Northwestern moves to 6-5, gains bowl eligibility

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four weeks ago, Northwestern had hit rock bottom. The ‘Cats were 2-5 after a five-game losing streak – blowing substantial leads in several of those games – and were on the verge of a losing record, which would have ended the streak of four consecutive years of bowl eligibility. With a four-game winning streak, however, including an upset over Nebraska on the road, the Wildcats have completed the miraculous comeback to bowl eligibility. As head coach Pat Fitzgerald has said multiple times during the winning streak, the ‘Cats are trying to make it a November to remember. [Read more…]

Northwestern Football Rap Video: Go U (NU Anthem)

The city of Evanston, IL doesn’t have the hip-hop tradition of say New York, L.A. or The Chi. (for obvious reasons) But it does have Northwestern alum Mo Greene. Who produced/recorded the new hip-hop anthem for the 2011 Wildcats football team.

The pretty solid single debuted last night; it’s just unfortunate that it’s releases comes at a time when the team is 2-3 and looking like a Big Ten second division also ran. Green has a decent track bumpin until the last minute or so when he descends into nothing more than name-dropping and sloganeering (a la the final three minutes of “California Love” by 2pac and Dr. Dre).

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Michigan game could decide Northwestern’s season

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Four games into the season, it’s difficult to describe a game as must-win, particularly when you’re talking about Northwestern, and especially when the opponent is #12 Michigan. The Wolverines are 5-0 on the season, and have impressed thus far. The ‘Cats on the other hand, are in a two-losses-in-a-row slippery slope. Lose to Michigan, and that slope will get a whole lot steeper. [Read more…]

Illinois 38, Northwestern 35: Rapid Reaction

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It was a game that could have changed the Northwestern season. The Wildcats had Dan Persa back, had an 18-point lead on the road, and had momentum. Then, it all fell apart.

Northwestern did everything in its power to lose on the road at Illinois. So did the Fighting Illini. Unfortunately for the Wildcats, fate appeared to be favoring orange over purple in the Big Ten season opener. Northwestern fell to Illinois 38-35, allowing the Illini to keep possession of the Land of Lincoln trophy. [Read more…]

All-Big 10 QB Dan Persa Completes Comeback Trail; Ready for 2011 (Video)

A couple weeks ago, the Northwestern Wildcats launched “PersaStrong,” a media campaign to promoting senior quarterback Dan Persa as a 2011 Heisman Trophy candidate. Persa enters this season after being named the All-Big Ten first-team quarterback in 2010, a season in which he broke the Big Ten’s all-time record for completion percentage with a 73.5 mark. He missed the last three games due to a ruptured Achilles, but still had a 5 touchdowns, threw just four interceptions and ran for another nine scores. He is healthy and ready to go for training camp.

Today was NU Media Day; and Persa spoke about a whole host of topics. Watch the video after the jump

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Northwestern Launches Persa Heisman Campaign; Voting Opp for New B-Ball Court

Today the Northwestern Wildcats launched “PersaStrong,” a media campaign to promoting senior quarterback Dan Persa as a 2011 Heisman Trophy candidate. Persa enters this season after being named the All-Big Ten first-team quarterback in 2010, a season in which he broke the Big Ten’s all-time record for completion percentage with a 73.5 mark. He missed the last three games due to a ruptured Achilles, but still had a 5 touchdowns, threw just four interceptions and ran for another nine scores. He is healthy and ready to go for training camp.

“In addition to his 159.0 pass efficiency rating, Persa is a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, a candidate for Capital One Academic All-America honors, a nominee for the NFF’s William V. Campbell Trophy and a member of nearly every major quarterback and offensive player award watch list.

“PersaStrong” is consists of three prongs:

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Darkhorse Heisman Candidate: Northwestern’s Dan Persa?

