Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats bench react after scoring a touchdown.

Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports

40% Of NW's Undergrads Going To Big Ten Title

Northwestern will face Ohio State or Michigan on Dec. 1.

November 15, 2018 - 10:58 am

(670 The Score) Northwestern clinched the Big Ten West with a win at Iowa on Saturday, which in turn earned the program its first trip to the Big Ten Championship Game.

When the Wildcats take the field with the conference title at stake at Lucas Oil Stadium on Dec. 1, they'll have plenty of support from their students.

More than 40 percent of the school's undergraduate population has signed up to claim free tickets and attend the game, school officials said Wednesday. The school will also provide free transportation with more than 50 buses making the trip to Indianapolis. The cost was covered by an anonymous donor, and the school has given out more than 3,400 tickets, it said.

"This is a tremendous opportunity for coach (Pat) Fitzgerald and our football program, but also for our entire university community," athletic director Jim Phillips said in a statement. "We are eternally grateful to the donor who stepped forward to generously support this trip for our students. Athletics provides a gathering place for Wildcats from all over the world, whether on campus, at a bowl game or next month at Lucas Oil Stadium."

Northwestern has had an odd season, losing all three of its non-conference games, including one to Akron. The Wildcats have gone 6-1 in Big Ten play, and their 14-10 victory against the Hawkeyes on Saturday gave them a two-game lead over the Wisconsin Badgers and Purdue Boilermakers in the Big Ten West with two conference games left. Northwestern holds the tiebreaker over both by virtue of head-to-head wins.

Northwestern will face Michigan or Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game. If Ohio State wins at Maryland on this Saturday, the winner of the Buckeyes-Wolverines game on Nov. 24 will decide the Big Ten East winner.