Northwestern 2011

2010 Statistics

(Big Ten) The Wildcats play on a grass field at Ryan Field Stadium (seats 47,130)

  • Pat Fitzgerald is in his 6th year as head coach at Northwestern.  Last year his team had a 7-6 record, which is a slight dip from how they performed the previous two season (9 wins in 2008, 8 wins in 2009).

    Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald

  • In 2010 Quarterback Dan Persa had an incredible 73.5% completion rate, which was #1 in the nation.  He missed the final three games with an Achilles injury (and they lost all three of those games).  It’s not clear when he will be able to play again.
  • Until Persa returns, Kain Colter is the quarterback.  In 2010 his role was mostly to run the ball when he was in the game and he had just 9 passing attempts.
  • Protecting the quarterback was an issue for this team last year.  They were one of the worst teams in the nation in sacks allowed.  This has a lot to do with the play of the offensive line and this year that unit should be significantly improved.  They have almost all of their starters and back-ups returning.
  • With the experienced offensive linemen and experienced running backs, this teams running game should significantly improve this year. Last year they fared a little worse than average, which isn’t a good look in the Big Ten that is a run first league.
  • On defense they lose their top two linebackers, who also happened to be two of the top tacklers on the team.  But overall, the defense is more experienced.  The secondary also must replace one starter and cornerback Jeravin Matthews will be taking that spot.  There may be an adjustment period where teams will look to exploit the linebackers and cornerback position through passing in the vicinity of those perceived weaknesses.
  • The schedule is similar to last year, except they are lucky to not face Wisconsin who absolutely crushed them 70-23 in 2010.  But they do face an improved Michigan team and new Big Ten member Nebraska. They will need at least one win against Illinois, Penn State, Iowa or Michigan State (all who they lost to last year) in order to improve their 7-6 record from 2010.