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Gameday is home to all The Daily’s football coverage throughout the season, on Saturdays and during the week.
We’ll have game stories, news updates, features and everything else you need to know about Wildcats football.

 
 
Gameday 11/26: Northwestern vs. Illinois

Jarrell Williams can only look on as Illinois celebrates another touchdown. The junior cornerback wasn't able lift a defense depleted by injuries in Northwestern's 47-33 defeat at the hands of Illinois.

Northwestern falters in season finale against Illinois, fails to qualify for bowl game

A bizarre, tumultuous and ultimately disappointing season came to a fitting end Saturday at Ryan Field. With bowl eligibility on the line, Northwestern fell flat and lost, 47-33, to in-state rival Illinois in the final game of the season. The 5-7 finish is the second in a row for the Wildcats and the second consecutive year in which they have not qualified for postseason play after playing in a bowl game the previous five years. Read more >>
 
 
Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid Reaction: Illinois 47, Northwestern 33
Halftime Reaction: Illinois 26, Northwestern 7
Junior quarterback Zack Oliver attempts a pass against Iowa. Oliver will make his first career start Saturday against Illinois, attempting to keep Northwestern's offensive momentum going despite losing senior quarterback Trevor Siemian to a season-ending knee injury.

With offense finally clicking, Siemian injury raises more questions

Junior quarterback Zack Oliver will make his first career start Saturday against Illinois, attempting to keep Northwestern’s offensive momentum going despite losing senior quarterback Trevor Siemian to a season-ending knee injury. Read more >>
 

NU-Illinois rivalry takes on added significance as teams seek bowl eligibility

It has been four years since the rivalry between Northwestern and Illinois was a game of this magnitude. This year, there is no questioning the stakes. With both teams sporting 5-6 records, the winner will go to a bowl game. The loser’s season will end Saturday afternoon. Read more >>

Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian prepares to take a snap against Purdue. Siemian injured his knee later in the game and will miss the rest of Northwestern’s season.

For Siemian, unremarkable not always a bad thing

‘Unremarkableness’ was one of Siemian’s defining traits throughout his time at NU. Between the white lines he typically held his own but never quite distinguished himself. He didn’t possess Kain Colter’s speed or Dan Persa’s accuracy or Zack Oliver’s arm strength. He’d occasionally play the hero and occasionally serve as the punch line but spent most of his career somewhere in between. Read more >>
 

Diebold: As seniors depart, cherish the in-between moments

What matters isn’t the victory celebrations, it’s the thousands of little moments that lead to them, or, far more often, lead to falling short of them.
Read more >>

Senior linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo hits Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson. The team captain has elevated his play this season in the absence of fellow senior linebacker Collin Ellis.

Reserved Ariguzo lets his play do the talking

Chi Chi Ariguzo isn’t quite what you expect from the leader of a defense. The senior linebacker is soft-spoken and careful with his words, conversing in elegantly concise sentences. It’s a demeanor that reflects the quietly impressive season Ariguzo is having on the field.
Read more >>
 
 

Vitabile irreplaceable as Northwestern’s man in the middle

As the 2014 season closes, Northwestern’s football program is still in search of consistency. Amid the instability, the Wildcats have found one constant: center Brandon Vitabile. Read more >>

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News and Notes

Trevor Siemian out for season with ACL injury

Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian is out for the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, coach Pat Fitzgerald announced at his news conference Monday. Siemian exited​ Saturday’s game against Purdue after being stuffed on a fourth-down quarterback sneak. Read more >>
 

Gameday 11/22: Northwestern vs. Purdue

Senior linebacker Jimmy Hall forces a fumble as Anthony Walker wraps up Purdue's Akeem Hunt during Saturday's victory over the Boilermakers. Hall added an interception on Purdue's first offensive drive as the Wildcats' defense held Purdue to only 14 points.

