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2018 Northwestern Wildcats football
Big Ten West Division champion
Holiday Bowl champion
Holiday Bowl, W 31–20 vs. Utah
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
DivisionWest Division
Ranking
CoachesNo. 19
APNo. 21
2018 record9–5 (8–1 Big Ten)
Head coachPat Fitzgerald (13th season)
Offensive coordinatorMick McCall (11th season)
Offensive schemeSpread
Defensive coordinatorMike Hankwitz (11th season)
Base defenseMultiple 4–3
Home stadiumRyan Field
(Capacity: 47,130)
Seasons
← 2017
2019 →

Template:2018 Big Ten football standings The 2018 Northwestern Wildcats football team represented Northwestern University during the 2018 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The Wildcats played their home games at Ryan Field in Evanston, Illinois and competed in the West Division of the Big Ten Conference. They were led by 13th-year head coach Pat Fitzgerald.

Northwestern began the year with a 1–3 record after winning its conference road opener against Purdue but falling to non-conference foes Duke and Akron, as well as Michigan in their conference home opener. The team won their next four games, including wins over ranked opponents Michigan State and Wisconsin, before falling to Notre Dame, which secured a winless non-conference slate. Regardless, the Wildcats clinched their first Big Ten West Division title by defeating No. 21 Iowa the following week.[1] They won their remaining two conference games to finish the regular season with a conference record of 8–1. In the 2018 Big Ten Football Championship Game, they lost to East Division champion Ohio State 45–24. The team was invited to the Holiday Bowl to play Pac-12 Conference runner-up Utah. The Wildcats won by a score of 31–20, their third consecutive bowl victory, which was a program first.[2] In the final AP Poll of the season, the Wildcats were ranked 21st.

Quarterback Clayton Thorson led the team's offense, finishing with 3,183 passing yards, third most in the Big Ten Conference, to go along with 17 passing touchdowns and nine rushing touchdowns. Thorson, a fourth-year starter, finished his career as the school's all time leading passer.[2] Freshman running back Isaiah Bowser led the team in rushing with 866 yards, and wide receiver Flynn Nagel led the team in receiving with 780 yards. On defense, linebacker Blake Gallagher led the Big Ten in total tackles with 127.[3] Fellow linebacker Paddy Fisher was named first team all-conference by the coaches, while defensive back Montre Hartage was named to the first team by the media. Head coach Pat Fitzgerald received the conference's coach of the year award.[4]

Previous seasonEdit

The Wildcats finished the 2017 season 10–3, 7–2 in Big Ten play to finish in second place in the West Division. They received an invitation to the Music City Bowl where they defeated Kentucky 24–23.

PreseasonEdit

Award watch listsEdit

Award Player Position Year
Lott Trophy[5] Nate Hall LB SR
Chuck Bednarik Award[6] Joe Gaziano DE JR
Paddy Fisher LB SO
Maxwell Award[7] Clayton Thorson QB SR
Doak Walker Award[8] Jeremy Larkin RB JR
Butkus Award[9] Paddy Fisher LB FR
Bronko Nagurski Trophy[10] Paddy Fisher LB SO
Joe Gaziano DE JR
Outland Trophy[11] Tommy Doles OL SR
Wuerffel Trophy[12] Tommy Doles OL SR
Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award[13] Clayton Thorson QB SR

