2007 record: 5-5
2007 Sagarin: 82 (IU is #63)
2006 record: 4-8
2006 Sagarin: 93
Series: Northwestern leads 41-33-1
Last IU win: 2001 (56-21 in Bloomington)
Last Northwestern win: 2004 (31-24 in Evanston)
Last IU win in Evanston: 1993 (24-0)
IU trails all Big Ten schools, including long-departed Chicago, in the all-time series. The IU-NU series is relatively competitive, but NU has dominated recently. Since IU last won in Evanston in 1993, NU has a 7-2 advantage and has won four straight over IU in Evanston. While much of this run has come during Northwestern's recent period of respectability, the struggles began in 1994, when a 5-1 IU team lost a homecoming game to NU the year that Dennis Lundy was throwing games. That game began the demise of Bill Mallory's IU career. Entering that game, Mallory had compiled a 63-56-3 record at IU, overcoming a 4-18 start to climb over .500. Beginning with the 1994 Northwestern game, Mallory finished his IU career by going 6-21.
As for the stats, Northwestern leads the conference in total offense at 429 yards per game. IU is ninth with 398 (the top ten Big Ten teams range from 429 to 397 yards per game. The only big dropoff is from #10 to #11 Iowa (310)). The Wildcats are pass-happy, and lead the Big Ten with over 3,000 yards passing to IU's 2433. NU is last in the conference with 1203 rushing yards as compared to 1554 for IU. The Wildcats average 3.6 yards per rush to IU's 4.2. NU completes 59.6 percent of passes to IU's 60.6. Still, Northwestern's CJ Bacher has thrown 16 TDs and 14 interceptions to Kellen Lewis's 23.9. Finally, for all of the gaudy stats, NU is next to last in the Big Ten with 25.7 points per game, as compared to 32.4 for IU.
Defensively, NU allows 30 points a game to IU's 26. NU allows 408 yards per game to IU's 391. NU allows 249 passing yards per game to IU's 229. Opponents complete 62 percent of their passes against NU and 59 percent against IU. Northwestern has allowed 21 touchdowns in the air and has picked off only seven passes (15/14 for IU). On the ground, IU allows more yards per game (162 to 159) while NU allows 4.4 yards per carry to IU's 3.8. NU has allowed a league-worst 21 touchdowns on the ground, 3 more than IU.
In sum, these are fairly evenly matched teams statistically, although I would give IU the edge in offensive productivity and a very, very slight edge in defense. This should be a competitive game. Kellen Lewis has to get the turnovers under control. If he does, IU should win.