(AP) Backup Kain Colter threw for 199 yards and ran for 71 more with a touchdown on Saturday to lead Northwestern to a 24-17 victory over Boston College in the season opener. Colter completed 18 of 25 passes and Northwestern won for the first time since Dan Persa ruptured his Achilles tendon last Nov. 13. Persa, who had been touted as a Heisman Trophy contender by the school, was a late scratch. BC brought the ball deep into Northwestern territory in the final seconds, but Vince Browne got a sack on the final play. Read the full AP recap, check out the box score and see the Big Ten scoreboard.
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Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa appeared atop the Wildcats’ depth chart when it was released late last week. But two days before the opener at Boston College, the school’s pregame injury report lists the star as questionable. In other words, Persa might not be physically ready to play in Week 1 as a result of last year’s season-ending Achilles’ injury. Persa and head coach Pat Fitzgerald spent much of the offseason saying the Achilles was good and that Persa would be ready to start the season. That could be the case, although this report indicates he could use another week, if not more.
Football season is here, and that means it’s time to shift our focus to the Week 1 slate. Every Big Ten school is in action in the opening week, starting with reigning co-Big Ten champ Wisconsin hosting UNLV on Thursday night and finishing up with Indiana entertaining Ball State on Saturday night. That said, it’s time to kick off my weekly Big Ten Football Previews. Here’s your Week 1 addition:
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Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. With the season kicking off Thursday — Wisconsin hosts UNLV in the Big Ten’s lone game on opening night — he figured it’s time to unveil his Week 1 edition. As a reminder, these rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet him: @BTNBrentYarina.
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With eleven Big Ten teams earning preseason recognition in the first AVCA coaches’ poll, it’s going to be another competitive season. The Big Ten’s eight top-25 teams is the most for any conference in the country. Defending NCAA Champion Penn State earned the preseason #1 ranking, followed by Nebraska at #5, Illinois at #8, Minnesota at #12, Purdue at #13, Ohio State at #21 and Michigan at #24. Indiana, Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin each also received votes in the preseason poll. Watch now as Kara Lentz takes a look at each Big Ten team heading into the 2011 volleyball season.
Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith visited Northwestern practice during the BTN Football Tour in August. The Wildcats have played in a school-record three straight bowl games, and while they haven’t won a postseason game since 1948, it’s clear Pat Fitzgerald has raised expectations. Northwestern doesn’t hope to make bowl games any more — it expects to be in one. With Dan Persa back from last year’s Achilles’ injury, Northwestern should play a 13th game again. The Wildcats open the season Sept. 3 at Boston College. Watch our Northwestern Preview video inside.
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Most people would describe Northwestern designated hitter Michelle Batts as funny and outgoing. But if you think that Michelle has had a big impact on the Northwestern softball team, wait until you meet her sister Michaela. Watch now to learn more about the relationship between the two siblings and how that it has affected the Wildcats.