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Articles filed under Northwestern

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  • Jackson, Northwestern beat No. 17 Wisconsin 20-14 Oct 4, 2014 6:25 PM
    Godwin Igwebuike had three interceptions and Justin Jackson rushed for 162 yards, helping the resurgent Wildcats upset Melvin Gordon and No. 17 Wisconsin 20-14 on Saturday. Trevor Siemian threw for a touchdown and also had a key block on Miles Shuler’s 16-yard TD run as Northwestern (3-2, 2-0 Big Ten) earned its third consecutive win.

     
  • Badgers look to end skid at Northwestern Oct 3, 2014 10:29 PM
    The last time Wisconsin won at Northwestern, Ron Dayne was making his run for the Heisman Trophy and the Badgers were on the way to the Rose Bowl. Yes, it has been that long. The 17th-ranked Badgers bring a three-game winning streak into their Big Ten opener on Saturday at Northwestern, hoping for their first road win against the Wildcats since 1999.

     
  • Big Ten West teams step up against East teams Oct 1, 2014 6:20 AM
    One of the prevailing notions heading into the season was that the Big Ten East could end up being a lot better than the West. It didn’t look that way last weekend. Though it was clearly a small sample size, Saturday’s performances were encouraging for a newly-created division fighting for respect.

     
  • Michigan State, Nebraska have gaudy offensive numbers Oct 1, 2014 6:28 AM
    No. 10 Michigan State is off to a historic start on offense and faces another high-scoring team in No. 19 Nebraska to open Big Ten play on Saturday night. Michigan State (3-1) has scored 201 points through four games, best in school history. The Cornhuskers (5-0, 1-0 Big Ten) are averaging 45.4 points per game.

     
  • Mike North video: Busy sports weekend in Chicago Sep 29, 2014 10:44 AM
    Mike North caps off the weekend sports stories about Paul Konerko, the Bears loss, the NU victory, the Bulls, the Blackhawks and the Ryder cup.

     
  • Northwestern impressive in 29-6 win over Penn State Sep 27, 2014 4:26 PM
    Trevor Siemian ran for three touchdowns and passed for 258 yards to lead Northwestern past Penn State 29-6 on Saturday. Siemian, who was 21 of 37, and the Wildcats (2-2, 1-0) established control early with short passes and ball-control offense that netted 361 yards.

     
  • Northwestern wary of Penn State in Big Ten opener Sep 26, 2014 4:07 PM
    Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald would like to keep Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg and the Nittany Lions’ top-ranked defense out of the headlines. But after the way he praised both this week, Fitzgerald might have to write off that idea. He labeled Hackenberg as “deadly accurate” and “as good a quarterback as anyone in the country.” He called Penn State’s defensive tackles “dominant” and its linebackers “spectacular.”

     
  • Fitzgerald: No time to panic with Wildcats 0-2 Sep 19, 2014 6:17 PM
    Northwestern vowed this would be a rebound season, a chance to re-establish itself after struggling down the stretch last year. Two games in, things aren’t looking so good. The Wildcats take a 0-2 record into Saturday’s meeting with Western Illinois, certainly not what they expected headed into their final tuneup for Big Ten play. “We’ve lost two games by one score,” coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “I know there’s people jumping off the boat, but it’s not on fire. So chill out. But at the same time, we’ve got to win games.” The roster took several big hits before the start of the season, with running back Venric Mark getting suspended for the first two games and then transferring. Receiver Christian Jones suffered a season-ending knee injury in a preseason practice, and things just haven’t gone the Wildcats’ way since then. Northwestern opened with a 31-24 loss to California, coming up short after a second-half rally. The result was no better the following week against Northern Illinois. The Wildcats dropped that game 23-15 despite racking up 394 yards on offense. The problem was drives kept getting stalled by mistakes, be it a dropped pass, penalty or sack. It didn’t help, either, that quarterback Trevor Siemian left the game with an injury to his lower right leg, although he has said it wasn’t too serious. Defensive lineman C.J. Robbins also got ejected in the fourth quarter and was suspended for this week’s game by the Big Ten. The conference issued a public reprimand of him. It has all added up to the worst start in Fitzgerald’s nine seasons, certainly not what the Wildcats were planning after going 5-7. They’ve dropped nine of 10 since winning the first four a year ago. And after a week off, they have one final tuneup before opening conference play at Penn State. With that in mind, here are some things to look for as the Wildcats take on Western Illinois (2-1). TAKE IT AWAY: Fitzgerald came into this season harping on takeaways after an uneven performance by the Wildcats in that area last season. They led the conference with 19 interceptions but tied for a league low with four fumble recoveries. And now? The tally so far is two interceptions, zero fumble recoveries. “We haven’t been very successful around here when we don’t create turnovers,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s kind of a recipe for disaster.” GETTING IN GEAR: Takeaways aren’t the only issue at the moment for Northwestern. There are a few on offense, too. The Wildcats are averaging 19.5 points, 2.5 yards per rush and 374 yards, and that’s turned some attention toward Trevor Siemian. With Kain Colter gone, the Wildcats don’t have a running quarterback. But Fitzgerald said this week he’s not considering going back to a two-man rotation at QB. He also pointed out that Northwestern’s offense has succeeded in the past without a running quarterback. RUN FOR IT: The losses of Colter and Mark help explain the low rushing numbers to some extent. One bright spot — Justin Jackson. A true freshman, he has carried 20 times for a team-high 92 yards and is averaging 4.6 per carry. He figures to be tested by a team that held one of the nation’s top running backs — Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon — to 38 yards two weeks ago. ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS: Western Illinois lost 37-3 to Wisconsin two weeks ago after hanging in for two quarters. The Fighting Leathernecks trailed by six at halftime before Badgers quarterback Tanner McEvoy took over, shaking off a slow start to throw for three touchdowns and run for another. Against Drake last week, Trenton Norvell threw for 205 yards and J.C. Baker ran for 130 in a 38-13 victory. The Leathernecks also registered seven sacks, the most for them since 2002. CATCHING ‘CATS: The Wildcats are missing their top two receivers from last year, with Christian Jones out for the season and Tony Jones (lower body injury) missing his second straight game. Senior Kyle Prater helped fill the void against Northern Illinois, recording career highs with seven catches and 87 yards.

