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A Victory and a Preview

Okay...my work is easing up a bit and I can get back to blogging Northwestern Football.

BTW, if there are any NU Football fans that want to pay me to write full time instead of doing my “day job,” that will be 6k$ per week. Minimum. Or you can buy my time for 2k$ a day.

...waiting…

Yeah, I didn’t think so.

Anyway…So let’s get to the game.


Yay Us! A Victory! Wildcats Blow Out Hoosiers

This game turned out to be better than The Good - for Northwestern. Looking at the scenario analysis:

The Good:

The Wildcats are visiting Indiana; a team even more snakebit than NU. A loss almost totally extinguishes hopes for the Wildcats to make their record fourth straight bowl appearance.

Both teams come out somewhat tentative. But NU quickly establishes momentum and by halftime they hold a 10 point lead.

The Northwestern faithful again hold their breath - fearing the worst...another 2nd half collapse. In the previous losses, the eventual victors adjusted to the Wildcat attack/defense and finished out the game by gaining the upper hand.

However, this time something goes right. The Wildcats adjust to their opponent's adjustments, tweaking both offense and defense to stay just ahead of the Hoosiers. Suddenly, a fourth straight bowl seems a little less improbable.

Final Score: Wildcats 38 - Hoosiers 24. The Wildcats celebrate a critical victory and have hope going forward into Nebraska week.
Actually, this wasn’t just a game for Indiana - it was their Homecoming. (I am so tired of NU being scheduled for other teams’ Homecoming games. It seems so...disrespectful to be schedule for more than one opponent Homecoming game per season. But I digress...)


I’m glad to say that NU totally ruined the Hoosier’s Homecoming. The Hoosier’s got blown out 59 - 38 by the Wildcats. And frankly, it wasn’t even *that* close. NU ground out the clock rather than score another time...or three. I really think Northwestern could have hung 70 on Indiana but decided to do the classy thing and run out the clock vice continue to score pretty much at will.

As an aside, I got to listen to the game over XM Radio while driving in a Nor’easter. It was the Indiana “version” of the game with Indiana announcers. Very different take on NU when you get to hear the adversary doing the talking.

First, kudos to the Indiana announcers and the Hoosier fans - they showed a lot of grace, sportsmanship, and humor during the game. They noted that NU was totally superior to their team and that Indiana was building for the future. The announcers were especially impressed with the Wildcat offense and the great players such as Dunsmore, Persa, Colter, and Ebert. It was also noted that Northwestern could have score more points.

The flip side - it was very apparent to the partisan announcers that NU’s defense was lackluster. Indiana scored a bunch of points. However Northwestern’s D got a couple more breaks than Indiana’s D and that was the difference in the game.

So let’s run with the theme of “defensive breaks” as we do The Good, The Bad, and The Probable with Nebraska.


The Good:

The proper purple NU visits the UNL, otherwise known as the wrong Red NU. Nebraska figures that this is a “sure” win and opens a little flat and lackadaisical. The Wildcats get a couple of turnovers and the high powered offense is operating on all cylinders. Nebraska finds out the hard way that Northwestern is having a bad season but is a decent team. By halftime the Cornhuskers feel like they’ve woken to a bad dream as they find themselves down by 7. Coach Pellini is beyond livid.

The second half opens with Nebraska down. Northwestern wisely keeps the pedal floored and praying for more defensive breakdowns…

...And the ball continues to literally bounce NU’s way. It becomes like “basketball on grass,” or whatever turf Nebraska has. The game is widely featured on football clip reviews of the day - especially since the fake red NU gets embarrassed by Northwestern.

Final Score: Wildcats 48 - Cornhuskers 42. Nebraska bloggers take to the Interwebs to proclaim the Apocalypse. Northwestern’s bowl prospects look decidedly better than the 4-5 record would indicate.


The Bad:

The proper purple NU visits the UNL, otherwise known as the wrong Red NU. Nebraska figures that this is a “sure” win and opens a little flat and lackadaisical. The Wildcats hold their own the 1st Quarter. Nebraska finds out the hard way that Northwestern is having a bad season but is a decent team. By halftime the Cornhuskers feel like they might have underestimated the Wildcats just little as they lead by only 7 instead of 28. Coach Pellini is beyond livid.

The second half opens with Nebraska angry. It becomes obvious that they have made some adjustments on bother sides of the ball. Northwestern gets tripped up a couple of times as Nebraska starts to shake off the fog...

...And the ball starts to literally bounce Nebraska’s way. It becomes a slaughter as the Cornhuskers try to make a “statement” by leaving their offensive starters in until near the end. As the points pile up, the Wildcats deflate even more, which fuels a vicious cycle.

Final Score: Purple NU 24 - Red NU 51. Nebraska bloggers take to the Interwebs to crow about going to the inaugural B1G Championship Game and the Rose Bowl. Northwestern’s bowl prospects hang on winning three straight to finish the season and then hope for a break.


The Probable:

The proper purple NU visits the UNL, otherwise known as the wrong Red NU. Nebraska figures that this is a “sure” win and opens a little flat and lackadaisical. The Wildcats hold their own. Nebraska finds out the hard way that Northwestern is having a bad season but is a decent team. By halftime the Cornhuskers feel like they might have underestimated the Wildcats just little as they lead by only 7 instead of 28. Coach Pellini is beyond livid.

The second half opens with Nebraska angry. It becomes obvious that they have made some adjustments on bother sides of the ball. Northwestern gets tripped up a couple of times as Nebraska starts to shake off the fog...

...but Northwestern continues to hang with the Cornhuskers. Nebraska gradually takes control of the game, but Northwestern doesn’t collapse. Nonetheless, the Cornhusker onslaught is just too much, especially for a defense that is still trying to figure out how to play consistently.

Final Score: Northwestern 31 - Nebraska 45. Nebraska bloggers take to the Interwebs to crow about going to the inaugural B1G Championship Game and the Rose Bowl. Northwestern’s bowl prospects hang on winning three straight to finish the season and then hope for a break.


Oh Yeah...

I have to recount an Epic Fail from the 2000 Alamo Bowl where Northwestern played Nebraska. (No I’m not talking about the final score.) Someone interviewed a Nebraska fan about comparing the academics between Nebraska and Northwestern. Said fan bragged that Nebraska’s academics were every bit as good as Northwestern’s academics, noting that “...Nebraska put the “N” in [k]Nowledge!”

It’s so funny when those sorts of things happen.


Looking Ahead...

Could we have *TWO* completely different college football authorities in a few years? I can imagine a situation in which the “traditional” NCAA Div-1/FBS league still exists with 32 to 64 fewer teams. There would be a “Super” League made up of the very top schools that really emphasize football uber alles. This Super League would essentially be a semi-pro farm system for the NFL. They would have a playoff for the “National Championship”(not counting the remaining NCAA football schools). More about this in a future column.

And what is going on with thug-athletes? Are some of today’s college football players feeling that “entitled?” Or was it always this crazy before ubiquitous news reporting? Also more in a future column.

Go Cats!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)
NUMBSpiritLeader@gmail.com
Twitter: #nuspiritleader.

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