Statistical Preview: Northwestern vs. Maine

John Paschall, Assistant Gameday Editor

The Maine Black Bears were one of 13 Football Championship Subdivision teams that recently took down an Football Bowl Subdivision school. Let’s take a look at what some of the key stats were that helped them in their upset win over University of Massachusetts Amherst.

After giving up a touchdown on the opening drive, the Maine defense was outstanding. The Black Bears forced eight punts on the next 10 drives. Of those eight possessions by UMass Amherst, six of them lasted four plays or less. The other two drives ended in an interception and turnover on downs. The longest drive the Minutemen established the entire game was only 2 minutes and 57 seconds.

The Black Bear offense remained balanced throughout the game. Maine finished with more than 500 total yards on offense, including 267 passing yards and 247 rushing yards. They also dominated the time of possession battle, 37 minutes and 41 seconds to 22 minutes and 19 seconds.

Senior quarterback Marcus Wasilewski led Maine in rushing with 76 yards but didn’t record a single rushing yard in the first half.  Instead, he saved his legs for an explosive second half, including a 39-yard touchdown run that put the Black Bears up 24-7.

Quick hits:
Northwestern is 16-4 in its last 20 regular season games. li>The Wildcats are riding a 15-game winning streak against non-conference opponents at home. They are tied with Alabama and North Carolina for eighth in the nation in that statistic.

NU’s defense leads the nation in interceptions and is second in passes defended.Under coach Pat Fitzgerald, the Cats have won six games against FCS opponents by a combined score of 224-52

— John Paschall