV/RV/-- Michigan (6-3, 4-1 Big Ten)
    Saturday, Nov. 10 • 11 a.m. CT
    Michigan Stadium (107,501) • Ann Arbor, Mich.

    TV: ESPN (Crew: Dave Pasch, Brian Griese, Jenn Brown)
    Radio: 720 WGN (Chicagoland) (Dave Eanet, Ted Albrecht) and WNUR (89.3 FM)
    Online Stream: WatchESPN
    Live Twitter Updates: @NU_SportsLIVE | Gametracker
    Northwestern at Michigan -- Weekly Release | 2012 Northwestern Football Yearbook

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    Watch Coach Fitz's Press Conference: Full Version (All-Access) | Free Preview

    Skip Myslenski: After A Brief Respite, Back To Work

    For Openers
    • Feeling refreshed after a week away from competition, Northwestern aims to continue its historically strong play in the month of November when it visits Michigan Saturday in Ann Arbor (11 a.m. CT, ESPN).

    • Over the last four seasons, Northwestern has compiled a 10-5 record in the month of November. Last year, NU entered the month needing wins in three of its final four games to achieve bowl eligibility and did just that, beginning November with a 28-25 road victory over ninth-ranked Nebraska on Nov. 5.

    • Despite not playing a game last weekend, Northwestern went from receiving votes to appearing in the top 25 of two sets of rankings on Sunday. NU earned the No. 21 spot in the USA Today Coaches poll--the second week this season NU has appeared there--while also debuting at No. 24 in this week's BCS rankings. It is NU's first time in the BCS standings since Dec. 7, 2008.

    Monday Press Conference (Free Preview)
    • The Wildcats are 11-3 in their last 13 regular season games dating to Oct. 29, 2011.

    • Northwestern is 2-1 on the road this season and this month will look to lock up a .500 or better road record for the fifth consecutive season. The 'Cats are 16-9 in enemy territory since the beginning of 2008, including an 11-7 road mark in Big Ten play during that stretch.

    Stuffing the Run
    • Northwestern has been stingy in defending the run this year, ranking fourth in the Big Ten and 23rd nationally with 121.3 yards allowed per game. NU surrendered just 25 net ground yards on 21 attempts against Boston College -- the lowest total allowed by a Wildcats defense since surrendering 4 yards to Ohio on Sept. 20, 2008 -- and in its most recent outing held Iowa to 3.0 yards per attempt on 40 carries. Compare that to a year ago when the Wildcats ranked 84th in the country with 185.7 rushing yards allowed through nine games.

    Budzien Named Lou Groza Award Semifinalist
    • Northwestern junior place-kicker Jeff Budzien has been selected one of 20 national semifinalists for the 2012 Lou Groza Award, presented annually to the nation's top kicker. Budzien is 11-of-12 on field goal attempts this year -- with his lone miss coming on a 53-yard try -- and has extended his school-record string of consecutive extra points made in his career to 84 straight. Budzien, who against Boston College was a perfect 5-for-5 on field goal tries, helped lift NU to a 2-0 start this year with the game-winning PAT at Syracuse and the go-ahead field goal in a narrow win over Vanderbilt.

    Northwestern-Michigan
    Series Information

    Series Record: Michigan leads, 53-15-2
    Series in Ann Arbor: Michigan leads, 33-6-2
    Last Meeting: Oct. 8, 2011 in Evanston (Michigan 42, Northwestern 24)

    • On Saturday, Northwestern makes its first trip to Michigan Stadium since Nov. 15, 2008, when the Wildcats scored their first victory in Ann Arbor since 1995 with a 21-14 defeat of the Wolverines. C.J. Bachér threw touchdown passes on NU's first two drives of the second half while senior wideouts Ross Lane and Eric Peterman combined for 12 catches, 156 yards and two TD's receiving to spark the win.

    • Prior to the 2008 victory, Northwestern's previous three wins over Michigan had come in NU's Big Ten championship seasons (1995, 1996, 2000). The last of those meetings was one of the most memorable games in recent history for NU, with the 'Cats pulling out a wild 54-51 win at Ryan Field.

    • After two seasons without seeing one another, Northwestern and Michigan reconvened under the lights at Ryan Field last season, when Northwestern recorded three first-half interceptions and led 24-14 at the break, but couldn't hold off 12th-ranked Michigan as it fell 42-24 in front of a sellout crowd. Quarterback Dan Persa threw for a career-high 331 yards by completing a personal-best-tying 32 passes (44 attempts).

    Download the complete Northwestern weekly release in the PDF linked at the top of the page.

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