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    === No. 17 Northwestern continues homestand against Western Michigan ===
 
 Evanston, IL (Sports Network) - With their eyes set on moving up in the
 national rankings yet again, the 17th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats will play
 host to the Western Michigan Broncos in a non-conference bout at Ryan Field.
 
 Western Michigan is 0-2 entering Saturday's contest after taking setbacks
 against Michigan State (26-13) and FCS foe Nicholls (27-23). WMU trailed by as
 many as 14 points against Nicholls but did manage to take a 23-21 lead in the
 third quarter before crumbling in the fourth.
 
 Despite the absence of star running back Venric Mark, the Wildcats once again
 looked impressive in their second game. Northwestern took care of Syracuse,
 48-27, and have now scored 40 or more points in each of their first two games.
 At No. 17 in the Top 25, Northwestern has matched its high-point from a year
 ago and is now threatening to attain its highest ranking since 2001.
 
 Though both of these teams hail from the Midwest portion of the country, there
 has never been a matchup between them previously.
 
 Getting consistently solid play at quarterback has not been a strength for the
 Broncos this season. Starter Tyler Van Tubbergen has completed less than 50
 percent of his pass attempts (30-of-63) for just 327 yards and no touchdowns
 while being picked off four times. Van Tubbergen's struggles can be partially
 blamed on an injury sustained during the loss to Michigan State, after which
 he exhibited concussion-like symptoms. However he took every snap for the
 Broncos in the loss to Nicholls.
 
 Improved play on the offensive line, which is largely made up of untested
 players could really help the Broncos' signal caller.
 
 "Tyler got hit a lot. I thought we did a nice job establishing runs, and they
 made some adjustments. Our outside zone play was also really working, but
 Tyler is getting hit way too much," Head coach P.J. Fleck said. "We can sit
 and talk about how four out of five that have never played a football game but
 who cares? You have a job to do and you need to do it."
 
 There has been little balance for the Broncos even with the passing game
 struggling. As a team the Broncos have compiled just 121 yards per game on the
 ground with Brian Fields (31 carries, 127 yards) and Dareyon Chance (26
 carries, 132 yards) splitting carries.
 
 Corey Davis has been the lone bright spot in the passing game and arguably the
 offense as a whole. Davis has caught a team-high 16 passes for 212 yards and a
 touchdown. Davis has twice as many receptions as any other player on the team.
 
 A week removed from holding Michigan State to under 300 yards of offense, the
 Broncos didn't have as much success against Nicholls. WMU let up 447 yards to
 the Colonels, while allowing them to score on 5-of-6 chances in the red zone.
 Pressuring the quarterback has been a real weakness with Johnnie Simon (15
 tackles, sack) the only player with a quarterback takedown. Simon is one of
 five players to reach double-digit tackles already this season, with Kyle
 Lark's 19 stops leading the unit.
 
 Nothing has seemed to slow down the Northwestern offense this year. Despite
 Mark missing the Syracuse game and Kain Colter getting slowed during the trip
 to California, the Wildcats have gone right on piling up the points and yards.
 Northwestern is posting 46 points and 544.5 yards per game, ranking third in
 the Big Ten in total offense.
 
 Colter came back from suffering an injury that gave him concussion-like
 symptoms against California and looked just fine against the Orange. Colter
 completed 15-of-18 pass attempts for 116 yards and a touchdown in the game and
 also rushed for 87 yards and a score. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald has been using
 a quarterback combination though as Trevor Siemian, who threw for 259 yards
 and three scores against Syracuse, has seen plenty of time on the field.
 
 "Two weeks in and I'd like to think we're as balanced as anybody, "Fitzgerald
 said. :We've got two very dynamic quarterbacks; I've kind of been pounding the
 drum for years here talking about 1A and 1B, about two championship-level
 quarterbacks. I think they're really playing well in the framework of what
 we're doing and are complementing each other well."
 
 Treyvon Green has been the reason that the absence of Mark has not caused the
 Wildcats' offense to fall off track. Green has rushed for 195 yards and three
 touchdowns while filling in for Mark, while Mike Trumpy (16 carries, 63 yards)
 has filled in nicely as a backup. Both will likely still be leaned on against
 the Broncos with Mark's status for Saturday's game still up in the air.
 
 As far as pass-catchers go, Tony Jones has been the most dangerous with 14
 receptions for 255 yards and two scores for the Wildcats.
 
 "It's back-to-back weeks that Tony has played at an elite level, an All Big
 Ten level," Fitzgerald said. "We've got to continue to find creative ways to
 move him around and make people account for (him)."
 
 Where there is concern for Northwestern, especially once the Big Ten schedule
 begins, is on the defensive side. Thus far Northwestern has been able to out-
 gun the competition but giving up 491.5 yards of offense and 28.5 points per
 game, as the Wildcats currently are, is not a recipe for continued success.
 
 Though they have not been a stout defensive squad the Wildcats have done a
 good job in disrupting opponents in the backfield. Northwestern is currently
 tied for fourth in the Big Ten with 13.0 tackles for loss. Tyler Scott has
 helped in that regard with a team-high in sacks (2.0) while Ibraheim Campbell
 (13 tackles, two INTs) and Collin Ellis (11 tackles, two INTs) have been
 dangerous in pass coverage.
 
 
 
 09/11 10:53:31 ET

Other Stories

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

    Tomorrow at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Tomorrow at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tonight at 6:30 on 620am

  • NFL: Philadelphia at Washington

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13