Quick start springs Northwestern past Purdue

It was costly, but Northwestern is one win away from bowl eligibility. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid Reaction: Northwestern 38, Purdue 14
Justin Jackson surpasses 1,000 yards rushing
Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 24, Purdue 7
Trevor Siemian leaves Purdue game with injury​
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Preview: Pat Fitzgerald says Wildcats have a ‘maturity’ problem

All season, coach Pat Fitzgerald has alluded to “maturity” issues when diagnosing Northwestern’s on-field struggles. After practice Wednesday he addressed the subject in more detail. Read more >>
 

Preview: For Wildcats’ kick coverage, success means avoiding the spotlight

Taking the field at the butt of uneventful drives or sandwiched between commercial breaks, the Wildcats’ kick coverage don’t see the spotlight until their unit makes a mistake. Read more >>
 
Gameday 11/15: Northwestern vs. Notre Dame

Writers ruminate on where the Wildcats stand

The Daily’s Joseph Diebold and Bobby Pillote exchange emails about the Northwestern football team, coming off a shocking win at Notre Dame on Saturday. Read more >>

Despite big win, Fitzgerald has team focused on Boilermakers

With no margin for error left if the Wildcats want to become bowl eligible, Fitzgerald has the team focused on its upcoming matchup against Purdue with what he’s repeatedly called a “playoff mentality.” Read more >>

Nadkarni: Wildcats, fans will always have Saturday

Nobody can predict the next crazy, gut-punching way NU will lose; we can only predict with 100 percent certainty that it will happen again. But now, we already know we’re not crazy for still watching. Read more >>

Three takeaways from Northwestern’s 43-40 victory over No. 18 Notre Dame

It’s OK to overreact a little. I mean, what a game. Not only was Northwestern good again, Northwestern was fun again. Read more >>
 
Junior defensive end Deonte Gibson pressures Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson in the first half. Golson's pass was intercepted by Anthony Walker and returned to the Notre Dame 4-yard line, setting Northwestern up for an easy touchdown.

Northwestern defeats Notre Dame in overtime with game-winning field goal

A 41-yard field goal in overtime gave Northwestern a shocking, season-redeeming 43-40 victory Saturday over No. 18 Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. The win snapped a four-game Wildcats losing streak and renewed the team’s hopes of reaching a bowl game. Read more >>
 

Wildcats’ offense leads the way to biggest win of the season

Northwestern had its most roller-coaster offensive performance of the season Saturday in its 43-40 win over No. 18 Notre Dame. The Wildcats overcame freshman running back Justin Jackson’s first career fumble, three potential dropped touchdown passes by senior receiver Tony Jones and a glut of other miscues to post their best yardage and points totals of the season. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid Reaction: Northwestern 43, No. 18 Notre Dame 40
Halftime Reaction: Notre Dame 27, Northwestern 23
Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) and the Northwestern offense will need to seize every opportunity against the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is the toughest team on the Wildcats’ schedule.
 

Preview: Wildcats face uphill battle against star-studded Fighting Irish

Northwestern offense will need to seize every opportunity against the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is the toughest team on the Wildcats’ schedule. Read more >>
 
 

Preview: VanHoose, Harris holding down cornerback position

Entering this season, incumbent starters Matthew Harris and Nick VanHoose had to earn their roles. Read more >>

Q&A: Tim O’Malley, publisher of IrishEyes.com, previews Notre Dame

To preview Northwestern’s trip to South Bend, Indiana, we traded questions about the two teams with Tim O’Malley, the publisher of Notre Dame site IrishEyes.com. Read more >>

Nadkarni: Academics not the focus of college sports, even at Northwestern, Notre Dame

While we at academically oriented schools — like NU and this week’s opponent Notre Dame — focus on the grades and feel better about ourselves, college football programs, even NU, continue to profit greatly off the backs of players who are unfairly treated. Read more >>

Deonte Gibson staying focused despite persistent injuries

Deonte Gibson needed a change. After wearing No. 98 for his first two seasons on the field at Northwestern, he switched to No. 13 this year in part to move on from a five-win season and in part to forget a season where he lost some time due to an injury. The junior wanted a fresh start. Read more >>

Fitzgerald discusses offensive struggles in weekly news conference

NU and Notre Dame have not played since 1995, when the Wildcats upset the Fighting Irish 17-15 on the road. If Fitzgerald, who was on the field that day, has any fond memories from South Bend, Indiana, he is not focusing on them. Read more >>

Senior linebacker Collin Ellis (45) played only four games this season as he battled multiple concussions. Coach Pat Fitzgerald announced Monday that Ellis will retire from football.
 
