Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Outback Bowl scouting report: Auburn Tigers vs. Northwestern Wildcats

In this SEC-Big Ten matchup, the bid by Northwestern (8-4) to win a bowl game for the first time in six decades is an intriguing story line. The Wildcats are 1-6 all time in the postseason, winning the 1949 Rose Bowl. This Northwestern group believes it can break that slump, but Auburn (7-5), whichhas as much speed and athleticism as the Wildcats have seen, enters having last played unbeaten Alabama toe-to-toe before losing late. Historically, Auburn has been one of college football's best bowl teams, going 19-13-2.

What to watch for ...

Northwestern's pass-happy offense, which averages 25.2 points per game, is led by QB Mike Kafka, who ranks second in the Big Ten in total offense (263.6 yards). His top targets, Andrew Brewer and Zeke Markshausen, have combined for nearly 1,600 receiving yards. Although the Wildcats have no player with more than 300 rushing yards, Northwestern often turns to the ground game — and Arby Fields (five TDs) — in the red zone. Auburn DE Antonio Coleman (23.5 career sacks) is among the nation's elite linemen.

Keith Niebuhr, Times staff writer

Auburn vs. Northwestern

Outback Bowl scouting report: Auburn Tigers vs. Northwestern Wildcats 12/31/09 [Last modified: Thursday, December 31, 2009 5:30pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. After offseason of work hard, play hard, DeSean Jackson ready to produce for Bucs


    TAMPA — There's no telling what DeSean Jackson will do once he gets a football in his hands. Perhaps that's why a camera crew followed his every move Wednesday while the Bucs' new $30 million receiver stood on a step of the hot tub that empties into a spacious, azure pool at his new, sprawling five-bedroom home in …

    DeSean Jackson jokes around with girlfriend Kayla Phillips at their Tampa home as a crew from HBO’s Hard Knocks documents their day.
  2. Rays journal: Jake Odorizzi goes on 10-day DL with back strain

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — RHP Jake Odorizzi is hoping his struggles this season can be tied directly to the lower-back strain he has tried to pitch through since spring training. Toward that end, the Rays placed Odorizzi on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday retroactive to Tuesday.

    Rays center fielder Mallex Smith smiles after hitting a single advancing runners in the third inning. [CHRIS URSO   |   Times]
  3. Playoff chase heats up for Rays with key series at Yankees up first (w/ video)

    The Heater


    It was important that Evan Longoria crushed a two-run homer in the sixth inning Wednesday and Steven Souza Jr. blasted a solo shot off the farthest catwalk an inning later.

    Adeiny Hechavarria (11) and Tim Beckham (1) celebrate the double play to end the top of the sixth inning. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  4. Rays at Yankees, 7:05 p.m. Thursday, New York

    The Heater

    Tonight: at Yankees

    7:05, Yankee Stadium, New York

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer (22) throwing in the first inning of the game between the Texas Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Saturday, July 22, 2017.
  5. Roger Mooney's takeaways from Wednesday's Rays-Orioles game

    The Heater

    It is going to get interesting tonight when the Rays begin a four-game series against the Yankees in New York. The Rays feel they are good enough to win the East Division. These next four games and the four that follow in Houston will be a good measuring stick.