Despite Late Rally, Northwestern Falls 33-22 Against Texas A&M In Meineke Car Care Bowl

Northwestern will face Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl

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14 Total Updates since December 5, 2011
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Northwestern Vs. Texas A&M Score Update: Aggies Hold On Late For 33-22 Victory

It should come as no surprise that the Meineke Car Care Bowl wasn't decided until the final minutes. It also shouldn't be a surprise that when the game was over, Northwestern again found itself on the losing end of a bowl game. With its 33-22 loss to Texas A&M, it has now been 63 years since the Wildcats have won a bowl game, but as they do seemingly every year, the Wildcats made the game exciting.

After reeling off 27 straight points, and taking a 30-7 lead into the fourth quarter, it appeared that Texas A&M was on its way to a comfortable victory. However, Northwestern did its best to make sure that the Aggies weren't going to coast to a win, as the Wildcats scored 15 straight to narrow it to a one possession game. With the defense needing just one stop to give the offense a chance to tie the game, the Aggies drained nearly five minutes off the clock and drove down the field to clinch the game with a 31-yard field goal from Randy Bullock.

In his final game at Northwestern, Dan Persa finished off his tremendous career with an efficient performance. The senior QB completed 25/36 for 213 yards. His primary target throughout the game was Demetrius Fields, who led the Wildcats with seven catches for 73 yards in the loss.

The Aggies were led by the receiving combo of Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope. Fuller reeled in seven catches for 119 yards and a TD, while Swope added eight catches for 105 yards in the win.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Northwestern Vs. Texas A&M Score Update: Wildcats Trail 30-7 Heading Into Fourth Quarter

The inconsistency that has plagued Northwestern this season has been evident in the Meineke Car Care Bowl matchup with Texas A&M, as the Wildcats trail 30-7 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Northwestern offense has been invisible throughout the game, with the Wildcats generating only 154 yards against the Texas A&M defense. The Aggies have pressured Dan Persa throughout the game, using their speed to sack the Northwestern QB seven times. Persa has been unable to move the offense down the field, completing 17/26 for only 116 yards. Demetrius Fields leads the Wildcats with four catches for 46 yards, while Kain Colter has rushed for 44 yards on nine carries.

Ryan Tannehill has been excellent for Texas A&M, completing 22 of 32 for 260 yards and a TD. The Aggies have had success on the ground, with Ben Malena rushing for 68 yards and 2 TD's. Ryan Swope has proven to be a difficult matchup for the Northwestern secondary, as he leads Texas A&M with eight catches for 105 yards.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Northwestern Vs. Texas A&M Score Update: Wildcats Trail 20-7 At Half

While many people assumed that the matchup between Northwestern and Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl would be a high-scoring affair, the story of the first half was the play of the A&M defense, as the Aggies lead 20-7 heading into the half.

The Northwestern offense struggled to find much of a rhythm in the opening half. QB Dan Persa completed 11/18 for 93 yards and threw completions to six different receivers. Demetrius Fields was the main target in the opening half, as he led the Wildcats with three receptions for 41 yards. The lone score for Northwestern came on a 2-yard TD run by Venric Mark early in the second quarter.

After struggling in the opening quarter, the Texas A&M offense started to click in the second quarter. QB Ryan Tannehill led the Aggies to 17 points in the final eight minutes of the quarter. Tannehill completed 17/24 for 195 yards and a TD. Ryan Swope made a significant impact in the opening 30 minutes, making seven catches for 98 yards.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl 2011 Score: Texas A&M Leads Northwestern 3-0 After First Quarter

The Nortwestern Wildcats and the Texas A&M Aggies had a month to prepare for the Meineke Car Care Bowl, but the Wildcats have come out fairly flat in the early going. The Aggies have jumped out to a 3-0 lead on a 25-yard field goal by Randy Bullock in the early going, and the Wildcat offense looks off right now. The normal potent passing attack led by Dan Persa has been limited to 44 yards in the first quarter, and the bigger concern is that the unit has been forced to burn two timeouts after looking out of sync and off rhythm. Northwestern may be a bit lucky they are only down three points, as A&M appeared to have scored a touchdown, but failed to receive a timely review and led to the made field goal to open the scoring instead.

The offenses for both teams have been strong all season long, but the month off has apparently slowed them down. For the Aggies, at least Ryan Tannehill has looked good throwing the ball, as he has already racked up 88 yards passing on 8/14 through one quarter of play.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Texas A&M Vs. Northwestern, 2011 Texas Bowl: Time, Location, History And More

Northwestern is bowling for the fourth consecutive season, and the Wildcats are trying to end a bowl win drought that goes back well over half a century. To break the dry spell and get over the hump, they'll have to find some way to contain -- or at least slow down -- Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill and the Aggies offense. Offensively, they must step up their pass protection against an A&M defense that leads the country with 3.58 sacks per game.

Location: Reliant Stadium, Houston, TX

Date & Time: Saturday, Dec. 31, 11:00 a.m. CT

TV: ESPN

Internet Stream: ESPN3

Odds: Texas A&M is favored by 10 points.

Series: This is the first meeting between the two schools.

Official Bowl Website

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas, Texas A&M Vs. Northwestern: Can The Wildcats' Defense Stand Up To The Aggies' Offense?

When the Northwestern Wildcats meet the Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday, they'll do so as double digit underdogs, and Wildcats fans figure to be substantially outnumbered in the stands since the game is in Houston. But it's always hard to guess how a coaching change will affect a team (in this case, the Aggies) heading into a bowl game, and Pat Fitzgerald usually has his team well prepared and competitive in the postseason.