News and Notes

Senior linebacker Collin Ellis to retire from football

Northwestern senior linebacker and team captain Collin Ellis will retire from football, coach Pat Fitzgerald said Monday at his weekly news conference. Ellis missed four games this season, including the last three, after suffering multiple concussions. Read more >>
 
 
 
Gameday 11/8: Northwestern vs. Michigan

Nadkarni: Fitzgerald, coaches deserve majority of blame for embarrassing performance

The Wildcats’ performance against Michigan on Saturday went beyond embarrassing. It was unacceptable. And now it’s time to demand accountability. Read more >>
 
De'Veon Smith falls into the end zone for Michigan's only touchdown. The running back's score gave the Wolverines a lead they would not relinquish in an eventual 10-9 victory.

Northwestern falls to Michigan after late two-point conversion attempt slips away

Northwestern fell to Michigan 10-9 on Saturday, with an avalanche of ineptitude keeping NU out of the end zone until three seconds remained in the game and a late rally falling short when senior quarterback Trevor Siemian slipped to the Ryan Field turf on a two-point conversion attempt to win the game. Read more >>
 
 

Wildcats’ loss defined by comedy of errors

Northwestern committed a succession of embarrassing errors in Nov. 8’s 10-9 loss to Michigan. The Wildcats threw two interceptions, botched a snap on a punt, missed a field goal, dropped a punt and played a whole lot of ineffective offense. The climax of ineptitude came on the game’s final play, when quarterback Trevor Siemian tripped and fell, ending NU’s comeback. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 0, Michigan 0
Rapid Reaction: Michigan 10, Northwestern 9

Preview: Wildcats’ passing struggles extend well beyond quarterback

It’s been a terrible year on offense for Northwestern. Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian gets most of the blame, and while his play this season has been mediocre, he isn’t alone out on the field. The offensive line and receivers, as groups, have just as much to do with the success of the offense as the quarterback. Read more >>

Preview: Breaking down Northwestern’s bowl hopes

With the college football season entering its final third, it’s time to take a look at where things stand for Northwestern’s chances of going bowling in December or early January. Here are the various bowl scenarios for the Wildcats with four games to play. Read more >>
 
Junior defensive lineman Max Chapman jumps at a pass during Northwestern’s game against Iowa last Saturday. The junior intimidates offensive linemen with a beard he’s been growing since July 4.

Preview: Max Chapman and his beard step up on the defensive line

Chapman’s contribution to Northwestern’s 2014 campaign may not show up on the stat sheet, but it does not go unnoticed. His ability to play any position along the defensive line vaulted him into a spot in the unit’s rotation. And although Chapman may not be one of the sack artists making the big play on third down, his versatility and tenacity helped anchor arguably the best position group on the team. Read more >>
 

Seniors Campbell, Ellis coping with injury-related absences

This should have been a big year for both Ibraheim Campbell and Collin Ellis. As senior captains and perhaps Northwestern’s two best defensive players, Campbell and Ellis should have ended their careers with glory and plaudits. But Ellis came out of NU’s Oct. 11 game against Minnesota with a concussion and hasn’t returned to the field since, and Campbell has been sidelined with a hamstring injury since Sept. 27 against Penn State. Read more >>

Preview: Wildcats put blowout loss behind them, begin Michigan preparation

If there has been a theme to coach Pat Fitzgerald’s weekly news conferences this year, it is this: an inverse relationship between Northwestern’s play on the field and Fitzgerald’s mood. Read more >>
 
Gameday 11/1: Northwestern vs. Iowa

Three takeaways from Northwestern’s 48-7 loss to Iowa

If there is any optimism to take from a blowout loss, it is this: NU has never been as bad as its lows or as good as its highs this season. Read more >>
 
Kyle Prater fumbles the ball late in the first half. Prater’s bobble, which led to an Iowa touchdown, was one of a slew of Northwestern miscues en route to a 38-7 halftime deficit and a 48-7 defeat at the hands of the Hawkeyes.