Schedule Edit


DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
August 307:00 p.m.at PurdueESPNW 31–2747,410
September 811:00 a.m.Duke*ESPNUL 7–2140,654
September 156:30 p.m.Akron*
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
BTNL 34–3940,014
September 293:30 p.m.No. 14 Michigan
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
FOXL 17–2047,330
October 611:00 a.m.at No. 20 Michigan StateFS1W 29–1972,850
October 1311:00 a.m.Nebraskadagger
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
ABCW 34–31 OT47,330
October 2011:00 a.m.at RutgersBTNW 18–1532,514
October 2711:00 a.m.No. 20 Wisconsin
  • Ryan Field
  • Evanston, IL
FOXW 31–1747,330
November 36:15 p.m.No. 3 Notre Dame*
ESPNL 21–3147,330
November 102:30 p.m.at No. 21 IowaFOXW 14–1066,493
November 1711:00 a.m.at MinnesotaNo. 24BTNW 24–1432,134
November 242:30 p.m.IllinoisNo. 20
BTNW 24–1637,124
December 17:00 p.m.vs. No. 6 Ohio StateNo. 21FOXL 24–4566,375
December 316:00 p.m.vs. No. 20 Utah*FS1W 31–2047,007
  • *Non-conference game
  • daggerHomecoming
  • Rankings from AP Poll released prior to the game
  • All times are in Central time

Game summariesEdit

at PurdueEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Wildcats 14 17 0 0 31
Boilermakers 14 3 7 3 27




Overall record Last meeting Result
31–50–1 2017 NU, 23–13


DukeEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Blue Devils 0 21 0 0 21
Wildcats 7 0 0 0 7




Overall record Last meeting Result
10–9 2017 DUKE, 41–17


[14]

AkronEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Zips 0 3 23 13 39
Wildcats 7 14 7 6 34




Overall record Last meeting Result
First meeting


MichiganEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 14 Wolverines 0 7 6 7 20
Wildcats 10 7 0 0 17




Overall record Last meeting Result
15–57–2 2015 MICH, 38–0


at Michigan StateEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Wildcats 7 7 0 15 29
No. 20 Spartans 3 3 13 0 19




Overall record Last meeting Result
18–38 2017 NU, 39–31


NebraskaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Cornhuskers 7 6 7 11 31
Wildcats 0 14 0 17 34




Overall record Last meeting Result
4–7 2017 NU, 31–24


at RutgersEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Wildcats 7 0 3 8 18
Scarlet Knights 0 12 3 0 15




Overall record Last meeting Result
0–3 1991 RUTG, 22–18


WisconsinEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 20 Badgers 7 3 0 7 17
Wildcats 7 7 10 7 31




Overall record Last meeting Result
35–59–5 2017 WISC, 33–24


Notre DameEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 3 Fighting Irish 7 0 14 10 31
Wildcats 0 7 0 14 21




Overall record Last meeting Result
9–37–2 2014 NU, 43–40


at IowaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Wildcats 0 0 7 7 14
No. 21 Hawkeyes 0 3 7 0 10




Overall record Last meeting Result
26–50–3 2017 NU, 17–10


at MinnesotaEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 24 Wildcats 7 6 0 11 24
Golden Gophers 0 7 0 7 14




Overall record Last meeting Result
35–53–5 2017 NU, 39–0


IllinoisEdit

1 2 3 4 Total
Fighting Illini 3 3 0 10 16
No. 20 Wildcats 7 14 3 0 24




Overall record Last meeting Result
51–55–5 2017 NU, 42–7


vs. Ohio State (Big Ten Championship Game)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 21 Wildcats 7 0 14 3 24
No. 6 Buckeyes 14 10 7 14 45



Overall record Last meeting Result
14–61–1 2016 OSU, 24–20


vs. Utah (Holiday Bowl)Edit

1 2 3 4 Total
No. 20 Utes 14 6 0 0 20
Wildcats 0 3 28 0 31



Overall record Last meeting Result
1–1 1981 UTAH, 42–0


RankingsEdit

Ranking movements
Legend: ██ Increase in ranking. ██ Decrease in ranking.
NR = Not ranked. RV = Received votes. ( ) = First place votes.
Week
Poll

 

AP RV RV NR NR NR NR NR NR NR RV RV 24 20 21 RV 21

Expression error: Unexpected < operator. 

Coaches RV RV NR NR NR NR NR NR NR RV RV RV 21 21 22 19

Expression error: Unexpected < operator. 

CFP Not released NR NR 22 19 21 22

Expression error: Unexpected < operator.