The biggest key for Northwestern could be its defense, which has been porous far too often this season. The Aggies rank seventh in the country in total offense and average over six yards per play from scrimmage. Northwestern, meanwhile, ranks 88th in total defense and is giving up over six yards per snap. Northwestern's offense certainly is no slouch, but without an improved defensive effort, or a few lucky bounces, the Wildcats could have trouble keeping up.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas 2011: Despite Bowl Losing Streak, Northwestern Not Changing The Way It Prepares

Northwestern has been close on several occasions under coach Pat Fitzgerald, but they've yet to win a bowl game during Fitzgerald's tenure, and in fact have not won a bowl game since 1949. But Fitzgerald says he isn't going to change the way he prepares his team for postseason appearances:

"If we had gotten got our (butts) blown out or didn’t show up or were unfocused, I would think about tweaking it," Fitzgerald said Monday before his team left for the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Houston. "We have been on the short end, but it hasn’t been because we haven’t had a good plan."

Fitzgerald's teams have lost two bowl games in overtime and another by a 45-38 margin, so the problem probably isn't so much the process as it is simply finding a big play in crunch time to get the Wildcats over the hump.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas 2011: Northwestern Wary Of Texas A&M QB Ryan Tannehill

Ryan Tannehill has had an interesting career at Texas A&M--he spent two seasons at wide receiver before moving to quarterback and winning the starting job. This season Tannehill threw for 3,415 yards and 28 touchdowns and piled up nearly 300 yards rushing along the way. Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald praised the quarterback, saying Tannehill reminded him of former Wildcats QB Mike Kafka.

"He has a big-time arm, and he makes great decisions with the football," Fitzgerald said after Saturday's 10th practice to prepare for the Dec. 31 Meineke Car Care Bowl. "He's athletic enough to really make you pay and understands their system inside and out."

Stopping Tannehill, or at least slowing him down, will be a major task for Northwestern's defense on Dec. 31.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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2011 Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas Odds: Texas A&M Aggies Currently Favored By 10 Points Over Northwestern Wildcats

Texas A&M is preparing for the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas with an interim head coach, but Vegas sports books expect A&M's edge in talent to overcome whatever problems might come from the coaching change. The Aggies are currently favored by 10 points over the Northwestern Wildcats, according to OddsShark.

For Texas A&M, it helps that the game is being played in Texas, since the Aggies figure to have more fans in attendance than the Wildcats. But Northwestern has played well in a variety of environments this season, including Lincoln, Nebraska, and certainly can't be counted out against this inconsistent Texas A&M team. Both schools have enough offense to rally and score points quickly.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas 2011: Texas A&M Defensive Coordinator Tim DeRuyter May Be Fresno State's Next Head Coach

The coaching upheaval may resume sooner than expected at Texas A&M, where defensive coordinator and interim head coach Tim DeRuyter has been linked to the vacant head coaching position at Fresno State.

Born and raised in Long Beach, Calif., DeRuyter could be moving closer to home after KMJ-AM reported that he had been named the next head coach at Fresno State. If that's indeed the case, then he'll be taking over for long-time head coach Pat Hill, who was fired last week.

According to this report, it's possible that Texas A&M would have to name another interim head coach for the bowl game if DeRuyter does get the Fresno State job.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas 2011: Northwestern's Evan Watkins Moves From Quarterback To Superback

Northwestern reserve quarterback Evan Watkins has been buried on the depth chart this season, and in the hopes of finding some playing time somewhere on the team, he asked the coaches if he could switch positions. So Pat Fitzgerald is giving the 6'6" Watkins a shot at superback, which is a position in the Northwestern offense similar to a tight end.

"We're trying to get him on the field," Fitzgerald said. "Evan wants to have a role, and he's really honest with himself and he sees where he's at in his career with his skill set and his body and what he can do on the field."

And it's a position that could provide plenty of opportunities. Drake Dunsmore caught 43 passes as the team's superback in 2011.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl Of Texas 2011: Texas A&M Trying To Play Through Distractions

A&M head coach Mike Sherman was unceremoniously fired by the school after an underwhelming 6-6 regular season, leaving interim head coach Tim DeRuyter the task of keeping the team focused as it prepares for a bowl game. The Aggies have yet to name a head coach for the 2012 season and beyond, and DeRuyter is not expected to have the interim tag removed by school officials. Despite the uncertainty, DeRuyter is optimistic about a focused effort against Northwestern:

“Really, it doesn't affect us,” he said. “We know what we have to do in this bowl game to win. I know what I have to do to get this team ready to go."

The Aggies have a lot of talent and they can be very explosive offensively, but whether or not they'll be able to put it all together in the face of this ongoing coaching search remains to be seen.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl 2011: Northwestern Vs. Texas A&M Ranked 14th Best Bowl Matchup

The bowl pairings were announced on Sunday night, and on Monday, SB Nation's Spencer Hall ranked the bowl games from one to 35. The Meineke Care Care Bowl of Texas came in at No. 14:

This feels like a blowout in the making, but A&M has a habit of dragging inferior teams into games whether they like it or not. "No thanks, we'd like to go down by two scores." A&M: "Not today, buddy."

The season could have gone much differently for an Aggies team that had trouble holding on to leads late in games. Texas A&M led Oklahoma State 20-3 before eventually losing 30-29; they led Arkansas by 18 points in the second half of that game and lost 42-38; they were up 10 points on Kansas State midway through the fourth quarter and ended up losing in four overtimes. So they've certainly been able to keep things interesting, as Spencer points out. And Northwestern has the sort of offense that could make for another exciting game.

For updates, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more in-depth coverage, visit Northwestern blog Sippin' On Purple and Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man. For news and notes from around college football, visit SB Nation's NCAA football news hub.

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Meineke Car Care Bowl 2011: Northwestern Vs. Texas A&M Game Time, TV Schedule And More

Northwestern will face Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl

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