Wildcats flounder against Hawkeyes in worst performance of the season

Northwestern’s season is officially circling the drain. The Wildcats were summarily defeated 48-7 by the Iowa Hawkeyes in a game that was never even close. With the loss, NU must now win three of its remaining four games to become bowl eligible. Read more >>
 
 

Trevor Siemian benched for Zack Oliver late in blowout loss

Trevor Siemian’s leash finally ran out Saturday, as the senior quarterback was benched early in the fourth quarter. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid reaction: Iowa 48, Northwestern 7
Halftime reaction: Iowa 38, Northwestern 7
 
 
Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian’s right ankle, injured Sept. 6, has continued to bother him since. Siemian and coach Pat Fitzgerald have offered different interpretations of how much the injury has affected Siemian’s play.

Preview: Trevor Siemian and the most talked-about ankle in Evanston

Trevor Siemian first injured his ankle Sept. 6, late in Northwestern’s 23-15 loss to Northern Illinois. Since then, the senior quarterback’s health has been the dominant storyline of the season, with coach Pat Fitzgerald repeatedly citing the ankle injury as an explanation for Siemian’s less-than-stellar performance this season. Here’s what we know about the most-discussed ankle in Evanston. Read more >>

Preview: Analyzing the cracks in Northwestern’s defense

Many have pointed to the offense’s poor performance in the second half of the Wildcats’ game against Nebraska, but 24 second-half points from the Cornhuskers demonstrated the defense was also far from infallible. Read more >>

Preview: Writers ruminate on Northwestern’s woes (again)

The Daily’s Alex Putterman and Rohan Nadkarni exchange emails about the Northwestern football team as it concludes its bye week and prepares to play Iowa on Saturday. Read more >>

Preview: After bye week, Wildcats ready to take on Hawkeyes

Preview: After Northwestern’s second and final bye week of the season, coach Pat Fitzgerald has the team set to continue its schedule with five games remaining this year. Read more >>
 
News and Notes

Linebacker Brett Walsh ​suspended after Ohio arrest

A Northwestern football player has been suspended from the team after being arrested in connection with underage intoxication early Sunday morning, according to the Hamilton County Justice Center​. Read more >>
 
Dwight White makes a tackle in Northwestern’s game against Minnesota last year. The sophomore cornerback has decided to retire after learning he was born with only one kidney.

Northwestern CB Dwight White to retire after discovery of rare condition

Northwestern announced Thursday that sophomore cornerback Dwight White, who has not appeared in a game this season, will retire from the football team due to an non-football-related medical issue. The Chicago Tribune later reported White decided to retire after learning he was born with only one kidney, a rare condition known as renal agenesis that affects 1 in 750 children. Read more >>
 
 
Gameday 10/18: Northwestern vs. Nebraska

Three takeaways from Northwestern’s 38-17 loss to Nebraska

There is no obvious path back to national relevance for NU, which can’t seem to string together more than two games of good play, let alone wins, at a time. Read more >>
Junior receiver Miles Shuler can't hold on to a pass in the end zone. Shuler and the Wildcats were held scoreless in the second half, falling to NEbraska 38-17.

Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska run away from Northwestern in second half

The only thing in common between Saturday’s Nebraska-Northwestern matchup and last year’s was the chant of “Go Big Red” at the end of the game. The Wildcats (3-4, 2-2 Big Ten) fell to the No. 19 Cornhuskers 38-17 in front of a sold-out homecoming crowd Saturday night. Last year, the Cornhuskers needed a last-second Hail Mary to clinch a victory. This season, it was no fluke. NU was just beaten by a better team. Read more >>
 
Justin Jackson runs the ball on one of his 15 first half carries. The freshman led the Wildcats to a 17-14 halftime lead with 99 yards and two touchdowns.

