2006 Northwestern Wildcats football team

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2006 Northwestern Wildcats football
NorthwesternWildcats.png
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
2006 record4–8 (2–6 Big Ten)
Head coachPat Fitzgerald (1st season)
Offensive coordinatorGarrick McGee (1st season)
Defensive coordinatorGreg Colby (5th season)
CaptainErryn Cobb[1]
CaptainBryan Heinz
CaptainShaun Herbert
CaptainNick Roach
Home stadiumRyan Field (Capacity: 47,130)
Seasons
← 2005
2007 →
2006 Big Ten football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
No. 2 Ohio State $   8 0         12 1  
No. 7 Wisconsin   7 1         12 1  
No. 8 Michigan %   7 1         11 2  
No. 24 Penn State   5 3         9 4  
Purdue   5 3         8 6  
Minnesota   3 5         6 7  
Indiana   3 5         5 7  
Iowa   2 6         6 7  
Northwestern   2 6         4 8  
Michigan State   1 7         4 8  
Illinois   1 7         2 10  
  • $ – BCS representative as conference champion
  • % – BCS at-large representative
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2006 Northwestern Wildcats football team represented Northwestern University in the Big Ten Conference during the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season. Head coach Randy Walker died unexpectedly on June 29, 2006 of an apparent heart attack at the age of 52. Pat Fitzgerald, seen by many before the tragedy as Walker's eventual successor, was promoted from linebackers coach and recruiting coordinator to head coach on July 7. The Wildcats also had to replace their offensive coordinator, offensive line coach, and Brett Basanez, the team's former four-year starter at quarterback and holder of dozens of school records. Not surprisingly, the 2006 season was not as successful as previous years.

Northwestern began their season with a win at Miami, Walker's alma mater, in an emotional game that featured several tributes to the late coach.[2] However, the season went downhill from there. The second game was a blowout loss to I-AA New Hampshire. The low point of the season came on October 21 with a home loss to Michigan State in which the Spartans staged the largest comeback in Division I-A history. A win against Illinois in the final game gave the Wildcats a 4–8 record for the year and saved them from finishing last in the Big Ten. The high point of the season, despite coming in defeat, was Northwestern's surprisingly close and competitive play against undefeated and #3 ranked Michigan. Despite being held to -13 rushing yards, the Wildcats came within one-possession of tying the game early in the third quarter and prevented the Wolverines from scoring in the fourth quarter en route to a 17–3 final.

Schedule[edit]

DateTimeOpponentSiteTVResultAttendance
August 316:30 PMat Miami (Ohio)*ESPNUW 21–320,476
September 91:00 PMNew Hampshire*L 17–3420,108
September 161:00 PMEastern Michigan*
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
W 14–621,935
September 227:00 PMat Nevada*ESPN2L 21–3116,176
September 302:30 PMat Penn StateABCL 7–33108,837
October 711:00 AMat WisconsinESPN+L 9–4181,704
October 1411:00 AMPurdue
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
ESPN+L 10–3127,171
October 2111:00 AMMichigan Statedagger
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
ESPN+L 38–4129,387
October 2811:00 AMat No. 2 MichiganESPNL 3–17109,114
November 411:00 AMat IowaESPN+W 21–770,585
November 112:30 PMNo. 1 Ohio State
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
ABCL 10–5447,130
November 1812:00 PMIllinois
ESPN360W 27–1622,242
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Year-by-Year Results" (PDF). 2007. p. 150. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-03-14. Retrieved 2019-03-14.
  2. ^ Miami (Ohio) RedHawks, NCAA Football, Northwestern Wildcats - CBSSports.com