4 – games of 350 or more passing yards by Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher. Clearly the No. 1 concern of any opposing defensive coordinator, Bacher has thrown for 368 yards against Duke, 520 against Michigan State, 470 against Minnesota and 351 against Eastern Michigan. His 990 combined passing yards in back-to-back weeks against Michigan State and Minnesota earned him two straight Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week honors, and the 520 yards was the fifth most passing yards in a game ever by a Big Ten quarterback. As good as Bacher has been, he's struggled the last two times out. In back-to-back losses to Purdue and Iowa, Bacher averaged 236 yards passing game and threw six interceptions compared to just two touchdowns.
6 – straight games missed by Northwestern tailback Tyrell Sutton before returning two weekends ago against Purdue. Sutton suffered a severe ankle sprain in the season's second week against Nevada and was sidelined for 1 ½ months. While the Wildcats did manage to go 3-3 during his absence, his return brings some much needed balance to Coach Pat Fitzgerald's offensive attack. He rushed for 108 yards in the season opener against Northeastern and most recently ran 23 times for 116 yards and a touchdown in Saturday's 28-17 loss to Iowa. During his first two seasons the Akron, Ohio, native posted back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, including a 1,474 yards, 16-touchdown debut in 2005.
101 – tackles for linebacker Adam Kadela, easily the most on the Wildcat roster. The 6-3, 240-pound co-captain is a third-year starter who totaled 151 tackles during the last two seasons. Kadela also has five tackles for loss, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and ranks among the team leaders with four passes broken up. He's the anchor of a Wildcat defense that has surrendered 30.3 points and 408.7 yards/contest, but he's still a player that IU quarterback Kellen Lewis will have to be concerned about.
8 –players on the Northwestern roster with at least 15 receptions this season. Like Indiana, the Wildcats like to spread the ball around and Bacher will throw to a variety of targets on Saturday afternoon. The leading receiver is wideout Eric Peterman, whose 53 receptions and 608 yards lead the team. But fellow wideout Ross Lane leads the way with six touchdowns, and Kim Thompson's 15.7 yards/reception is the best on the team. Tyrell Sutton, meanwhile, only has 17 catches, but that's basically come in three games so IU can expect to see the Wildcat tailback catching plenty of balls out of the backfield as well.
7 – Big Ten teams that are bowl eligible – Indiana included with two weeks in the regular season remaining. Considering there are seven bowl slots for the conference, that's good news for Indiana, unless more teams add their name to the list. Indiana has a chance to all but eliminate the Wildcats on Saturday. A loss would drop Northwestern to 5-6, with only a road game at Illinois remaining. Michigan State – another team with five wins – won't have it easy securing a sixth win thanks to a home game against Purdue and then a road game at Penn State remaining. It's become pretty clear that Indiana's game at Northwestern is a bowl-or-bust game for both squads.
What's coming up:
On Monday – Five Numbers to Note
On Tuesday - Four Players to Know
On Wednesday – Three Big Concerns
On Thursday – Two Key Match-Ups
On Friday – One Bold Prediction
NORTHWESTERN: Five Days and Counting
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