It's time for football once again! Here are some notes and things to watch pregame as we get set for Northwestern vs. Northern Illinois.
- There could be up to 43,000 people here today, according to an estimate from Jon Davis. It will be the highest-capacity non-conference game at Northwestern in a long time. There's a lot of read lurking around the streets, and high school band day will help fill some student section seats.
- This is NU's America day, where they have an American flag "N" a midfield and on the players' helmets. This is an annual event held during the closest game to 9/11, but NU says that's just a coincidence. NIU has some pretty slick all-white uniforms.
- It's an absolutely gorgeous day at Ryan Field. 70-some degrees and sunny with a slight wind blowing southwest. It's way more comfortable than last week, which was incredibly hot and humid.
- Tony Jones is out today for NU. That means this needs to be a big week for Cameron Dickerson and the combination of Miles Shuler, Solomon Vault and Justin Jackson. Jackson moved into second position on the depth chart, so I'd expect him to get a lot of carries today. He might end up having the most carries and the most yards.
- This is a big day for NU's run defense. The Wildcats struggled against the run at the beginning of the Cal game, but ended up doing pretty well. If they can shut down NIU's run-based system, that will inspire a lot of confidence this year.
- The game is on BTN today. If you need to stream it online or listen on the radio, here's everything you need to know. We'll be tweeting throughout the game at @insidenu if you aren't at a computer, and our community will also be commenting on our game thread.