Wildcataganda – Clip ‘N Save Edition

I’ve been waiting for this one for awhile.  Taking a slew of stats and serving them up for you to live up to the subheader of serving up a daily dose of Wildcataganda.  There will be a few things you know, a few you don’t and a few that will shock you as we dive in to some great Northwestern stats to help you add context to your Purdue invite.  I’m getting tremendous response to my outreach for potential fans – mostly friends and acquaintances that don’t ever go to NU games – to attend the night game against Purdue on October 9.  Here is a sample of the email:

Insert Name:

You know me well enough to know how much I enjoy Northwestern football.  You also know me well enough that I don’t harass you to attend games.  So, I wanted to invite you to a game that I think might give you the ‘Cats bug. It is a night game – 6:30 pm kickoff on October 9 vs Purdue.  The ‘Cats are 4-0 and are looking to move to 5-0 this weekend against Minnesota on the road in the Big Ten opener. Then, it’s a very rare night game at Ryan Field which guarantees one thing for sure – a helluva tailgate.  I’ve partnered up with a good friend for a tailgate in the east lot and it’s going to be a blast. We’ll be kicking things off at 2:30 pm and be going right up until gametime.  I’m working on getting a block of tickets so let me know if you’re interested. 

You might not realize it but NU is 4-0 for the second time in three years – and for the second time since 1962.  Fitz has elevated the program to a new level and the ‘Cats are seeking the first ever third straight bowl appearance (9-3 and Alamo Bowl in ’08 and 8-4 and Outback Bowl in ’09).  Northwestern has put a ton of effort behind the marketing of football and the atmosphere is greatly improved. It should be a rocking Ryan Field and could be an incredibly fun night.  I hope you join me! 

OK, that is a template to work from buy you get the gist.  Now, it is time to add some recipes that will allow you to freelance with stats and mix and match to cater to your own taste.  Let’s start with the “Since 2008” approach.

Since the start of the 2008 season….

  • In the Big Ten, only Ohio State (24-4) and Penn State (24-4) have better regular season records than Northwestern (21-7) (note: tied with  Iowa at 21-7 during that span). 
  • Only Ohio State (14-2), Penn State (13-3) and Iowa (11-5) have better Big Ten conference game records than NU (10-6) (note: NU tied with MSU at 10-6).
  • Northwestern has won 9 road games –  more than any other Big Ten team.
  • The 9 road wins is tied with Texas and Florida for 9th in the BCS during that span. 
  • Northwestern boasts the 9th best road record (9-3. .750) during that span, only Ohio State’s is better in the Big Ten.

Other Tidbits

  • NU’s current 7-game regular season winning streak is the longest since 1995 when they won 9 straight.
  • NU has scored in double-digits in 38 consecutive games
  • NU has AVERAGED more than 400 ypg of offense since – get this – 2000!
  • NU runs an average of 74.8 offensive plays per game – 2nd in the Big Ten
  • NU’s pass efficiency is #1 in the Big Ten and 3rd nationally
  • The ‘Cats have won 8 straight home non-conference games – the longest streak since the late 50s/early 60s
  • NU has not trailed at any point in any game in 2010.  I don’t have any data to support it, but my hunch is after 4 games that hasn’t happened in the past 50 years. 

Attendance Tidbits

The 30,075 on Saturday for the CMU game has received quite a bit of love in the media when paired with the fact it is a 56% increase over last year’s second home game (Eastern Michigan).   Of course, I had to dig in to the bag since my work will be done when 47,130 is the weekly attendance at which point I’ll turn the blog over to someone else.  You can bet I’m maniacal about the attendance stats. Well, the CMU game was the highest attended non-conference game since NIU in 2005 (35,114 with a large NIU contingent)! It also marked the 8th best non-conference attendance mark since 1995.  I’ll bet your wondering what the top 7 are.   I thought  you’d never ask.  Without further ado, here are the top 20 (I have more, but cut it off there to share with you) attended non-conference games since 1995:

NU Non-Conference Home Attendance Since 1995

The purple cells represent games in the Pat Fitzgerald era.  The Illinois State game of 25,471 comes in at number 13 which is both encouraging for the 2010 season but also embarassing for so many reasons. On a more positive note, check out this column by NU junior Meredith Wise who seems to have the sensibility of most of us as she describes prepping for a rant about lack of student support that turned in to a column of wonder realizing how powerful a packed student section can be. Click here for the Daily Northwestern column.

