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Minnesota Post Mortem and Purdue Look Ahead

First, let’s dispose of the obvious issue - the Wildcat loss to the Gophers. Both teams played with spirit. It was the kind of tough football for which the Big Ten is famous. So what were the deciding issues?

There were two critical turnovers, each near the end of the halves. They made a difference of anywhere from 7 (the late Minnesota touchdown) to 21 points (take away the late MN touchdown and add two potential Wildcat TDs). But even more basic than that was the line play on both sides of the ball - the Wildcat D-line didn’t quite get it done and the O-line could have provided a bit better protection for the QB.

But I’m stating the obvious - what’s done is done.

Looking ahead to the Purdue Boilermakers, the Cats can win this and get their season back on track. A lot of the ‘Cat’s chances hinge on their line play. They are playing against the Big Ten’s worst defense. Hopefully that will aid the offensive line and give Kafka more protection. That should lead to fewer turnovers and more points.

On the defensive side of the line, NU has seemed just short of hitting on all cylinders. It’s almost as if there is a tentativeness that is keeping the Wildcats from taking their play up to the level needed to finish near the front of the Big Ten.

This game is really important for the Wildcats. If they can win this in a convincing fashion, it may give the team the confidence to kick their game up to the level needed to finish in the upper half of the Big Ten race. Even if they just barely win, they get a chance to regain their collective balance. A loss would be devastating.

The latest line that I can find online gives the Boilermakers a 7 point advantage. I think the Wildcats will win this one and stun everyone.

Go ‘Cats!

PS: Purdue has the “World’s Largest Bass Drum” and the Purdue Locomotive. When I was in NUMB, I helped “borrow” both when they visited NU. In each case the borrowed item was run onto the field, much to the amusement of the NU partisan crowd. The Locomotive was especially fun to drive out - we used it to chase the Boilermaker football team around a bit. In both instances, NU was flagged for “Unsportsman-like Conduct” with the resultant 15 yard penalty. (Trust me, it didn’t make a difference back then.) BTW, I was also involved in two other 15 yard penalties during my four years at NU. I think that may give me the NCAA record for most penalties (number and yardage) accessed against a non-football player.

Go U NU!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)



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