The Northern Michigan University football team (2-2, 2-2 GLIAC) will look to bounce back after dropping its past two games. Last week at home the Wildcats lost to Ferris State (24-42).
Northwood (5-0, 5-0 GLIAC) stayed perfect on the season with a 25-14 win over Saginaw Valley State. The Timberwolves are ranked 10th in the nation this week according to the AFCA.
On the Air
The Bear (WIMK, 93.1 FM and WUPK, 94.1 FM) will carry the 'Cats all season long. The games are also available over the internet at www.nmu.edu/athletics, go to the For 'Cat Fans link and follow the directions for WNMU. Nate Rose and John Focke will bring you the action.
The Bear has a sports show on every Tuesday from 6-7 p.m. Selected NMU coaches and staff will appear on the show from time-to-time.
Bernie Anderson is in his first season at NMU as he is 2-2 with the Wildcats. He spent 19 seasons as the head coach at Michigan Tech where he was 93-96-0. Anderson's overall collegiate record stands at 95-98-0.
Pat Riepma is in his 14th season as the Northwood head coach. He is currently 81-61-2 with the Timberwolves.
NMU holds a 19-6-0 advantage in the series, but has not won a game against the Timberwolves since a 17-9 win in Marquette during the 2001 season.
The 'Cats have dropped the past four games in a row and six of the past seven to the Timberwolves.
Looking at Northwood
The Timberwolves enter the game averaging over 26 points a game (26.6 avg). NU has only thrown 43 passes so far this season, connecting on 17 with one interception for 148 yards. On the ground the Timberwolves have gobbled up over 1,300 yards (1,307) on 254 carries, which leads the GLIAC. NU has gained over 1400 yards of total offense (1,455) for an average of 291.0 yards a game.
Of the 16 TDs scored the Timberwovles have 15 on the ground.
Defensively NU is giving up on average 244.6 yards a game. The Timberwolves red zone defense is second in the conference (61.5 percent). On the ground NU is giving up a little over 100 yards a game (101.4 avg) and 143.2 yards in the air. NU's rushing defense is third in the conference. The Timberwolves scoring defense, the top one in the GLIAC, is allow 12 points a game.
Fullback Torris Childs leads the Timberwolves on the ground with 550 yards on 97 carries. He is third in the GLIAC on the ground. Next on the list is quarterback Kyle Kolbe as he has 392 yards on 89 carries. He is 17-42-1 in the air for 148 yards. Combined, Childs (9) and Kolbe (4) have 13 of the 15 rushing TDs. Phillip Davis has hauled in a team-leading five receptions for 53 yards.
Charleston Hughes leads the Timberwolves with 38 total tackles (26 solo and 12 assisted). Matt Worton leads NU with six-and-a-half tackles-for-loss (-19 yards) and one-and-a-half sacks (-9 yards). The Timberwolves defense has picked off five opponent passes. Antraz Burton has a team-high two picks.
A Look at the NMU Offense
The Wildcat offense is averaging 366.2 yards a contest (1,465 yards). On the ground NMU is just over 100 yards every time out (106.5 yards a game avg). The majority of the 'Cats offense is coming via the air as the team is averaging 259.8 yards a game (1,039 yards).
Buddy Rivera has accounted for 1,151 yards of total offense. He has gained 112 yards on the ground, which ranks him third on the team. Rivera has thrown for 1,039 yards on 72-110-0. He has yet to throw an interception. Rivera leads the conference in passing avg/game (259.9 avg/g) and total offense. He is second in the GLIAC in pass efficiency (174.8 effic.).
Brad Anderson leads the 'Cats on the ground with 166 yards on 49 carries. NMU has six rushing TDs on the round. Anderson, Mark Bossuah and Rivera each have two.
Dan Elmore has the most receptions with 21 (300 yards), but Fred Wells has the most yardage at 311 yards on 19 catches. Elmore (5.25 rec/g) is third in the GLIAC in receptions/game while Wells (4.75 rec/g) is tied for fifth. Wells (77.8 yds/g) and Elmore (75.0 yds/g) are fourth and fifth respectively in the GLIAC in receiving yards/game. Of the 10 receiving touchdowns, Elmore (4) and Wells (3) have seven of the throws.
The Kicking Game
Jon Laue is averaging over 52 yards a kickoff (52.1 yards). He has missed one field goal attempt in three opportunities as both of his made kick have been between 30-39 yards.
Thomas Labuz has 17 punts for 609 yards (35.8 avg). Two of his punts have landed inside the 20-yard line. His longest this season has been 57 yards at Hillsdale.
A Look at the NMU Defense
The 'Cat defense is allowing 415.0 yards a game of total offense. The rushing defense is allowing 219.0 yards a game on average while the pass defense is allowing 196.0 yards a game.
Joe Dost is now the leading tackler on the squad with his 28 total tackles (9 solo and 19 assisted). Nicholas Bloch is next on the list with 27 total tackles (13 solo and 14 assisted).
NMU did not have an interception against Ferris State. Nathan Yelk and Jon Hoggard still have two interceptions each.
NMU made two trips into the red zone against Ferris State and scored a touchdown and a field goal. For the season NMU is 11-for-11 in the red zone, which leads the GLIAC. The 'Cats have come away with points every time in the red zone so far this season.
Nine of the 11 trips have resulted in touchdowns.
NMU has scored 48 of its 117 points in the fourth quarter. NMU has only given up seven points in the third quarter. The first quarter has been rough for the 'Cats as the opponents have scored 49 of its 123 points within the first 15 minutes of the game. On the other hand, NMU has only scored 14 points in the first quarter.
Go For It
NMU leads the GLIAC in fourth-down conversions as they are perfect in all four attempts.
The 'Cats are second in the conference in conference in third-down conversions (25-50, 50 percent).
NU and NMU have the top two turnover margins in the GLIAC. The Timberwolves lead the conference (2.20 per/g) as the 'Cats are second (1.25 per/g).
This and That
•NMU is fourth in the GLIAC in scoring offense (29.2 avg) while the Timberwolves are fifth (26.6 avg)
•The 'Cats have the top passing offense in the conference (259.8 yds/g)
•NMU's offense (366.2 yds/g) is second in the GLIAC behind UIndy (394.0 yds/g)
•The 'Cats pass efficiency (174.8 effic.) is second in the conference behind UIndy (177.7 effic.)
•Nathan Yelk, who has not played in a couple of weeks, leads the GLIAC in interceptions (0.67 int/g)
NMU will be back home next week when the Ashland Eagles will visit the Superior Dome. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.
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Sports Information Director