EVANSTON, Ill. - Northwestern built a 17-point second-half lead, then held off a late Central…
Chippewas Close Road Trip at Northwestern
Saturday's game is one of eight this weekend between the Mid-American Conference and Big Ten Conference. The MAC owns six victories over the Big Ten over the past two seasons but is seeking its first win of 2010.
Central Michigan has won its last two games against Big Ten opponents—at Michigan State last season and at Indiana in 2008—but the Wildcats will present a unique challenge for the visiting Chippewas.
Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa has completed 62-of-76 passes (81.6 percent) for 769 yards and six touchdowns to lead Northwestern to its 3-0 start. He also has rushed for 129 yards and two scores.
Northwestern is averaging 30.0 points per game.
Defensively, the Wildcats are led by linebacker Quentin Davie. The reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week leads the team in tackles (20) and interceptions (three).
"Their quarterback is playing very well, and they are always very good on offense," said CMU head coach Dan Enos. "Coach Fitzgerald and his staff do a tremendous job there. This is going to be a great challenge for our team, but we're very excited to compete against a great program."
CMU's offense had a breakout game of its own at Eastern Michigan last week. The Chippewas rolled up 523 total yards and scored six touchdowns in a 52-14 win. Paris Cotton rushed for 209 yards and three scores, while Ryan Radcliff threw for 254 yards and a pair of scores.
Mike Petrucci's 43-yard fumble return for a touchdown highlighted a defensive effort that forced eight Eastern Michigan punts, two fumbles and two turnovers on downs. The CMU defense continues to rank in the top 10 nationally in points allowed (fourth / 9.0 ppg) and yards allowed (eighth / 250.7 ypg).
The Chippewas return to Kelly/Shorts Stadium next weekend when they host Ball State in a MAC West Division matchup. Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m.
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