Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

75° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Advertisement
Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Advertisement

Advertisement

2010 Schedule: Game-by-game breakdown

Sept. 4 at Vanderbilt2008 was a banner year for the Commodores. Not only did Vanderbilt make its first postseason appearance since 1982, but it came from behind to defeat Boston College in the Music City Bowl. Last year the Commodores took a step back, going winless in the SEC and 2-10 overall. It marks the third meeting between the Cats and Commodores; in 1947 Vanderbilt beat NU 3-0, while in 1952 the two squads tied at 20.This is the beginning of a four-game series between the teams, with the next three contests coming in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Sept. 11 vs. Illinois StateThe Redbirds finished strong after a shaky start, winning four of their last five in 2009. Illinois State’s pass-heavy offense will be an early challenge fo NU’s young secondary, as the Redbirds averaged 246 passing yards per game in 2009.This game represents a key component of one of Jim Phillips scheduling strategies: to play as many FCS Illinois schools as possible. NU played Southern Illinois in 2008, and in 2011 it will take on Eastern Illinois.

Sept. 18 at RiceNU’s past two trips to the Lone Star State have been memorable, to say the least. NU opened its 2004 campaign with a double-overtime loss to TCU, and in 2008 the Cats lost a second overtime thriller to Missouri in the Alamo Bowl. Rice is another team that took a step back last year. After a 10-3 season in 2008, which included a Texas Bowl win, the Owls finished 2-10 last year. Rice stuggled mightily on defense in 2009, surrendering a Division-I worst 43 points per game.

Sept. 25 vs. Central MichiganThe Chippewas will be a new-look team in 2010. Not only did they lose their coach, current Cincinnati boss Butch Jones, but they also lost one of the most prolific quarterbacks in NCAA history, Dan LeFevour. New coach Dan Enos is familiar with NU, as he was the running backs and quarterbacks coach for the past three years at Michigan State. Central Michigan went undefeated in the Mid-American Conference in 2009, with its only losses all year coming on the road at Arizona and Boston College.

Oct. 2 at MinnesotaTim Brewster’s past two squads have started strong, recording a combined 9-3 record in the first six games of 2008 and 2009, but they have fallen flat late in the season, going 4-10 in the last half of those campaigns. The Gophers struggled to make the transition to a conventional, pro-style offense last year, and their rushing attack was last in the conference.

Oct. 9 vs. PurdueThe Boilermakers poor start plagued them last year, but they showed significant promise late in the season. Purdue finished 4-2 in its last six games, including an upset of then-No. 6 Ohio State. Leading rusher Ralph Bolden tore his ACL in spring practice, and coaches are uncertain whether he’ll be able to play in the fall. Keep an eye on the quarterback competition between Caleb TerBush, last year’s backup, and Robert Marve, a transfer from Miami who sat out in 2009.

Oct. 23 vs. Michigan StateThe Spartans are hoping to move on after a rough offseason in which 11 players pleaded guilty to assault charges. Michigan State has handled NU in their last two meetings, winning by a combined score of 61-34. The Spartans return reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, linebacker Greg Jones.

Oct. 30 at IndianaThe Cats travel to Bloomington, Ind. to continue what has become one of NU’s more exciting series. Two years ago, backup quarterback Mike Kafka looked out of place when he filled in for starter C.J. Bachér with less than two minutes left, and Indiana knocked off NU for its only conference win. Last year the Cats staged the biggest comeback in program history, erasing a 25-point deficit to defeat the Hoosiers on Homecoming.Indiana returns most of its offensive attack, led by quarterback Ben Chappell, running back Darius Willis and wide receiver Tandon Doss. The Hoosiers’ biggest losses come on defense, with the graduation of defensive ends Greg Middleton and Jammie Kirlew.

Nov. 6 at Penn StateNU’s last trip to State College, Pa., was one Pat Fitzgerald would like to forget. The Nittany Lions trounced the Cats 33-7 in Fitzgerald’s first Big Ten game as coach. Last year NU was leading Penn State at halftime, but backup quarterback Dan Persa struggled in the second half and the Cats couldn’t muster much offense.The Nittany Lions will be charged with picking the successor to Darryl Clark this offseason, but they return the Big Ten’s leading rusher over the last two years, Evan Royster.

Nov. 13 vs IowaThe Hawkeyes will come to Evanston looking for revenge after the Cats spoiled their bid for perfection last year. Last season both teams were playing without their starting quarterback, and the contest turned into a defensive battle. This year the Hawkeyes return quarterback Ricky Stanzi along with running back Jewel Hampton and receiver Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. Iowa will prove a tough test for NU’s veteran offensive line, as the Hawkeyes entire defensive front returns to wreak havoc on Big Ten signal callers.

Nov. 20 vs IllinoisThe Cats have owned their in-state rival of late, winning six of their last seven matchups. After another disappointing season in 2009, coach Ron Zook cleared house, hiring six new assistant coaches. Illinois’ offense will also undergo a makeover, as it loses quarterback Juice Williams and wide receiver Arrelious Benn.After the Sweet Sioux Tomahawk was retired in 2008, NU will look to hold onto the Land of Lincoln trophy when the teams meet at Wrigley Field.

Nov. 27 at WisconsinFor the second straight year NU will end its season with Wisconsin. If these squads’ past three games are any indication, this one should be a slugfest. Dating back to the Cats’ 51-48 victory over the Badgers in 2005, the teams have totaled 213 points in their last three meetings.Wisconsin figures to be one of the Big Ten’s top offenses next year, as it returns quarterback Scott Tolzien and Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year John Clay.

More to Discover
Activate Search
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
2010 Schedule: Game-by-game breakdown