Wildcats collapse after halftime on both sides of the ball

With NU’s offense unproductive and its defense unable to get off the field, Nebraska outscored the Cats 24-0 in the second half on the way to a 38-17 blowout. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Miles Shuler carted off with apparent head injury
Rapid Reaction: Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17
Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 17, Nebraska 14
 

Freshman Jackson emerges as latest in Northwestern running back tradition

Justin Jackson was supposed to be this good. What Jackson wasn’t supposed to be was this good, this fast. Six games into his Northwestern career, the Carol Stream, Illinois, native has surpassed even the wildest expectations. On a team where most freshmen redshirt, he has become the de facto starter at running back, leading the Wildcats in carries in every game since the season opener. Read more >>
 
DLINE

Preview: With mix of talents, Wildcat defensive line succeeds by committee

The defensive line, perceived as a potential weakness heading into the season because of the loss of All-Big Ten defensive end Tyler Scott to the NFL and senior defensive tackle Sean McEvilly to injury, has persevered by leaning on its depth, mixing size with speed and seasoning with inexperience. Read more >>
 

Nadkarni: Northwestern’s struggles come in spite of slumping Big Ten

The slide in the top of the Big Ten has been discussed at length. The more intriguing question for those who follow Northwestern is where the conference’s dip leaves the Wildcats. Read more >>

See the print edition of Gameday here.
 
News and Notes

University President Morton Schapiro on his favorite football player, choosing temple over Ryan Field

On Monday, Schapiro talked football with The Daily, sharing his thoughts on the The Wildcats’ (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) season so far, his favorite NU player and his Koufax-like decision. Read more >>

Jackson wins award, depth chart shaken up before Homecoming game

For the third consecutive week, a Northwestern player was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week. This time it was running back Justin Jackson, who impressed last week against Minnesota. Read more >>
 
Gameday 10/11: Northwestern vs. Minnesota

Little mistakes, big kick return cost Northwestern in loss to Minnesota

After two steps forward, Northwestern took a big one back Saturday. The Wildcats (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) lost 24-17 to Minnesota (5-1, 2-0) at TCF Bank Stadium, killing the good vibes from the team’s upsets of Penn State and Wisconsin the past two weeks. Read more >>
 
Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian completed 32 of 50 passes for 269 yards, but that wasn't enough for Northwestern on Saturday. Issues in the passing game, particularly downfield, helped doom the Wildcats to their 24-17 loss to Minnesota.

NU’s passing game not good enough for victory

Trevor Siemian had probably his best game of the season against Minnesota, and Northwestern still lost. Midway through the season it has become clear that Siemian cannot carry this Wildcats team to victory. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid Reaction: Minnesota 24, Northwestern 17
Halftime reaction: Minnesota 14, Northwestern 10
 
 
Redshirt freshman safety Godwin Igwebuike turned heads in his first career start, pulling down three interceptions. “I didn’t even see it coming,” Igwebuike said after the game.

Preview: Godwin Igwebuike’s three interceptions a surprise even to himself

Redshirt freshman safety Godwin Igwebuike turned heads in his first career start, pulling down three interceptions. Read more >>
 
 

Preview: Gradone brings stability to special teams

Junior punter Chris Gradone has come on strong during Northwestern’s current three-game winning streak, consistently pinning opponents deep in their own territory. Read more >>

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News and Notes
 
Uniform

Fitzgerald, players talk Minnesota prep, Northwestern debuts homecoming uniforms

Anyone who has taken a walk along Northwestern’s campus will recognize the inspiration behind the “Gothic” Homecoming uniforms the team will wear Oct. 18 in its Homecoming matchup with No. 21 Nebraska. Read more >>
 
 
Gameday 10/4: Northwestern vs. Wisconsin

Three takeaways from Northwestern’s 20-14 victory over No. 17 Wisconsin

It feels strange to say it after Melvin Gordon ran for a career-high 259 yards, but Northwestern’s run defense was pretty good on Oct. 4 during NU’s win over Wisconsin. However, the Wildcats’ offense can still feel frustratingly limited at times. Read more >>

Igwebuike, Jackson lead Northwestern over No. 17 Wisconsin

Northwestern’s mid-season renaissance continues. In their conference home opener, the Wildcats (3-2, 2-0 Big Ten) stretched their win streak to three with an upset victory over No. 17 Wisconsin (3-2, 0-1). Read more >>
 
Junior running back Miles Shuler celebrates with teammates after his 16-yard run on a third-quarter reverse play. The play was one of several aggressive calls from coach Pat Fitzgerald and offensive coordinator Mick McCall.

