There were plenty of performances to recognize in Northwestern 42-21 win over Eastern Illinois last Saturday. After going over the game film, Northwestern coaches today named the following weekly award winners:
Offensive player:Brian Mulroe. After rolling up 320 yards and five touchdowns rushing, the Cats take the unusual step of recognizing a guard for this award. Mulroe played a leading role in the Wildcats' punishing ground attack, which racked up many of those yards -- the most for NU since 2005 -- between the tackles.
Offensive big playmaker:Kain Colter. The quarterback had plenty of big plays against the Panthers, rushing for a career-high 109 yards and three TDs and throwing for 104.
Offensive practice player:Cermak Bland. The freshman walkon wide receiver from West Linn (Ore.) Jesuit gets recognition for helping the Wildcat defensive backs prepare for EIU's passing attack.
Defensive player:Bryce McNaul. There wasn't much doubt about this award. McNaul picked off a Jimmy Garoppolo pass on the fourth play of the game to set up NU's first touchdown and wound up with a team-high seven tackles.
Defensive big playmaker:Jeravin Matthews. The senior cornerback had six tackles, second-most on the team, and the only PBU in the secondary.
Defensive practice player:Timmy Vernon. The sophomore walkon's performance during the week earned him an award and game time on Saturday.
Special teams player:Venric Mark. The sophomore dazzled on Saturday with three returns for 120 yards. His 63-yard kickoff return was the Wildcats' longest since his 94-yarder for a touchdown against Wisconsin last season.
Special teams practice player:Cameron Dickerson. The true freshman wide receiver earned this award for the second straight week.
Northwestern also released its two-deep for Saturday's game against Army. Here are some notes:
Colter OR Dan Persa are listed as the co-No. 1 quarterbacks for the third straight week. Persa is still officially day-to-day but was not cleared to play against EIU.
Jacob Schmidt is again listed as the No. 1 running back, with Mike Trumpy OR Adonis Smith as his backup. Trumpy did not play against EIU and his status is uncertain. Smith was helped off the field with a leg injury on Saturday and Pat Fitzgerald said today that his status is day-to-day.
Jack DiNardo once again does not appear on the two-deep, indicating that he may not play for a second straight week with the leg injury he suffered against Boston College. Will Hampton is the No. 1 defensive tackle in DiNardo's place, and Sean McEvilly is his backup.
Hunter Bates is now the No. 2 safety behind Ibraheim Campbell. David Arnold was listed as the starter at the position last week but played sparingly on Saturday, even though he was medically cleared to play. He is not listed on the two-deep.