Big Ten Net Big Love

I caught some of the BTN’s Monday Night Breakdown last night and it was a Northwestern lovefest.  Howard Griffith selected NU QB Dan Persa as his Big Ten Player of the Month (Chris Martin selected Denard Robinson).  On defense Chris Martin selected NU LB Quentin Davie (Howard selected Purdue’s Ryan Kerrigan).  Also, Hunter Bates was highlighted as the  most underrated player of the week. 

Gopher First Look

Coming up….this afternoon.


NU narrowly missed on another key recruit. This time the Wildcats bowed in the recruiting derby for 6-8 standout Shelby Moats to Vanderbilt according to WildcatReport.com.  Let’s hope some hoop recruits can make the Purdue game to feel the love.

  • Chaddogg

    I’m fairly certain we have NOT won 8 straight non-conference games, since we lost last year at Syracuse. I think the stat you are looking for is that we’ve won 8 straight non-conference HOME games (last home non-con loss? Duke in 2007).

    I’ll be missing the Purdue game (wedding in Washington, D.C.), but hopefully a huge crowd will carry the Cats to victory and (knocking on wood that we can survive the challenge this week) a 6-0 start to Fitz’s 5th season at the helm….

  • Munjman

    Based on this collection from Trumpy in Highschool, im going to have to believe that he is better than Fields right now. Is he Sutten? NOPE, its obvious that Sutten was out of this world fast, where as right now Trumpy goes under my category of a shake and bake – quick RB.

    Does it matter? Can beggers be choosers? Nope, but as Fitz said, with no where to go, Trumpy still produced 1-2 years to make it 2nd + 8,9 versus 2nd and 12… Just imagine how much more efficient this offense could be if the burden wasnt all on Persa…

    I predict that Trumpy will go for 70+ yards this game… and if so, who knows what Persa will do with a little comfort.

  • Munjman
  • Mark Heller

    I liked what I saw from Trumpy. I don’t think we can yet say he’s a good Big 10 running back – not even close – but that decision is earned over a season or at least the conference season. I don’t agree that Sutton was fast – well, fast compared to you and me – but he was quick and knew how to avoid getting squared up on by tacklers so he almost always got 2 – 3 yards beyond what could be expected. He would be chased down from behind – no knock on him. He was an excellent Big 10 running back and if the current ‘Cats had a runner like him they’d be in the Top 20 and would be favored in their next three games. I think the next 3 games could all be won – they were all close last year – and this year’s team, with the exception of some of the CMU game, has been more consistent than the ’09 team early on. I think last year NU was waiting for Wootton and Bryant to get back to 100% and Kafka was just figuring out his receiver corps. I think this year’s defense and offense are much more together but it remains to be seen if this team will top out as high as last years – I believe it will.

  • Trent Steele

    You should add to the note about the 8/31/00 game versus NIU that it was a Thursday night game. The only Thursday night game we’ve ever participated in. I see the different day and time didn’t do much for attendance though.

  • Streams of Whiskey

    Nice list, LTP, and good data. One quibble: the note for #19 on the list (Duke 2000) is “Entered 1-0 after close NIU win.” We beat NIU 35-17 after leading 21-10 at the half and 35-10 after the third– not very “close” to me! You might have been thinking of the 2005 NIU win, which was a nailbiter…

  • Chaddogg

    One more piece of Wildcatganda, LTP — Northwestern has now had a second half tie or lead in 20 consecutive games (the last time we failed to hold a lead or tie for the lead in the 2nd half of a game was OSU in 2008). A GREAT way to sell this team to new fans (“Hey, we’re always in the game in the 2nd half — for 20 straight games, we’ve been tied or in the lead in the 2nd half!”)

  • @Trent Steele: The 2000 NIU game was the only HOME Thursday game in which NU has participated. In fact, Fitz’s debut as head coach at Miami (OH) was on a Thursday night.

  • Trent Steele

    @ JHodges
    You’re so right. Thanks for the correction.