RosterEdit

2018 Northwestern Wildcats football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 1 Hanaoka, ChadChad Hanaoka 10px Sr
WR 2 Nagel, FlynnFlynn Nagel Sr
WR 4 Vault, SolomonSolomon Vault 10px Sr
WR 5 Fessler, CharlesCharles Fessler 10px Jr
WR 6 Roberts, JelaniJelani Roberts Sr
QB 7 Whittaker, JasonJason Whittaker Fr
WR 8 McGowen, KyricKyric McGowen So
QB 10 Green, T. J.T. J. Green 10px Jr
QB 11 Smith, AidanAidan Smith 10px So
WR 12 Jefferson, J. J.J. J. Jefferson Fr
QB 13 Marty, AndrewAndrew Marty 10px Fr
WR 15 James, JaceJace James So
QB 15 Johnson, HunterHunter Johnson (I) So
WR 16 Holman, BerkeleyBerkeley Holman 10px Fr
WR 17 Brown, JalenJalen Brown 10px Sr
QB 18 Thorson, ClaytonClayton Thorson 10px Sr
WR 19 Lees, RileyRiley Lees 10px So
RB 20 Moten IV, JohnJohn Moten IV 10px Jr
RB 21 Anderson, DrakeDrake Anderson Fr
WR 23 Reese, StevenSteven Reese 10px Jr
RB 24 Bousky, AlexAlex Bousky Sr
RB 25 Bowser, IsaiahIsaiah Bowser Fr
RB 28 Larkin, JeremyJeremy Larkin 10px So
RB 36 Brown, JesseJesse Brown 10px So
SB 44 Prather, JamesJames Prather 10px Sr
SB 48 Kaiser, BrianBrian Kaiser Fr
OL 52 Gerak, SamSam Gerak 10px Fr
OL 57 Kolwich, CamCam Kolwich 10px So
OL 59 Butler, J. B.J. B. Butler 10px Sr
OL 61 Goosen, JasonJason Goosen 10px So
OL 65 Thomas, JaredJared Thomas 10px Jr
OL 66 Urban, NikNik Urban 10px So
OL 67 Boatman, WillyWilly Boatman Fr
OL 68 Blake, WyattWyatt Blake Fr
OL 69 Schmidt, CharlieCharlie Schmidt Fr
OL 70 Slater, RashawnRashawn Slater So
OL 71 Doles, TommyTommy Doles 10px Sr
OL 72 Hance, BlakeBlake Hance 10px Sr
OL 73 Vogel, GunnarGunnar Vogel 10px So
OL 74 He'Bert, PaynePayne He'Bert Fr
OL 76 Wiederkehr, EthanEthan Wiederkehr 10px Fr
OL 77 Meyler, JesseJesse Meyler 10px So
OL 78 Stovall, SamSam Stovall Fr
OL 79 Klock, TreyTrey Klock 10px Sr
SB 80 Pugh, TreyTrey Pugh So
WR 81 Chiaokhiao-Bowman, RamaudRamaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman 10px So
SB 82 Oelsner, AlexAlex Oelsner 10px Fr
WR 83 Lansbury, WillWill Lansbury 10px Fr
WR 84 Green, CameronCameron Green 10px Jr
WR 85 Tirmonia, JackJack Tirmonia 10px So
SB 86 Link, CodyCody Link 10px So
WR 86 Niro III, RaymondRaymond Niro III Fr
SB 87 Eshoo, EricEric Eshoo 10px So
WR 88 Skowronek, BennettBennett Skowronek Jr
SB 89 Mangieri, CharlieCharlie Mangieri Fr
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DB 3 Williams, TraeTrae Williams 10px Jr
DB 7 Whillock, TravisTravis Whillock 10px So
DB 9 Campbell, RoderickRoderick Campbell So
DB 10 Mayo, AlonzoAlonzo Mayo 10px Jr
DB 11 Hampton, A. J.A. J. Hampton Fr
DB 13 Pace, J. R.J. R. Pace So
DB 18 Ruiz, CameronCameron Ruiz 10px Fr
DB 22 Jackson, BryceBryce Jackson 10px Fr
CB 24 Hartage, MontreMontre Hartage Sr
DB 25 Hiller, AustinAustin Hiller 10px Fr
