1995 Northwestern Wildcats football team

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1995 Northwestern Wildcats football
Big Ten Champions
Rose Bowl vs. USC, L 32–41
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 7
AP No. 8
1995 record 10–2 (8–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Gary Barnett
Home stadium Dyche Stadium (Capacity: 49,256)
Seasons
« 1994 1996 »
1995 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
#8 Northwestern $ 8 0 0     10 2 0
#6 Ohio State 7 1 0     11 2 0
#13 Penn State 5 3 0     9 3 0
#17 Michigan 5 3 0     9 4 0
Michigan State 4 3 1     6 5 1
#25 Iowa 4 4 0     8 4 0
Illinois 3 4 1     5 5 1
Wisconsin 3 4 1     4 5 2
Purdue 2 5 1     4 6 1
Minnesota 1 7 0     3 8 0
Indiana 0 8 0     2 9 0
  • $ – Conference champion
Rankings from AP Poll

The 1995 Northwestern Wildcats football team represented Northwestern University in the 1995 NCAA Division I-A college football season. The 1995 season was a highly memorable one for the Northwestern program, as the Wildcats went 10-2 overall and 8-0 in the Big Ten Conference, earning their first winning season since 1971, their first conference championship since 1936, and their 10-win season in school history. They also broke several long-standing losing streaks to regular opponents, including a 22-game losing streak to Iowa, a 19-game losing streak against Michigan, and a 14-game losing streak to Notre Dame.

"Expect Victory" was the motto even as Northwestern began the season as 28-point underdogs against Notre Dame, who they upset 17-15, propelling into the AP poll at #25. An upset loss to the Miami Redhawks in the second game of the season caused the Wildcats to drop out of the rankings. However, subsequent wins over ranked Michigan (19-13), Wisconsin (35-0), and Penn State (21-10) pushed the Wildcats into the top-10 while making them national media darlings.

Nine consecutive wins (including eight against Big Ten opponents) brought Northwestern their highest ever ranking (#3), a conference title, and their first Rose Bowl appearance since 1949. In the Rose Bowl, the Wildcats' Cinderella season came to a conclusion with a 41–32 loss to the USC Trojans, and they finished the season at #8.

Northwestern was coached by Gary Barnett, who won multiple coach of the year awards for leading the dramatic turnaround of the program. Star players included the trio of quarterback Steve Schnur, running back Darnell Autry, and linebacker Pat Fitzgerald, who was named Big Ten and national defensive player of the year.

Schedule[edit]

Date Time Opponent# Rank# Site TV Result Attendance
September 2 1:30 PM at No. 8 Notre Dame* Notre Dame StadiumNotre Dame, IN NBC W 17–15   59,075
September 16 11:00 AM Miami (OH)* No. 25 Dyche StadiumEvanston, IL ESPN2 L 28–30   26,352
September 23 11:30 AM Air Force* Dyche Stadium • Evanston, IL ESPN W 30–6   26,037
September 30 1:00 PM Indiana Dyche Stadium • Evanston, IL W 31–7   29,223
October 7 11:30 AM at No. 7 Michigan No. 25 Michigan StadiumAnn Arbor, MI ESPN W 19–13   104,642
October 14 1:00 PM at Minnesota No. 14 Hubert H. Humphrey MetrodomeMinneapolis, MN W 27–17   50,504
October 21 11:30 AM No. 24 Wisconsindagger No. 11 Dyche Stadium • Evanston, IL ESPN2 W 35–0   49,256
October 28 11:00 AM at Illinois No. 8 Memorial StadiumChampaign, IL SCC W 17–14   65,425
November 4 2:30 PM No. 12 Penn State No. 6 Dyche Stadium • Evanston, IL ABC W 21–10   49,256
November 11 11:00 AM Iowa No. 5 Dyche Stadium • Evanston, IL Creative W 31–20   49,256
November 18 2:30 PM at Purdue No. 5 Ross–Ade StadiumWest Lafayette, IN ABC W 23–8   47,172
January 1 3:30 PM vs. No. 17 USC* No. 3 Rose BowlPasadena, CA (Rose Bowl) ABC L 32–41   100,102
*Non-conference game. daggerHomecoming. #Rankings from Coaches' Poll released prior to game. All times are in Central Time.

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1995 team players in the NFL[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]