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Northwestern to wear classic combo against Minnesota

History doesn’t bode well for the ‘Cats in this common ‘fit.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern will sport a classic uni combo on Saturday, opting for a purple helmet that’ll be paired with white jerseys and the pants to match. The Wildcats have played 10 games in the mostly-white fits during the Under Armour era, walking away with just three wins in those contests.

All-time, Northwestern has played 130 times in the purple-white-white combo, holding a record of 45-84-1. The set made its first appearance in 1942 against Texas. The combination is most commonly used on the road, where NU will be at Minnesota Saturday, as Northwestern has a 40-70-1 record away from Ryan Field.

The ‘Cats’ prior showing in this permutation yielded a tough loss to Wisconsin — a 35-7 finish in Madison last season. NU’s quarterbacks combined for four interceptions and zero touchdowns on the day. In fact, only CB A.J. Hampton found the end-zone that Saturday, courtesy of a Badger fumble in the fourth quarter.

Northwestern’s traditional purple helmet used to feature a black facemask until Pat Fitzgerald opted to make the permanent switch to a white one in 2021. A win against Wisconsin and a narrow loss to Ohio State in 2020, in which the ‘Cats tried out the facemask-helmet medley for the first time since 1990, could’ve sparked the lasting change.

Saturday at 2:30 p.m. CT on Fox Sports, the ‘Cats look to break their eight-game losing streak against a Minnesota team that boasts a 6-3 record. If history is any suggestion, NU certainly won’t be doing themselves any extra favors wearing the purple-on-white-on-white threads.