DB 26 Bullock, BrianBrian Bullock 10px So
DB 27 McDonald, JeremiahJeremiah McDonald Fr
LB 28 Bergin, ChrisChris Bergin So
DB 29 Newsome II, GregGreg Newsome II Fr
LB 31 Rivers, JaylenJaylen Rivers Fr
LB 32 Hill, NateNate Hill 10px Sr
LB 33 Mann, GraysonGrayson Mann Fr
LB 34 Anyanwu, CheeChee Anyanwu 10px Fr
LB 35 Mueller, ErikErik Mueller 10px Fr
DB 37 Sermons, DonovanDonovan Sermons 10px Fr
LB 40 McIntyre, PeterPeter McIntyre 10px Fr
S 41 McGee, JaredJared McGee 10px Sr
LB 42 Fisher, PaddyPaddy Fisher 10px So
LB 44 Jones, KhalidKhalid Jones Fr
LB 45 Fox, NathanNathan Fox 10px Jr
LB 46 Hudetz, TroyTroy Hudetz So
DL 46 O'Rourke, DevinDevin O'Rourke Fr
DB 47 Bergin, JoeJoe Bergin 10px Jr
LB 50 Glackin, JangoJango Glackin 10px So
LB 51 Gallagher, BlakeBlake Gallagher So
DL 53 Leota, AndrewAndrew Leota Fr
DL 54 Goens, TrentTrent Goens 10px Jr
DE 55 Gooden, MarkMark Gooden 10px So
DL 75 Oxley, BenBen Oxley 10px Sr
DT 90 Saunders, JakeJake Saunders 10px So
DL 91 Miller, SamdupSamdup Miller So
DL 92 Wyatt, FredFred Wyatt 10px Sr
DL 93 Spivak, JoeJoe Spivak So
DE 94 Carnifax, TommyTommy Carnifax 10px So
DL 95 Miller, AlexAlex Miller Jr
DE 96 Kent, TrevorTrevor Kent 10px Fr
DL 97 Gaziano, JoeJoe Gaziano 10px Jr
DE 98 Brown IV, EarnestEarnest Brown IV So
DL 99 Thompson, JordanJordan Thompson Sr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 14 Kuhbander, CharlieCharlie Kuhbander So
P 17 Kubiuk, DanielDaniel Kubiuk 10px Sr
P 37 Gronewold, CodyCody Gronewold 10px Fr
K, P 38 Luckenbaugh, DrewDrew Luckenbaugh 10px So
LS 43 Gillikin, TylerTyler Gillikin 10px So
LS 48 Snodgrass, PeterPeter Snodgrass 10px Fr
P 49 Collins, JakeJake Collins 10px Sr
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches
  • Lou Ayeni (Running Backs / Recruiting Coordinator)
  • Adam Cushing (Offensive Line)
  • Jeff Genyk (Special Teams Coordinator)
  • Mike Hankwitz (Defensive Coordinator)
  • Bob Heffner (Superbacks)
  • Marty Long (Defensive Line)
  • Matt McPherson (Associate Head Coach / Defensive Backs)
  • Mick McCall (Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks)
  • Tim McGarigle (Linebackers)
  • Dennis Springer (Wide Receivers)
  • Chris Bowers (Director of Player Personnel)
  • Cody Cejda (Director of Football Operations)
  • Darby Dunnagan (Director of Video Operations)
  • Jay Hooten (Director of Sports Performance for Football)
  • Jacob Schmidt (Director of Player Development)
  • Bryan Payton (Director of Recruiting Communications)
  • Jonny Kovach (Director of Recruiting Operations)
  • Todd McShane (Director of Scouting)
  • John Holloway (Assistant Director of Football Operations)
  • Deonte Gibson (Defensive Graduate Assistant)
  • Kevin Koch (Defensive Graduate Assistant)

