5 Northwestern football games at Wrigley Field this decade, Cubs and NU partner up

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In some ways, the Northwestern Wildcats and Chicago Cubs were meant for each other. Both had/have major droughts. The NU college football team just won their first bowl game since 1949, and the college basketball has never ever made the NCAA Tournament, 70+ tries. As you’ve heard a million times, the Cubs haven’t been to the World Series since 1945 and won one since 1908.

The last time they joined forces, Wrigley Field hosting Northwestern vs. the Illini in 2010, the national media was all over it. For good reasons and bad. The snug fit between the back of the east end zone and the field wall, forced both teams to go the same way on offense. This gaffe generated a ton of national publicity, and a lot of it was negative. When they do this again in 2014, hopefully they’ll get it right this time. There was talk of Wrigley hosting a bowl game after this, and if the next games go off without a hitch, maybe there will indeed be a bowl game.

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NORTHWESTERN ENDS BOWL DROUGHT! What Chicago team is next?

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Today, the Northwestern Wildcats ended their 64 year old bowl drought. They upped their record in bowl games to 2-9. And they did it over an SEC team no less, the once 11th ranked Mississippi St Bulldogs. In 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks ended their 49 year old Stanley Cup drought. In 2005, the Chicago White Sox ended their 88 year World Series drought. So now that leaves only two: Northwestern basketball, who’ve never made a NCAA Tourney. Well, with how they’ve played at home lately, their injuries and a RPI of 105, I’d say they have to wait a year- at least. And the Chicago Cubs 104 year Sahara like drought? They lost 101 games last year, so don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Let’s get back to what the Cats accomplished today.

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New Northwestern helmets for Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi St.

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When the Northwestern Wildcats look to end their bowl game drought tomorrow (you might have heard a thing or two about it in the local media) they’ll do so with these new helmets on. Expect to see a lot of running with Venric Mark and Kain Colter at the Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi State, MSU has a cornerback named Johnathan Banks who will be a top 15 pick in the NFL Draft.

So they’ll be less passing with Colter and Trevor Siemian.

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Northwestern student reads book in stands at Iowa game (photo)

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Here’s a post that just reinforces all stereotypes. A Northwestern student brought a book to Ryan Field to keep himself occupied during a college football game versus the Iowa Hawkeyes. After the jump, you can see him reading it in the stands during crunch time.

The fan responded on the comment threads in the original post, and informs us the book is sports related- “The Book of Basketball” by Bill Simmons.

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Northwestern’s Venric Mark punt return TD (video)

When Venric Mark of Northwestern returned this punt 75 yards for a TD, the Wildcats took an 11 point lead at Penn State. It looked like NU might get their first 6-0 start since 1962 and Pat Fitzgerald would get his first win over PSU.

But the NU defense collapsed in the second half, tired from being on the field most of the day, as Penn St. dominated time of possession, and PSU went on to win 39-28.
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Can Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead win the Big 10 Silver Football?

Perhaps the position with the most tradition at Nebraska is tailback. The starter this fall is Rex Burkhead, a senior who’s been inspired by some of the past greats in Lincoln.

“Roy (Helu) last year, he was a guy I looked up to quite a bit. He was a great player, but also a great person. Seeing how he went about his business, and his daily routine,” Burkhead said.

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Will Compton: Nebraska Cornhuskers leader on defense

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The Nebraska Cornhuskers will be without their three superstars on defense from last year: Alfonzo Dennard, Jared Crick and Lavonte David. All are in the NFL now. Even with the trio, the team’s defense wasn’t all that spectacular in 2011. Linebacker Will Compton may not have as much NFL potential as Baker Steinkuhler, or some of the other blackshirts, but he’s the heart and soul of their defense this fall.

Compton talked about all the challenges he faces as a Linebacker going against the various offenses in the Big Ten.

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Nebraska tight ends key to Cornhuskers offensive push

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Kyler Reed will be a crucial component to the Nebraska Cornhuskers offense this fall, and his impact will go beyond the receiving stats in the box score.

Reed will be a key to the unit getting a nice offensive push forward, as they take on a league loaded with strong defensive lines. In the Big Ten, there’s a ton of great DL units: Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State, Illinois, Purdue and more.

The Huskers will need all hands on deck to get the offense moving forward.

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Northwestern linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo: good player, greater name

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Northwestern’s defense was much maligned last season. The pass defense was especially substandard. But at the conclusion of 2012 spring practice, the D was ahead of the offense and it showed a lot of improvement. The secondary will be retooled, so the defense figures to lean on the front seven this fall.

And when you’re coached by a linebacker in Pat Fitzgerald, the linebackers will be a group with a special focus.

“He’s a defensive guy, he likes to see the defense swarm around to the ball. He’s got little pointers here and there for us to get to the ball faster,” said Chi Chi Ariguzo.

The 6-foot-3, 220 pounder, was the backup SAM linebacker behind senior Ben Johnson as a freshman, but this year he should get the starting gig.

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Northwestern Linemen “Jugs Machine” Challenge (video)

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Get ready for the Jugs Machine! Sounds like a nickname for Pamela Anderson. Wait, she’s kind of a gross thought today, sounds like 1993 Pamela Anderson.

Being a punt returner is serious business. Fielding a high kick is no small task by itself, but it’s made that much harder when you have to concentrate on the ball, and be aware that very large men are speeding towards you with the sole intent of destroying you. But what happens when instead of a fast, low center-of-gravity back is returning a punt, you get the big boys in the trenches doing it?

check out the video below of a linemen jugs machine challenge at Northwestern.

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Penn State Loses First Game of Post-Paterno Era 17-14

Given what went on this past week in State College, many people worried about what might happen today in Penn State versus Nebraska. Some thought the game shouldn’t even be played; out of both respect to Jerry Sandusky’s victims and fear of public safety.

There was a bomb threat; but luckily nothing was found and there have been no major injuries reported. Thus far, no other serious incidents have made public knowledge, so it’s safe to say the game went off much better than expected.

On to actual college football. The game began with both teams joining at midfield for a pre-game prayer.

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#12 Penn State Nittany Lions #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers: Brutally Honest Game Preview

Darren Rovell's photo Penn State's logo today (via @Quickish, @n2st)

Penn State news that actually focuses on college football? Hhmm, yeah, we’ll try.

It’s hard to think about football when you have a campus in mutiny due to the firing of one of the game’s biggest icons. And that firing was justified because of the university’s looking the other way while a defensive coordinator raped children.

It’s also harder to preview this game when Penn State cancelled their weekly press conference. But alas, we will talk about football. It’s SAD and PATHETIC that PSU is “carrying the flag” for the Big Ten conference. They’re the highest ranked team, the only team with just one-loss and the only squad undefeated in conference play.

So, until further notice they are the Big Ten’s (sigh) “best team.”

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