Aggressive coaching leads to two Northwestern touchdowns

For a season and a half, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and offensive coordinator Mick McCall have been criticized for conservative play-calling and decision-making. Not on Oct. 4. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid Reaction: Northwestern 20, No. 17 Wisconsin 14
Halftime reaction: Northwestern 10, Wisconsin 0
 
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Preview: It’s been a long year

Northwestern football has perhaps never experienced a day cheerier than Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. As the sun rose, ESPN’s Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic broadcast their talk show “Mike & Mike” from Deering Meadow in front of NU students who prioritized being on TV over sleeping. NU-affiliated sports TV personalities wandered the campus as if Evanston were a “This is SportsCenter” commercial. Since that triumphant game one year ago this weekend, NU has played 12 games and lost eight of them. Right when the program neared the peak of the mountain, it had let go of its rope. Read more >>

Preview: Last of the superbacks

Sometimes it seems like Northwestern forgets about its superbacks. That wasn’t the case Saturday, when junior Dan Vitale caught seven passes for 113 yards to help lead the Wildcats past Penn State. Emblematic of his position, he also had blocking assignments all over the field and even had a carry on a jet sweep play. Such outbursts are rare for the talented and multifaceted Vitale, but they offer a reminder of the effect a versatile hybrid player can have, especially as the superback seems to be turning into an increasingly rare breed. Read more >>
 
A week after facing a pass-happy Penn State, Northwestern will meet run-powered Wisconsin on Saturday. Badgers running back Melvin Gordon, one of the country’s best backs, carried 22 times for 172 yards against the Wildcats in last year’s matchup.

Preview: Wisconsin running game poses new challenge for stout Northwestern defense

A week after stifling Penn State’s passing attack in an upset win over the Nittany Lions, the Wildcats will play host to the Badgers’ ground game in their conference home opener. It will be easily the toughest challenge for a run defense that has held up well over the first four games. Read more >>
 
 
 
News and Notes

Fitzgerald offers ample areas for improvement at weekly news conference

If fans expected Northwestern and coach Pat Fitzgerald to rest on their laurels after their best win of the season, they were mistaken. Fitzgerald used his weekly news conference Monday afternoon following Saturday’s 29-6 win at Penn State to run down the numerous areas for improvement the coaching staff saw during the conference-opening win. Read more >>
 
 
Gameday 9/27: Northwestern vs. Penn State

Analysis: Three takeaways from Northwestern’s 29-6 win over Penn State

The Wildcats started the trek back to respectability in a big way Saturday, keeping Penn State at arm’s length and pulling away late for a 29-6 win. The biggest change? Aggressiveness. Practically from start to finish, the 10-point underdogs played like they had nothing to lose. Read more >>
 
Senior quarterback Trevor Siemian fires downfield during Northwestern's 29-6 victory over Penn State on Saturday. Siemian threw for 258 yards and rushed for three touchdowns in the upset victory.

Recap: Wildcats muscle their way to improbable victory over Penn State

After a turbulent and disappointing first three games of the season, Northwestern fans have something to be excited about. The Wildcats (2-2, 1-0 Big Ten) stifled Penn State (4-1, 1-1) on Saturday in the Nittany Lions’ homecoming game by grabbing an early lead and riding a stout defense to earn a victory in their conference opener. Read more >>
 
Redshirt freshman linebacker Anthony Walker dashes to the end zone with a game-sealing interception return in Northwestern's 29-6 victory over Penn State on Saturday. Making his first career start, Walker led the team with eight tackles, in addition to the pivotal pick-six.

