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Northwestern vs. Maine: gameday study guide

If a foreign exchange student enrolling at Northwestern for the fall semester happened to jump on Twitter for the very first time this week and follow a selection of Wildcats sports media accounts, there is a very strong chance he would have no idea who his new school’s “American” football team is playing Saturday. Instead, he’d be asking his roommate all kinds of questions about some obscure thing called “Gameday,” and wandering what on Earth #GamedaytoEvanston is.

That topic, gaining more and more steam by the day, has been at the crux of most recent Northwestern-related sports discussion. The College Gameday murmurs began long ago (we wrote about it in April) and now, after SEC Hawk Paul Finebaum leaked the following on Twitter, it appears the Wildcats do, indeed, have a very good chance of hosting the most famous pre-game show in sports.

https://twitter.com/finebaum/statuses/380810591264206848

Nothing is decided yet, of course, and an Ohio State loss to Wisconsin next week could force ESPN to reconsider other potential destinations for week 6, but from this distance, the emergent campus hype – in so far as it exists – feels appropriate. A source close to the athletic department has not shot down the enthusiasm – in fact, he’s downright endorsed it…if Northwestern and Ohio State are both undefeated heading into October 5.

I almost forgot: my deepest apologies go out to our foreign exchange student, but there is a football game Saturday! Against Maine!

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The second consecutive installment of “Northwestern football score predictions for degenerate gamblers” offered no surprises: everyone thinks the Wildcats are going to win by a lot. Whether Northwestern can cover the spread (- 28) might be one of the more compelling storylines of Saturday's game.

Our fan-sided columnist, Jon Davis, penned an excellent piece on Northwestern’s attendance potential this season. Can NU seat more than 40,000 fans on average at Ryan Field this season?

We’re partnering with WNUR, Northwestern’s student radio network, to debut a weekly podcast this football season. Sam Levitt and Kevin Trahan were mic’d up to talk Maine and other NU football topics on this week’s episode.

For more multimedia coverage, check out our first video game preview with NNN anchor Greg Mroz.

An impressive four-sack performance against Cal was followed up by a combined one sack in subsequent games against Syracuse and Western Michigan. The defensive ends have identified the reason behind the decline in sack production, and they believe a special formation can help remedy the issue.

Our intrepid weekly link-scavenger, Callie Counsellor, didn’t let the sparse Maine Internet coverage available stand in her way.

There was one notable development to report from practice this week (Tuesday, Wednesday), and a few nuts and bolts worth skimming over from coach Pat Fitzgerald’s Monday press conference.

Looking for an update on Venric Mark’s lower body injury? So were we, when we asked about the senior running back at Monday's press conference.

In case you missed Friday’s edition of the Chicago Tribune, read about Northwestern's interesting sleep assessment, which involves special sensors strapped to players' arms, here. Rest assured, this football team is getting plenty of rest (sorry, I couldn’t resist).