1995 Northwestern Wildcats football team

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1995 Northwestern Wildcats football
Big Ten champion
Rose Bowl, L 32–41 vs. USC
Conference Big Ten Conference
Ranking
Coaches No. 7
AP No. 8
1995 record 10–2 (8–0 Big Ten)
Head coach Gary Barnett (4th season)
Home stadium Dyche Stadium (Capacity: 49,256)
Seasons
← 1994
1996 →
1995 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team W   L   T     W   L   T
No. 8 Northwestern $ 8 0 0     10 2 0
No. 6 Ohio State 7 1 0     11 2 0
No. 13 Penn State 5 3 0     9 3 0
No. 17 Michigan 5 3 0     9 4 0
Michigan State 4 3 1     6 5 1
No. 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 first 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.

Roster[edit]

1995 Northwestern Wildcats football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 24 Autry, DarnellDarnell Autry Jr
WR 5 Bates, D'WayneD'Wayne Bates Fr
QB 10 Schnur, SteveSteve Schnur Jr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
LB 51 Fitzgerald, PatPat Fitzgerald Jr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Injured Injured
  • Redshirt Redshirt

Schedule[edit]

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

1995 team players in the NFL[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

References[edit]