Defensive front seven essential in Wildcats’ win

Overall, Northwestern’s defense — especially the team’s front seven — was stout all afternoon, leading the team to a 29-6 walloping of Penn State. The Cats limited the Nittany Lions to 266 total yards, neutralizing the Penn State rushing attack and holding much-hyped quarterback Christian Hackenberg to 216 yards passing on 45 attempts. Read more >>
 
 

Cornerback Matthew Harris leaves Penn State game with scary injury

Sophomore cornerback Matthew Harris left Northwestern’s game against Penn State on Saturday with an apparent head or neck injury. Harris collided helmets with Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg late in the third quarter and immediately fell limp. He was treated near the sideline for several minutes before being taken off the field on a stretcher, giving a thumbs-up on his way out. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid Reaction: Northwestern 29, Penn State 6
Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 14, Penn State 3
 
FitzBus

The Sideline: With Northwestern slumping, Fitzgerald needs to be more than likable

Despite Northwestern’s successful and much hyped 2012 season, Coach Pat Fitzgerald is now questioned more than ever after a disastrous 2013 season and a weak start to 2014. His on-field decisions, his recruiting style and yes, even his likability, are now the subject of more scrutiny than ever. The merits of Fitzgerald’s past accomplishments are being observed critically. Read more >>
 
Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg throws a pass against Rutgers on Sept. 13. Northwestern’s defense will have its hands full with the multi-talented quarterback Saturday.

Preview: NU to have hands full with Penn State’s Hackenberg

Listed at 6 feet 4 inches and 234 pounds, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg is the kind of quarterback prospective that coaches dream of having. But Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats’ defense may find Hackenberg to be the stuff of nightmares instead. Read more >>

 

Preview: New faces lead Northwestern as Wildcats prepare for first road test

As coach Pat Fitzgerald and his staff are quickly learning, Northwestern’s kids are all right. Some of the Wildcats’ biggest contributors on offense this season have been true freshmen, who have transitioned from playing high school football just nine months ago to taking the field as part of a Big Ten offense. Read more >>

Analysis: Writers ruminate on Northwestern’s woes

The Daily’s Alex Putterman and Rohan Nadkarni exchange emails about the Northwestern football team as it enters Big Ten play Saturday at Penn State. Read more >>
 
 
News and Notes

Fitzgerald, Siemian address passing game

With an underwhelming 1-2 on the season and the team’s offense sputtering, senior quarterback Trevor Siemian’s play has come under scrutiny. At his weekly news conference Monday, coach Pat Fitzgerald addressed his quarterback’s struggles, attributing some of the issues to Siemian’s ankle injury, suffered Sept. 6 against Northern Illinois. Read more >>
 
 
Gameday 9/20: Northwestern vs. Western Illinois
 
Northwestern's Nick VanHoose and Chi Chi Ariguzo attempt to bring down a Western Illinois ball-carrier. The Wildcats won 24-7 despite giving up more total yards than they gained.

Analysis: Three takeaways from Northwestern’s 24-7 win over Western Illinois

Despite the positive signs the Cats showed Saturday, the road ahead looks bumpy. This season, if Northwestern wins, it’s going to have to win ugly. Read more >>
 
 
 
 
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Recap: Wildcats earn first win behind opportunistic defense, running game

Northwestern is finally in the win column. After a difficult first two weeks of the season, the Wildcats (1-2) rode a strong ground game and a bend-but-don’t-break defense to a 24-7 victory over FCS opponent Western Illinois (2-2). Read more >>
 
 
 

Freshman running backs make the difference for Northwestern

Before Saturday’s game, the Northwestern class of 2018 ran across the field in an annual Wildcat Welcome tradition. Once the game began, a pair of freshmen didn’t stop running. Read more >>
 
Read the rest of our game coverage:
Rapid Reaction: Northwestern 24, Western Illinois 7
Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 14, Western Illinois 7
 
Coach Pat Fitzgerald has cracked down the past two weeks, forcing Northwestern's players to do mid-practice up-down drills in an attempt to toughen up the team. The Wildcats are 0-2 entering Saturday's game with Western Illinois.

