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1995 Northwestern Wildcats football team

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.

1995 Northwestern Wildcats football
Big Ten champion
Rose Bowl, L 32–41 vs. USC
ConferenceBig Ten Conference
Ranking
CoachesNo. 7
APNo. 8
1995 record10–2 (8–0 Big Ten)
Head coachGary Barnett (4th season)
CaptainWilliam Bennett[1]
CaptainRob Johnson
CaptainSam Valenzisi
Home stadiumDyche 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

"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.

Contents

ScheduleEdit

DateTimeOpponentRankSiteTVResultAttendance
September 21:30 PMat No. 8 Notre Dame*NBCW 17–1559,075
September 1611:00 AMMiami (OH)*No. 25ESPN2L 28–3026,352
September 2311:30 AMAir Force*
  • Dyche Stadium
  • Evanston, Illinois
ESPNW 30–626,037
September 301:00 PMIndiana
  • Dyche Stadium
  • Evanston, Illinois
W 31–729,223
October 711:30 AMat No. 7 MichiganNo. 25ESPNW 19–13104,642
October 141:00 PMat MinnesotaNo. 14W 27–1750,504
October 2111:30 AMNo. 24 Wisconsin No. 11
  • Dyche Stadium
  • Evanston, Illinois
ESPN2W 35–049,256
October 2811:00 AMat IllinoisNo. 8SCCW 17–1465,425
November 42:30 PMNo. 12 Penn StateNo. 6
  • Dyche Stadium
  • Evanston, Illinois
ABCW 21–1049,256
November 1111:00 AMIowaNo. 5
  • Dyche Stadium
  • Evanston, Illinois
CreativeW 31–2049,256
November 182:30 PMat PurdueNo. 5ABCW 23–847,172
January 13:30 PMvs. No. 17 USC*No. 3ABCL 32–41100,102

RosterEdit

1995 Northwestern Wildcats football team roster
Players Coaches
Offense
Pos. # Name Class
RB 24 Darnell Autry Jr
WR 5 D'Wayne Bates Fr
TE 85 Brian Harpring Sr
QB 8 Tim Hughes Jr
T 74 Paul Janus Jr
C 57 Rob Johnson (C) Sr
QB 10 Steve Schnur Jr
WR 25 Jeff Swenson So
Defense
Pos. # Name Class
DE 36 Casey Dailey Jr
LB 51 Pat Fitzgerald Jr
LB 44 Keith Lozowski Jr
CB 16 Chris Martin Sr
Special teams
Pos. # Name Class
K 13 Brian Gowins So
Head coach
Coordinators/assistant coaches

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

1995 team players in the NFLEdit

Awards and honorsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Year-by-Year Results" (PDF). 2007. p. 149. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2019-03-14. Retrieved 2019-03-14.