     
  • NIU slips past Northwestern in 23-15 win Sep 6, 2014 6:54 PM
    Drew Hare passed for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead Northern Illinois to a 23-15 win over in-state rival Northwestern on Saturday. He got help from Da’Ron Brown, who hauled in the two TD passes and finished with six receptions for 128 yards. Hare, who didn’t play until the second half, completed six of 10 passes for 109 yards and had 11 rushes for 31 yards. Hare was the third quarterback to play for the Huskies.

     
  • Rozner: Young Huskies prevail in Battle of Illinois Sep 6, 2014 10:21 PM
    NIU might have found its new quarterback as the Huskies put together a strong second half to defeat Northwestern in Evanston.

     
  • Spellman’s Scorecard: My math says 10-6 for Bears Sep 4, 2014 10:18 PM
    If my math doesn't fail me, and it hasn't in more than three days, the Bears will go 10-6 and be playoff-bound.

     
  • Northwestern can't complete comeback over Cal Aug 31, 2014 1:17 AM
    Traveon Henry looked around the locker room and saw a team that was far from beaten after Northwestern got pounded in the first half. The Wildcats just about pulled off the comeback. Jared Goff threw for 281 yards and three touchdowns, Jalen Jefferson had a key interception, and California hung on to beat Northwestern 31-24 Saturday in the season-opener. "During halftime, we really just looked at each other in the locker room and just looked at the man to our left, looked at the man to our right, and we realized that we have brothers on this team," Henry, a safety, said. "And we said that we were going to fight together and we were going to make this comeback. Unfortunately, we fell short."

     
  • McGraw: Sizing up the Big Ten Aug 27, 2014 7:41 PM
    What's new for the Big Ten in 2014? Well, 14 teams, for one thing. Here are some of the prominent questions heading into the start of college football.

     
  • Union talk fades as Northwestern begins season Aug 26, 2014 4:32 PM
    Northwestern is coming off a disappointing 5-7 season and already hit hard by injuries and a key defection ahead of Saturday’s opener at home against Cal. On top of that, they spent the offseason at ground zero in the debate over whether college players should have the right to unionize. “It would be naive to think the guys have not been distracted at times. Will it be part of the narrative?”Fitzgerald asked, without waiting for an answer. “Yes, it will.”

     
  • How will Northwestern replace Mark? Aug 14, 2014 2:49 PM
    With Northwestern running back Venric Mark deciding to transfer, and wide receiver Christian Jones expected to miss the season with a knee injury, how will the Wildcats recover from those two losses?

     
  • Navy SEAL trying out for Northwestern football Aug 11, 2014 11:38 AM
    A 32-year-old father of three who is an active Navy SEAL is trying to earn a spot on Northwestern University’s football team. Tom Hruby is a junior and wants to walk on as a defensive end. Hruby tells the Chicago Sun-Times that he’s not doing anything “outstanding or amazing.” Instead he sees it as “just more of a challenging route.”

     
  • Spellman’s Scorecard: What’s not to like about Trestman? Aug 8, 2014 5:30 AM
    It's hard not to be a fan of Bears coach Marc Trestman. Unless of course he fails to take them to the promised land.

     
  • Michigan State girding for Ohio State in Big Ten East Aug 5, 2014 5:26 PM
    Michigan State has played in two of the three Big Ten title games, is the defending Rose Bowl champion and is enjoying the best run in program history with 42 wins in four years. Yet the Spartans cling to an underdog mentality, the product of being overshadowed historically by Michigan and Ohio State. Coach Mark Dantonio never wants his team to stop playing with that edge.

     
  • Playoffs could create chances for Big Ten teams Jul 29, 2014 2:15 PM
    The old BCS system is out. A four-team playoff to determine a national champion is being implemented this season, and that could open some more opportunities for the Big Ten and the other four power conferences. “Hopefully, this will give everyone an equal opportunity to play for a national championship, which everyone wants,” Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook said Tuesday as the Big Ten wrapped up its two-day media event.

     
  • Fitzgerald: Union push unified Northwestern Jul 28, 2014 2:13 PM
    No matter how this season unfolds, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald insisted there is no more unified team than his Wildcats. For that, he credits the players’ push to unionize. Fitzgerald said he’s “proud of the maturity” his players displayed as the story unfolded.

     
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