1997 Citrus
Bowl Page


Played January 1, 1997.

Citrus Bowl, Orlando, FLAttendance: 63,467 (capacity).

Northwestern's 1996 regular season record: 9-2 overall, 7-1 conference.  Big Ten Co-Champion.

Coach: Gary Barnett.  Captains: Schnur, Fitzgerald, Chabot, McGrew.

Opponent: Tennessee.

NU/ Tennesse series record (prior to bowl): first game played against Tennessee.

Team 1Q 2Q 3Q 4Q Final
Northwestern 0 21 0 7 28
Tennessee 21 10 7 10 48

Scoring: First Qtr: Tenn: Price 43 pass from Manning (Hall kick); Tenn: Manning 10 run (Hall kick); Kent 11 pass from Manning (Hall kick). Second Qtr: NU: Autry 2 run (Gowins kick); Musso 20 pass from Schnur (Gowins kick); NU: Autry 28 run (Gowins kick); Tenn: Kent 67 pass from Manning (Hall kick); Tenn: FG Hall 19.  Third Qtr: Tenn: Hines 30 int. ret. (Hall kick).  Fourth Qtr: Tenn: FG Hall 28; NU: Bates 22 pass from Schnur (Gowins kick); Tenn: Moore 6 pass from Manning (Hall kick).

Tennessee had played in three of the last four Citrus Bowls, and superstar quarterback Peyton Manning was shattering school records.  Just before the game many of the Wildcat players, including Darnell Autry, came down with flu.  In the first quarter Manning unleashed a dizzying attack, throwing two touchdown passes and running 10 yards for another.  Northwestern’s second-quarter comeback was just as fierce.  Autry (who remained ill and would take an IV during the game) burst in for a touchdown, Schnur fired a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brian Musso, and Autry ran 28 yards for another score.  The Wildcats had tied the game with just over two minutes to go in the half.  The Volunteers, however, would score 10 points in the remaining time, and would proceed in the second half to overwhelm Northwestern, winning 48-28.  Manning was brilliant.  He threw for 408 yards, no interceptions, and four touchdowns.  The loss, however, did little to NU’s ranking, dropping the ‘Cats from 11th to 15th.

Darnell Autry finished seventh in the Heisman Trophy balloting.  Pat Fitzgerald was named national Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year, the first repeat winner in the history of the award.  He also became the first Wildcat to be named a first-team All-American two years straight.