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Northwestern-Notre Dame Preview Capsule

Published on NewsOK Modified: November 13, 2014 at 11:13 am •  Published: November 13, 2014
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Northwestern (3-6) at No. 15 Notre Dame (7-2), 3:30 p.m. (NBC)

Line: Notre Dame by 17 ½.

Series Record: Notre Dame leads 37-8-2.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

The Fighting Irish still have hopes for a berth in the Orange, Fiesta, Cotton or Peach bowls and can't afford a loss to a struggling team. The Wildcats need to win their final three to become bowl eligible.

KEY MATCHUP

Everett Golson vs. Northwestern secondary. Golson has 17 turnovers in the past six games, including five last week against Arizona State in a game where he passed for 446 yards. The Wildcats are 21st in the nation with 11 interceptions.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Northwestern: TB Justin Jackson is trying to become the third Wildcat since 2006 to run for 1,000 yards as a freshman. Jackson has rushed for 761 yards through nine games, an average of 84.6 yards a game. He needs to average 79.7 yards in the last three games to reach that milestone. The Irish are giving up 198 yards a game rushing the past four games.

Notre Dame: LB Jaylon Smith had his best game against Arizona State, taking on some of the leadership duties left with starting MLB Joe Schmidt out for the season with an injury. The Irish need a big game from him again with Schmidt's replacement, freshman Nyles Morgan, playing tentatively.

FACTS & FIGURES

The game against Northwestern will be Notre Dame's last against a Big Ten opponent until it faces Michigan State on Sept. 17, 2016. The last time Notre Dame went a season without facing a member of the current Big Ten was 1914. ... Notre Dame hasn't lost a home game in November under coach Brian Kelly. ... Four of Northwestern's eight wins over Notre Dame occurred from 1959-62, when Ara Parseghian was coach of the Wildcats. He was hired by Notre Dame after the 1962 season. .... The only Northwestern team that beat Notre Dame and didn't finish with a record above .500 was the 1961 squad, which beat the eighth-ranked Irish 12-10 and finished 4-5.


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