Preview: Fitzgerald, Wildcats hope up-downs are the answer

With the Wildcats 0-2 for the first time since 2004, recently instituted mid-practice up-down drills have become a symbol of coach Pat Fitzgerald’s attempt to save the season. The newfound intensity at practice implies higher-than-usual stakes for Saturday’s game against FCS school Western Illinois. Read more >>
 
 

Daily file photo by Brian Lee

Analysis: All Quiet on the Offensive Front

The big news for Northwestern football this week: Sophomore Stephen Buckley is moving from running back to wide receiver. It’s tempting to believe that Buckley’s shift is part of some overarching offensive change that the whole team is playing extremely close to the chest, but this week’s matchup against Western Illinois is sure to be devoid of the offensive overhaul the team needs. Read more >>

 
 

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Analysis: Diagnosing Northwestern’s offensive struggles

There have been many explanations for the Wildcats’ slow offensive start through two games, all of them contributing factors: inaccurate throws by senior quarterback Trevor Siemian, blatant drops by receivers, a tepid running game and a Swiss-cheese offensive line. But one stone that’s been left unturned is Northwestern’s play calling. Read more >>

 

News and Notes

Big Ten suspends C.J. Robbins for punch against NIU

Northwestern junior defensive tackle C.J. Robbins has been suspended one game for throwing a punch late in the Wildcats’ game against Northern Illinois, The Big Ten announced Sept. 9. Robbins was ejected with 4:30 to play in the 23-15 loss after hitting an opposing player. Read more >>

 

Gameday 9/6: Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois

Analysis: Three takeaways from Northern Illinois’ victory over Northwestern

The story of Northwestern’s 23-15 loss to Northern Illinois was one step forward, two steps back for the Wildcats. At this point, it looks like NU will go as far as its defense can take it this season because the offense hasn’t done the team any favors. Read more >>

Recap: Northwestern drops second straight, losing 23-15 to Northern Illinois

What began as a lumbering tale of two flat offenses ended in an implosion of Northwestern’s defensive line in the Wildcats’ and Northern Illinois’ first meeting since 2005. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Halftime Reaction: Northwestern 0, NIU 0

Predictions: Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois

Our staff predicts the outcome of Northwestern’s game against Northern Illinois University. Read more >>

 

Gameday 8/30: Northwestern vs. Cal
 
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Analysis: Three takeaways from Northwestern’s season-opening loss

Lower your expectations for this season. Even if it’s just perceived, it sure seems like this program is caught in a rut. Read more >>

 

Recap: Slow start dooms Northwestern in season-opening loss

The Cardiac Cats are back. Confirming multiple stereotypes about its athletic programs at the same time, Northwestern (0-1) lost its season opener 31-24 to Cal (1-0) on Aug. 30 at Ryan Field in simultaneously embarrassing and heartbreaking fashion. Read more >>

Read the rest of our game coverage:
Halftime Reaction: Cal 24, Northwestern 7

 

News and Notes

McEvilly out for season, other notes on Northwestern depth chart

Northwestern football released its depth chart Aug. 25 for the season opener against California. (See NU’s full depth chart here.) Most noticeably, the chart is missing the name of senior defensive tackle Sean McEvilly. Read more >>

Venric Mark to transfer to West Texas A&M

Former Northwestern running back Venric Mark will transfer to West Texas A&M University, ESPN reported Aug. 23. The University announced the week before that Mark would be leaving NU to play closer to his family. Mark told ESPN that his reasons involved the health of his mother and grandmother. Read more >>

What Venric Mark’s absence will mean for Northwestern

With running back Venric Mark transferring, three Daily sports reporters look at what the star’s absence will mean for Northwestern’s offense.
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Wide receiver Christian Jones out for 2014 season with injury

Wide receiver Christian Jones will miss the entire season due to a knee injury sustained during practice, Northwestern announced Aug. 13. >

Running back Venric Mark to transfer

Senior running back Venric Mark will transfer from Northwestern for personal reasons, the University announced Aug. 13. Mark is leaving NU to play football closer to his family, the University said. Read more >>

Star running back Venric Mark suspended two games

Northwestern star running back Venric Mark has been suspended for the first two games of the 2014 season, the athletic department announced Aug. 8. The athletic department statement said Mark committed a “violation of team policy.” Read more >>