2011 TicketCity
Bowl Page


Played January 1, 2011.

Cotton Bowl, Dallas, TX
Attendance: 40,121.

Northwestern's 2010 regular season record: 7-5 overall, 3-5 conference.  Seventh place, Big Ten. 

Coach: Pat Fitzgerald.

Opponent: Texas Tech.

NU/Texas Tech series record (prior to bowl): Had not met.

  1 2 3 4 F
NU 0 6 18
TT 10 14 14  7  45


1st Quarter

TX Tech: FG Matt Williams 24 yards, 05:18. Drive: 8 plays, 28 yards in 02:04.
TX Tech: TD Taylor Potts 13 yard pass to Aust. Zouzalik (Matt Williams kick), 00:39.  Drive: 8 plays, 60 yards in 2:52.

2nd Quarter

NU: TD Kain Coulter 1 yard run (Brandon Williams rush failed), 06:47.  Drive: 15 plays, 78 yards in 4:36.
TX Tech: TD Taylor Potts 13 yard run (Matt Williams kick), 04:15.  Drive: 8 plays, 70 yards in 2:22.
TX Tech: TD Taylor Potts 6 yard pass to Lyle Leong (Matt Williams kick), 00:11.  Drive: 11 plays, 76 yards in 3:29.

3rd Quarter

NU: FG Stefan Demos 18 yards, 11:25.  Drive: 8 plays, 29 yards in 3:29.
TX Tech: TD Eric Stephens 86 yard run (Matt Williams kick), 11:05.  Drive: 1 play, 86 yards in 00:14.
NU: TD Kain Coulter 1 yard run (Kain Coulter pass to Josh Rooks), 06:12.  Drive: 11 plays, 67 yards in 4:45.
TX Tech: TD Taylor Potts 6 yard pass to Tram. Swindall (Matt Williams kick), 02:29.  Drive: 12 plays, 82 yards in 3:36.
NU: TD Evan Watkins 4 yard run (Stefan Demos kick), 01:52.  Drive: 2 plays, 36 yards in 0:37.

4th Quarter

NU: TD Evans Watkins 18 yard pass to Demetrius Fields (Stefan Demos kick), 10:33.  Drive: 12 plays, 67 yards in 4:34.
TX Tech: TD Taylor Potts 11 yard pass to Lyle Leong (Matt Williams kick), 07:13.  Drive: 10 plays, 69 yards in 3:11.
NU: TD Jordan Mabin 39 yard interception return (Stefan Demos kick), 05:37.

AP Photos: Coulter winds up, Coulter recovers his fumble for a touchdown, Mabin with the pick six.

Northwestern's postseason drought continues.  After sixty-two years, 661 games, and eight postseason efforts, the Wildcats' Grand Quest remains unfinished, as NU's rally against Texas Tech in the very first TicketCity Bowl was not sufficient.  The 'Cats, down by 22 points in the third quarter, launched a comeback bid driven by freshman Kain Colter's fumble recovery for a touchdown, boosted by two scores from Evan Watkins, and capped with Jordan Mabin's outstanding pick six with five and a half minutes to go.   The Red Raiders, nursing the seven points that remained of their lead, held on.

Of course, no one expected the game to be an easy one: the 'Cats had to do without Dan Persa, the team's injured quarterback and MVP.  Runningback Mike Trumpy also sat out with an injury.  NU was further hampered by a rough first half (the 'Cats were outgunned 24-6, and suffered a missed extra point for the fourth straight bowl game) and a subpar defensive performance (NU gave up 34 first downs and 552 yards, an average of over six and a half yards per play).

Mr. Colter, however, was a pleasant surprise, rushing (often in the same backfield as Watkins) for 105 yards and two touchdowns, including the heads-up recovery of his own fumble that began NU's comeback attempt.  He followed this with a pass to Josh Rooks for the two-point conversion that would (briefly) put NU just 14 points behind Texas Tech.  Colter also notched a nice 11-yard pass to Venric Mark and a  20-yard rifle shot to Jeremy Ebert.  But perhaps the best play was the gadget pass to Ebert, who passed back to Colter for a 32-yard scamper, setting up Watkins's first score.

How's This for Marketing?

The poster called villox posted this image on the Rivals message board, with the following info: "A friend of a friend just posted this to facebook. Caption was 'billboard on the west side of Airport Freeway, between Regal Row and Mockingbird.'"  Thanks for sharing this on Rivals, villox, and congrats to NU's marketing for another masterstroke this season!

A Look at the TicketCity Bowl
January 1, 2011.  11:00 am CST
Cotton Bowl Stadium
ESPNU Coverage

This will be the first year for the TicketCity Bowl, which began its embyonic history as the better-named Dallas Football Classic.   The game will kick off at 11:00 am CST, making it the first football game of 2011.  Kickoff will be unopposed by other games, but the game will overlap after an hour with the Outback and other games.  It is the first-ever bowl game broadcast on ESPNU, the network that received the ratings windfall earlier this month, when NU and Illinois played at Wrigley Field and were the recipients of tremendous national media.

The bowl will be held in the Cotton Bowl, which TicketCity Bowl reps are quick to point out has hosted more bowl games than any other stadium, except for the Rose Bowl.

TicketCity will feature the seventh (or eighth, with two BCS teams from the conference) pick from the Big Ten vs. the eighth selection from the Big 12.  If the Big Ten had not fielded enough bowl-eligible teams, its pick in the TicketCity Bowl would have gone to Conference USA.  If the Big 12 had not had the necessary number of bowl-eligible teams then Conference USA or the MAC would have picked up the bowl slot.  In two years from now the Big 12 will drop out of the TicketCity Bowl and Conference USA will be the Big Ten's opponent.

The Cotton Bowl

This will be Northwestern's first-ever game at the old Cotton Bowl Stadium.  NU had played Southern Methodist once in 1970 (the Cotton Bowl served as SMU's home stadium), but the game was played at Dyche Stadium, not at SMU. 

The Cotton Bowl was built in 1930 on the site of an older stadium and was first used as the site of its namesake bowl game in 1937.  The Cotton Bowl game (now called the Cotton Bowl Classic) moved from the Cotton Bowl last year.  The TicketCity Bowl marks the return of postseason play to the stadium. 

The game will be the first time that a Big Ten team has played in Dallas since Ohio State played in the Cotton Bowl game in 1986.