Purdue takes no-margin-for-error pursuit of bowl eligibility to 1-7 Northwestern

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EVANSTON, Ill. — As poorly as the season is going for Northwestern, coach Pat Fitzgerald is sure of this: The Wildcats will get back to winning.
He hopes to use the final stretch as a springboard and snap a six-game losing streak when they host Purdue on Saturday.
“I have 1 million percent confidence we’ll get back on the winning track,” Fitzgerald said, citing the team’s work ethic in practice and in the classroom. “We’ll get this thing turned around. I’ve got a track record of winning football games here, kicking (butt) and taking names.”
With a 97-77 record in 14 seasons, Fitzgerald has nearly twice as many victories as any other Northwestern coach. Pappy Waldorf is second with 49 from 1935-46. Fitzgerald has led the Wildcats (1-7, 0-6 Big Ten) to nine bowl games, winning four, and a spot in the Big Ten championship last season.
What he hasn’t done is endure many seasons like this.
The six-game slide since beating UNLV in September is Northwestern’s longest since dropping seven in a row in 2013. The Wildcats have seven losses for the first time since going 5-7 for the second straight year in 2014. They haven’t lost e

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