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The 2011 Big Ten preseason is underway. And it kicked off in a “BIG” way. This season includes the inaugural conference divisions named Legends and Leaders, the addition of a 12th team the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and absence of a head coach in a red sweater vest. One player the conference is happy to have back is a candidate for nearly every major quarterback award including the Heisman Trophy, Dan Persa of Northwestern. [Read more…]

Northwestern Spring Scrimmage Preview

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The Northwestern Wildcats have completed 14 of their allotted 15 spring practices, with only the spring game remaining. On Saturday at noon, the ‘Cats will take to Ryan Field and showcase the 2011 team in what Pat Fitzgerald referred to as a “situational exhibition.”

If you’re hoping for a big game on Saturday, don’t get your hopes up. Pat Fitzgerald is leaving it to (NU Senior Associate Athletics Director of External Affairs) Mike Polisky to take care of making the game pretty. For Fitzgerald and his team, Saturday’s scrimmage will be just that—a scrimmage.

If you were looking forward to see First-Team All-Big Ten quarterback Dan Persa, you’re out of luck. He has been out all spring, as he rests his achillies injury.

Now that I’ve officially played the role of Debbie Downer, let’s get to what will be showcased on Saturday.

By Chris Emma, PurpleWildcats.com

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Northwestern has Third (Tied) Most Preseason All-Americans

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GoDaddy.com has a 2011 Preseason All-American college football team, presented by NationalChamps.net. The company with commercials that everyone knows (Danica Patrick, that fake chested porn star Super Bowl ad) and whose actual business almost no one knows (they sell domain names, web hosting) has compiled a list honoring the projected legends of next fall.

The Northwestern Wildcats landed four on the list. Tying them for third, behind Alabama and Boise St.
They are:
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Breaking Big Ten Bowl Games News, Notes and Quotes

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Michigan State offensive coordinator Don Treadwell has been named the head football coach at Miami, the RedHawk Athletic Department announced Friday. Treadwell will be re-introduced to Miami fans and media at Miami University’s Voice of America Learning Center in West Chester on Jan. 10 at 5:45 p.m.

“It’s a dream come true to return to my alma mater Miami as head football coach,” said Treadwell, who has spent the past four seasons at Michigan State’s offensive coordinator. “Miami has always held a special place in my heart, and the opportunity to be a part of the ‘Cradle of Coaches’ is a privilege as well as a responsibility.

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Dan Persa Named Big Ten All-Conference First Team Quarterback

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Northwestern’s Dan Persa (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) was selected as the All-Big Ten first team quarterback by a vote of the conference coaches while wide receiver Jeremy Ebert (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Darby) is an All Big Ten first team choice of the conference media.

Persa, one of the most valuable and dynamic players in the Big Ten and all of college football, led Northwestern to a 7-3 record in 10 starts this season before suffering a season-ending injury in a victory over the then-No. 13 Iowa Hawkeyes on Nov. 13.

He ranks second in the Big Ten in passing yardage per game (258.1), total offense per game (310.0) and led the nation in completion percentage (73.5).

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Northwestern’s Life After QB Dan Persa Begins with a Loss

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Today was Northwestern starting quarterback Dan Persa’s 22nd birthday. Many of his approximately 2,500 Facebook friends posted well wishes on his Facebook wall. But with a 48-27 loss to the in-state rival Illini, in an ultra-hyped contest that injury precluded him from taking part, I’m guessing he’s had better birthdays than this.

Persa brought a lot to NU’s table: a 15-4 TD pass to INT ratio, #1 in the nation in fewest interceptions thrown percentage (302 attempts), 74% completion percentage (also tops in all of college football, and a Big Ten record), The Silver Football trophy candidate also led the team in rushing yards.

His replacement in today’s Wrigleyville Classic, redshirt freshman Evan Watkins, finished 10-20 for just 135 yards, one interception, no touchdown passes. He also ran 7 times for 15 yards. Obviously, there was a huge drop-off in offensive production with NU being sans Persa.

Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook on how Persa’s injury affected NU: “How much did not having Martez Wilson affect our defense last year?”

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