We had our second epic fail of the season two weeks ago in Columbus. In fact, there should still be a tingling sensation in your butt after that bent-over-backwards-hair-pulled-hate-filled-grudge-fuck that Ohio State gave us. So...yeah. Not really much more to say there. We're 1 - 1 in the conference and still in control of our own destiny. As long as we "win out" like Bo says. Sweet. Some may feel that I'm building this game up, but I disagree. We're at the crossroads of our season. We have a great deal to prove on Saturday. A win (depending on how we win) means we can start looking forward to the ways Shoelace Robinson could dissect us like a frog in biology class. Lose...and hold on for the ride, because the turbulence will be significant.
Talent wise, comparing Northwestern to Ohio State is like Ford to Ferrari...not close. But they are extremely well-coached and turn the ball over less than half as much as we do (Northwestern is +5 on the year, we're at -6). That's where this game is going to be settled boys and girls. We turn it over like we did two weeks ago, and we'll lose just as spectacularly, just not by as much. We don't...and we win by 10+ points.
October 20th, 2012 | 2:30 PM CT
Ryan Field | Evanston, IL
Announcers: Play-by-Play - Bob Wischusen (WHO?), Color Commentator - Danny Kanell (WHAT?)
Sideline Reporter - Maria Taylor (OK. At least I know who she is.)
NOTE: The B-Team, ladies and gentlemen. This is what happens when you get embarrassed in big games on the road.
Northwestern Wildcats Blog: Sippin' On Purple
ESPN B1G Blog: Huskers Confront 'Cats and Defensive Demons
Lincoln Journal Star: Red Report: Kaczenski Believes in Husker Scheme
Last Week: Defeated Minnesota Golden Gophers 21 - 13
Northwestern Wildcats Coaches and Personnel
Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald, 7th Season. Record: 6 - 1, (Overall 46 - 37)
Offensive Coordinator: Mick McCall
Defensive Coordinator: Mike Hankwitz
This is a very solid, experienced coaching staff and it would be scary to see what they could do with better talent. Coach Fitzgerald's teams are one word: scrappy as hell. Ok, so that was three words. He and his staff have this team off to their best start in years. Their staff out-coached us in Lincoln last year, and it's going to be a real chess match on Saturday between staffs. Well, as long as we're not playing checkers like last year, or two weeks ago.
QB -, JR. Last Week: 10 - 10, 63 Yds, 10 Carries, 26 Yds, 1 TD, 1 Reception, 4 Yds.
Kain Colter. Ho. Lee. Shit. You guys remember that one time when we went out to
Los Angeles Columbus to play UCLA Ohio State who had a mobile QB? Yeah of course you do. It's the same thing that happens nearly every time we play a team with a mobile QB. We lose. Mobile QB's are Bo's kryptonite, his anathema. Going back to his days at LSU and before, Bo's always had issues defending mobile QB's and Braxton Kain is one of the mobile-ist in all of football. (Yes, I used the "way-back" machine and copied and pasted that bit from two weeks ago here...)
It is quite possible we see a repeat of two weeks ago in this game. I believe that QB is the position where he can hurt us the most. I believe Fitz is smart enough to line this guy up at QB for 80% of the game with the ball in his hands, and let him make plays. I believe Kain is a better QB than Braxton Miller is, because he can throw the ball better (he can actually throw receivers open...what a concept) I believe that you WILL see us lose contain on him when they run him to the weak side on a counter play with a lead blocker, or when he reads our WDE in the read-option. OSU killed us with weak side runs all goddamn night, especially when they lined up in a Trips formation. If Coach Fitz has done his homework like a good boy, and there's no reason in hell to think he hasn't, Kain...will...make...plays. Prepare yourself folks.
RB - Venric Mark, JR. Last Week: 20 carries, 182 yds, 2 TDs.
Super midget. Seriously. Get this guy out in space, and he may be a helluva problem for us to tackle. He is going to see his share of carries too. I don't feel he's as big a threat as Colter is, but he'll gash us too if we focus too much on how to stop Colter.
DL - Tyler Scott, JR. Last Week: 8 Tkls, 6 Solo, 2 Asst, 2 TFL
First on the team in TFLs with 7.5. A player that is not necessarily spectacular on his own, but plays extremely well within their scheme. We will have to keep an eye out for him, especially if our OL plays as sloppy as it did in Columbus. I do expect him to be in our backfield on a few of our offensive plays.
LB - Chi Chi Ariguzo, SO. Last Week: 8 Tkls, 6 Solo, 2 Asst.
Second on the team in tackles, with 6.5 TFL on the year. Was their big defensive play-maker in four games this season. Another one to keep an eye on.