Persa-nalysis, Trump Card & Other ‘Cat Nip

The 2-deep is out and as most of us hoped Mike Trumpy gets the nod as the starter, kind of.  Jacob Schmidt is listed alongside Trumpy as the “Or”.  I’m taking this as a sign of respect for Schmidt, but let’s not kid ourselves Trumpy’s second half effort was the best we’ve seen of the ground game to date and I expect him to get the chance to get the bulk of the carries.  Trumpy net 53 yards on 12 carries on Saturday.   

Northwestern is currently ranked 10th in the Big Ten in rushing yards per game and 64th in the nation at a pedestrian 149.75 ypg.  Only Indiana at 113 ypg (96th in the nation) is worse.  Penn State is slightly ahead of us with 159 ypg and a ranking of 61. 

Per(sa)-plexed

Thanks to James for pointing out what appears to be a mistake on someone’s part.  The official NCAA CFB stats site lists Dan Persa as tied for second in QB Passer Rating (with OSU’s Brandon Weeden).  The leader? Utah’s Terrance Cain, with a 192.5 rating is the nation’s leader as you can see by clicking here.   Granted, Cain has one less game under his belt than Persa (as does Weeden), so we’ll see how long that lofty number stays up there.  Check out the NCAA official stats here.

Da Da Da…

Northwestern gets its first ESPN appearance of the season as NU gets the “mothership” treatment and of course, an opportunity to clean-up the slop and formally introduce the nation to Dan Persa.  Kickoff is set for 12 pm et as you know. 

Recap The Recap

I failed to list Skip Myslenski’s recap of Saturday. Here it is.

Did (N)U Know?

With Saturday’s win, Pat Fitzgerald now has 31 putting him 4 behind Gary Barnett (35) and 5 behind Ara Parseghian (36).  Amazing.  For what it’s worth, I used to cringe even in 1996 when Barnett’s career record was shown. Despite winning all those games we were always seemingly way below .500 on the lower-third.  I love getting some distance between wins and losses now with Fitz as it says something about the program with this many games under his belt to be 8 games over .500 – and counting.

Did (N)U Know? Part Deux

Kudos to Mike Wolf at NU for his stellar game notes.  Check this out. Looks like “since start of 2008” is the new “since 1995” as I’ll be posting Big Ten records since 2008 tomorrow.  In the meantime, check out how our road success matches up nationally since the start of 2008:

Best FBS Road Records Since 2008                                       Most Road Wins by FBS Schools Since 2008
Boise State …………………………….. 13-0 1.00                      Boise State ………………………………………..13-0 1.00
Alabama ………………………………..10-0 1.00                       USC………………………………………………..12-3 .800
Florida …………………………………….9-0 1.00                      TCU……………………………………………….11-2 .846
Texas ……………………………………….9-1 .900                        Cincinnati ………………………………………..11-4 .733
TCU ………………………………………11-2 .846                         Alabama …………………………………………..10-0 1.00
USC ……………………………………….12-3 .800                        Utah …………………………………………….10-3 .769
Ohio State ……………………………….. 7-2 .778                       Fresno State ……………………………………..10-6 .625
Utah ………………………………………10-3 .769                        Central Michigan …………………………………10-7 .588
Northwestern ……………………………9-3 .750                        Florida …………………………………………….9-0 1.00
Missouri ………………………………….6-2 .750                          Texas ……………………………………………..9-1 .900
                                                                                                                    Northwestern …………………………………… 9-3 .750
                                                                                                                    Georgia Tech ……………………………………..9-4 .692
                                                                                                                     Brigham Young ………………………………….9-4 .692

Any time you’re in the same chart with the likes of Alabama, Florida, Texas, Ohio State and Boise State it is usually a good thing!

  • Brad

    LTP, do you have any theory why we got the espn game over Miami-Clemson (they’re bumped to espn2)? Even my homerish self can’t figure out what our team and/or matchup has on them. Add in the fact that the ACC and ESPN just signed that $1.8B contract and I’m even more perplexed.

  • villox

    Hey LTP, as noted in the postgame notes: “NU Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald improved to 31-23 overall with the win over Central Michigan. He is the first NU coach to stand eight games over .500 since Bob Voigts was 25-16 in 1951.”

