Northwestern returning to Texas in Meineke Car Care Bowl
By Tina Akouris firstname.lastname@example.org December 4, 2011 9:08PM
Northwestern cornerback Jordan Mabin will miss the Meineke Car Care Bowl with what is believed to be a shoulder injury. | Sharon Ellman~AP
Updated: January 6, 2012 8:19AM
The great news for Northwestern is that it’s playing Texas A&M in the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 31 at Reliant Stadium in Houston.
But the devastating news is that senior cornerback Jordan Mabin suffered a season-ending “upper extremity” injury in the Wildcats’ 31-17 loss to Michigan State on Nov. 26. Coach Pat Fitzgerald said Sunday that Mabin had surgery after the regular season but would not disclose the injury. After the Michigan State game, team officials said Mabin suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter.
“Jordan leaves big shoes to fill,” said safety Brian Peters, who has a broken left hand. “He went through four years completely unharmed.”
The bid to a Big Ten-affiliated bowl — and not to an at-large bowl — caps a strong end to a season that didn’t live up to expectations. The Wildcats finished 6-6 but endured a five-game losing streak.
Quarterback Dan Persa is excited to finally play in a bowl. He missed the TicketCity Bowl in Dallas last season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
“It means a lot with what happened last year, and I’m looking forward to it,” Persa said. “I was there for the other [bowl] games, so I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. I still have some lingering stuff, but I have about a month to get those things out of my system.”
Texas A&M (6-6) fired coach Mike Sherman on Thursday. Sherman had three years left on his contract, and the school bought him out for $5.8 million. Tim DeRuyter is the Aggies’ interim coach.