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Northwestern Snippet and Stat: 9/18

by Jonah Rosenblum (@jonahlrosenblum)

Every weekday we will have a short "snippet and stat" article at InsideNU. Here is the first installment.

For those of you wondering what happened when senior safety Jared Carpenter came up limping after effectively contesting a deep ball in the end zone, only to return with no apparent side effects from his injury, Carpenter was hurt, but it’s nothing major. You see, Carpenter didn’t take a funny step while frantically trying to keep up with the wide receiver, or get his legs tripped up with those of the wide receiver –– he simply rolled his ankle while celebrating the incompletion with redshirt junior defensive end Tyler Scott. Both players broke into broad grins Monday as Carpenter recalled what happened: “I was just celebrating with Tyler. I jumped up and kind of just rolled over my ankle a little bit. Honestly, that’s all that happened. I went to the sideline, got it re-taped up and I was back in the game.” As the senior safety pointed out, he would return to the game. He would also finish second on the team with seven tackles. So, no harm, no foul. Still, he’s fortunate that he didn’t turn into the next Bill Grammatica, who famously tore the ACL in his right knee celebrating a field goal against the New York Giants.

It has been well documented that while much of the Big Ten has boosted its record against a soft slew of opponents, Northwestern has taken on three BCS opponents –– and won. There’s certainly truth to that point. While Northwestern was taking on a Boston College program that used to be a perennial postseason participant, Minnesota was edging Western Michigan, Purdue was pummeling Eastern Michigan, Illinois was routing Colorado State and Michigan was destroying Massachusetts. That discrepancy is stunning enough. Even more stunning is the fact that Northwestern has compiled a 3-0 record against BCS schools thus far this season. The rest of the Big Ten has gone 1-8. Now, some of those are legitimate losses of course. Purdue and Michigan State both lost to a ranked Notre Dame squad, for example, and the same goes for Nebraska, which fell to UCLA. But other losses have been far more embarrassing, such as Wisconsin’s loss to Oregon State and Iowa’s loss to Iowa State. The simple fact is the Wildcats have held their own far better than the rest of their conference brethren.