  • TV NOTES

    @Brad: I think all of those NU alumni in Bristol pay off every once in a while, as demonstrated when the ‘Cats get the nod for an ESPN game over other bigger “name” opponents. But, being that as it may, the fact is that nowadays there is little to no difference between ESPN and ESPN2 – virtually every cable/satellite operator carries both so it’s pretty much a wash.

    Also note that it’s plausible that the BTN used one of its “jump” picks this week to get OSU (BTN is allowed to pick a game ahead of the ESPNs a certain number of times a year which also helps fulfill the requirement that each Big Ten team must play at least one conference game on the BTN each season).

    TRUMPY

    He’ll definitely get his chance to run the ball well against a porous defense (Minnesota ranks 97th nationally in rushing defense and has given up 6.4 ypc so far this season). The ‘Cats could sure use a surge from the running game, as has been stated about 1,000,000 times since the beginning of last year.

  • Buffalo Joe

    Re: TV

    The Big Ten usually gets preference under the contract with ESPN/ABC, so it is not so much that Minnesota/NU is a bigger draw than Miami/Clemson, but that the Big Ten overall is a better draw than the ACC. Part of that deal is that every Big Ten team gets at least one game on ESPN, so ESPN might want to fulfill its Northwestern obligation this week to preserve future flexibility and to take advantage of a week in which ABC already has the two highest profile games (Wisconsin/MSU and Penn State/Iowa).

  • Drew

    The difference in Passing Efficiency ratings isn’t necessarily a mistake per-se. ESPN and the NCAA just have different qualifications for some reason. The NCAA requires a minimum of 15 Pass Attempts per game, while ESPN requires a minimum of 14 Pass Attempts per team game played.

    It appears Utah’s Cain only played in 3 of his team’s 4 games and with only 49 attempts (12.25/team game) didn’t make ESPN’s cut, but did make NCAA’s which must only include games that you played in.

    I don’t know why ESPN would differ from the NCAA, and this should all even out at the end of the season but hopefully that clears up the confusion.

    Also, Weeden’s rating seems to be 186.34 on the NCAA site and 186.33 on the ESPN site (Persa’s is 186.34 on both). So that’s something else to note I guess.

  • Chaddogg

    @Brad – I’ll echo what Buffalo Joe says: the Big Ten is VASTLY more popular nationwide than the ACC. Trust me, the ratings for Northwestern-Minnesota will dwarf that of Clemson-Miami, just as they dwarf pretty much any ACC football game.

    Count me as unconcerned about our running game. I think Trumpy is the real deal, Schmidt can get tough short yards, Fields/Simmons/Concannon still have positives to offer, and Persa is a more effective runner than Kafka…..in short, we won’t light up the conference, but we’ll run enough to keep opposing teams honest, sustain long drives, and win. Plus, I’m pretty sure McCall has been holding back on some play-calling wrinkles……and add in the fact that I think our team typically improves over the course of the season, and I can see the O-line gelling and really getting some good blocking going later in the conference season.

  • Lake The Posts

    @all – my guess is two-fold. First, ESPN is putting a huge marketing push behind ESPNU as a destination for college games and leveraging the ultra name-brands when they can (see: Michigan-Indiana). Separately, there could be an argument for ESPN getting the Minnesota game out of the way as early as relevant-ly possible and getting the NU game out of the way with it in a two-for, when it is early in the season could be part of the logic. The NU skeptics are always high and this decision was made more than a week ago. If Minnesota is trending towards a 1-lot of losses then it makes it much more difficult to stomach late in the season. Just a thought.

  • SupaKat

    wilbon had a northwestern football helmet behind him on PTI today

  • Marc

    “ESPN getting the Minnesota game out of the way as early as relevant-ly possible and getting the NU game out of the way with it in a two-for”
    Our former seat neighbor was a grinder in 1982 and he told us a start about the Purdue-Northwestern game. It was on ABC, because the rules stated they had to televise each big ten team at least once and both Purdue and Northwestern were not good this was their chance for a two-for.

    Anyway midway through the game NUMB noticed the world’s largest drum was unguarded so they started a chant “the band wants the drum”. They sent a commando crew over to acquire the drum and shortly thereafter the ROTCs returned and started chasing after the band members. ABC not fully understanding what was happening caught part of this action on the telecast.

  • PIgtPD zwtpmivauhrq, [url=http://jbazkknukytd.com/]jbazkknukytd[/url], [link=http://zlqqtledjnpe.com/]zlqqtledjnpe[/link], http://fscobzsgdfno.com/