First and Big Ten

Northwestern Archives

Pat Fitzgerald Taking Northwestern Wildcats To Finishing School

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Kristofer Green

Evanston, Illinois--Once again the Wildcats were in position to win the game.

Northwestern, led by quarterback Mike Kafka, battled in the third quarter to come back from an 11 point deficit to lead 24-21 at the end of the quarter.

But the Wildcats couldn't hang on, allowing Adam Weber to connect for two fourth quarter touchdowns: the first coming off a 13 play, 83 yard drive that lasted over six minutes and the other coming off another late game Kafka turnover.

"I've got to give Minnesota credit," Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said after the game. "We had the lead going into the fourth quarter, you've got the game at home, and you've got to put it away, obviously we didn't do that and there'll be a lot we look back on in that fourth quarter where we had a chance to get the job done."

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Second quarter updates from Northwestern vs. Minnesota

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Kristofer Green

Evanston, IL--Minnesota receiver Eric Decker has five catches for 63 yards in the first half, but the Wildcats are not allowing much of anything from anyone else. Both Minnesota touchdowns were scored by Duane Bennett, who has 17 yards on five carries for the Gophers.

Northwestern has dinked and dunked its way to 10 points and looked to add another score with time running out in the first half. Then deja vu struck and Kafka's pass was intercepted at the goal line by Minnesota's Kim Royston.

Second half is coming up with the Gophers leading the Wildcats at Ryan Field 14-10.

Offenses flash then stall in Evanston

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Kristofer Green

Evanston, IL--Just like that. In just over two minutes the Minnesota offense were on the board. After a beautiful pass from Adam Weber to Eric Decker out the Gophers on the one yard line, Duane Bennett plunged for the touchdown on the next play.

Then, the Wildcats went on a 19 play, 76 yard drive that ate 8:46 off the clock. A holding penalty forced the 'Cats from an thrid and one to a third and 11 and Kafka hit Jacob Schmidt who muscled his way for eight yards. But the 'Cats would have to settle for a field goal.

There would be no more scoring as both teams forced three and outs on their next possessions.

7-3 Minnesota at the end of the first quarter.

Live From Evanston for Minnesota vs. Northwestern

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Kristofer Green

Evanston, IL--The sun has started to peek out of what had mostly been an overcast moring here in Evanston.

The Gophers and the Wildcats are about to kickoff in what should be an exciting match-up to start the Big Ten day.

As the Northwestern Band plays their pre-game performance let's take a look at some keys for both teams in today's match-up.

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Twice As Nice: FBT On Location In TWO Different Stadiums Saturday!

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Tim Cary

Football fans, are you ready?

We're excited to announce that gameday coverage on FirstandBigTen.com tomorrow is better than ever!  That's because FBT writers will be in not one, but two different Big Ten stadiums to bring you all the action from the press box...er, press boxes.

The "Twice as Nice" event kicks off at noon with Kristofer Green reporting from Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois, as KG checks out the battle between the Gophers and the Wildcats.  Check FirstandBigTen.com for updates between quarters, descriptions of the gameday experience, and other random tidbits from Evanston!
CFB: Purdue vs Northwestern OCT 18

That's not all, though, as FBT's Tim Cary will be in Ross-Ade Stadium Saturday night for the big "Blackout" game between the Purdue Boilermakers and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.  Since Ross-Ade doesn't have permanent lights, prime-time showdowns are rare in West Lafayette, and FirstandBigTen.com will have all the coverage of the huge game at Purdue.
CFB: Minnesota vs Purdue OCT 25

One day, two games: look for pregame notes, in-game updates, interviews, and of course, a bunch of feature stories coming in the next week!

On top of all the "Twice as Nice" action at FirstandBigTen.com, remember that you can always check our Twitter account at @FirstandBigTen for score updates from all over Big Ten country. 

Is it gameday yet?


Big Ten Football: Week 2 Early Games - Handing Out Gold Stars and Throwing Tomatoes

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Kevin Paul

For those not familiar with my work in the past, it's common occurrence to throw a tomato when dissatisfied with a play or performance (on or off the field) - all in all, a playful way to show that a performance could have been better - much better.  

On the counter side, handing out gold stars is necessary for the elite performances.  With that being said, let's touch upon the early games for Week 2 in Big Ten football...

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Ten by Ten: Can You Top Our Trio?

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Kevin Paul

College football is here and if you haven't heard already, the boys at First and Big Ten are celebrating by having a little contest on Big Ten football.

It's not too late to play - deadline for the first week is Saturday at 7am.  But since the season starts tonight with Indiana taking the field against Eastern Kentucky, we are going to post our picks now.

Here's a recap of the 10 questions for Week 1, plus our predictions:

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A Six-Pack of Trap Games Facing Big Ten Teams in 2009

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Kevin Paul

Coaches preach to the high heavens that a team never, ever looks ahead to a big game, but instead focuses on the current opponent.

Right, and Brutus the Buckeye has a tiny head.

For every hyped up "game of the year" such as Trojans vs. Buckeyes or Ohio State and Penn State, there's a trap game lying in the weeds, ready to up and pounce on the college football world, sending shock waves far and wide.  Take the following six-pack of examples, which could serve as trap games in the Big Ten for 2009...
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Why The Big Ten Race Depends On Rebuilt Knees

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Tim Cary

Each of us has at least one three-letter acronym we never want to hear.  Something that immediately brings to mind a terrible fear, past horror, irreversible mistake, or worst nightmare.

RIP.

WMD.

HIV.

HGH.

MIA.

IRS.

OSU.  (Sorry, Wolverine fans, couldn't resist.)
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