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The Alamo Bowl and a Chance for Greatness

This year’s edition of Wildcat Football will be remembered as both a (pleasant) surprise and an excellent season. They are on the threshold of greatness - winning the Alamo Bowl gets them there.
Bowl appearances by NU are rare. Wins are rarer still. This team has been compared to the great teams of the past, especially the ones of 1962 and 1995. This team could become the team against which all others are compared by defeating Missouri and gaining NU’s second ever bowl win.
The Wildcats are roughly 13 point underdogs to the Tigers. (Completely predictable - Like I said in my previous column, NU could be playing the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople and still be underdogs.) Both teams were passed over by “higher” bowls and both were unhappy. It appears the Wildcats got over the snub and are working hard to do something historic. I think if Sutton returns it will further boost the ‘Cats.
So who wins? The 9-3 ‘Cats or the 9-4 Tigers? I think despite the point spread, the Wildcats will win simply because they want it more. Heart makes a difference. 9-3 at NU is considered a great achievement. 9-4 at Missouri (especially after their early high ranking) is considered a comedown. A quick touchdown or two plus an early defensive smackdown could break the Tigers. If the defense comes up with a couple of early turnovers, all the better. But NU can’t afford to gain a lead then lose focus and blow it in the 4th quarter - Missouri is way too good to take that chance. This will definitely take a full 60 minute effort by the whole team.
In the tradition of bowl games, let’s see a trick play or two. I’m betting that Missouri will try at least one fake field goal and/or punt. PLEASE NU Defense - Don’t let it succeed. And let’s see a backfield that has both Bacher *and* Kafka at least once.
Finally, it has been a pleasure to see and hear NU football players being interviewed this year. They do a great job representing the university. I’m sure that every football player dreams of going to the pros. The reality is that a tiny fraction actually make it. That means that the vast majority have to go out and earn money via their academic prowess. The NU athletes (and that means all sports - men and women) are well prepared to deal with the real world.
A big Shout Out! to the Northwestern University Marching Band. Keep it loud and make us proud!
Go ‘Cats!
BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)
PS: Enjoy the warmth down in Texas. :-)