Attendance for the Syracuse game was 38,033, which is the second highest for a Northwestern home non-conference game since 1995 (the highest remains Duke in 1998 at 40,178).
The Wildcats opened as 35 point favorites over Western Michigan, which would be the most NU has been favored by since 1995 (the current holder is 32 points in 1996 versus Ohio; NU won that game by 21). The most NU has been favored by while covering the spread happened last year: NU's 36 point win over Illinois in which they were 19 point favorites.
This game marks the 17th consecutive game Northwestern will face an unranked foe, which is now by far the longest since 1995 (previous record of 8 games occurred in both 2006 and 2009).
Under Coach Fitz, NU is 16-3 (0.842) against schools from non-BCS AQ conferences, and 2 of those losses came during the first 4 games of his head coaching career in 2006. NU is 13-1 (0.929) in home games against non-BCS AQ conference teams, and is riding a 13 game winning streak against such teams during which they have defeated opponents by an average score of 30.0-12.2.
Northwestern is currently ranked 16th in the Coaches Poll, matching their highest ranking in that poll since 1996 (NU was 16th in last season's postseason ranking as well as in the Oct. 1, 2001 poll; the 'Cats were ranked 16th in the 1996 postseason poll).