Legend
  • (C) Team captain
  • (S) Suspended
  • (I) Ineligible
  • Cruz Roja.svg Injured
  • Redshirt.svg Redshirt

Roster
Last update: August 16, 2018

Awards and honorsEdit

Individual Awards
Player Award Ref.
Pat Fitzgerald Hayes–Schembechler Coach of the Year
Dave McClain Coach of the Year
[4]
All-Big Ten
Player Position Coaches Media
Paddy Fisher LB 1 2
Montre Hartage DB 3 1
Joe Gaziano DL 2 3
Rashawn Slater OT 3 HM
Blake Gallagher LB HM 3
Cameron Green WR HM HM
Clayton Thorson QB HM HM
Flynn Nagel WR HM HM
J.R. Pace DB HM HM
Nate Hall DB HM HM
HM = Honorable mention. Reference:[4]

Players drafted into the NFLEdit

Round Pick Player Position NFL Club
5 167 Clayton Thorson QB Philadelphia Eagles

ReferencesEdit

  1. "Northwestern clinches first Big Ten division title with win at Iowa". November 10, 2018. http://www.espn.com/college-football/recap?gameId=401012870.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Friedman, Caleb (January 5, 2019). "Clayton Thorson left Northwestern better than he found it". Vox Media. https://www.insidenu.com/2019/1/5/18165708/clayton-thorson-northwestern-legacy-big-ten-championship-quarterback-18.
  3. "2018 Big Ten Conference Year Summary". https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/conferences/big-ten/2018.html.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "2018 All-Big Ten Football Teams and Individual Award Recipients". Big Ten Conference. November 28, 2018. https://bigten.org/documents/2018/11/28//2018_All_Big_Ten.pdf?id=6210. Retrieved November 28, 2018.
  5. "2018 Watch List | Lott IMPACT Trophy | Honoring College Football's Defensive Best" (in en-US). http://lottimpacttrophy.org/2018-watch-list/.
  6. "2018 Bednarik Award Watch List - Maxwell Football Club" (in en-US). Maxwell Football Club. 2018-07-16. https://www.maxwellfootballclub.org/2018-maxwell-bednarik-watch-list/.
  7. "2018 Maxwell Award Watch List". July 16, 2018. https://www.maxwellfootballclub.org/2018-maxwell-watch-list. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  8. "2018 Doak Walker Award Candidates". July 18, 2018. https://www.smu.edu/DoakWalkerAward/Candidates. Retrieved July 18, 2018.
  9. "Butkus Award - 2018 Collegiate Watchlist". The Butkus Award. July 23, 2018. http://www.thebutkusaward.com/watchlist/view.aspx?t=c.
  10. "2018 Bronko Nagurski Trophy Preseason Watch List". July 24, 2018. http://touchdownclub.com/nagurski-trophy/watch-list/. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  11. "22018 OUTLAND TROPHY WATCH LIST UNVEILED". July 24, 2018. http://www.sportswriters.net/fwaa/news/2018/outland180724.html. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  12. "Wuerffel Trophy Unveils 2018 Watch List". July 26, 2018. https://www.wuerffeltrophy.org/news1/wuerffel-trophy-unveils-2018-watch-list. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  13. "Watch List for 2018 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award ® Presented by A. O. Smith Announced". August 14, 2018. http://www.goldenarmfoundation.com/watch-list-2018-johnny-unitas-golden-arm-award-presented-o-smith-announced/. Retrieved August 17, 2018.
  14. "Duke vs. Northwestern - Game Summary - September 8, 2018". ESPN. http://www.espn.com/college-football/game?gameId=401013098. Retrieved 8 September 2018.
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