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Wildcats Fry Rice, Shoot Down Owls

Bowling for Rice

By shooting up the Owl’s aerial defenses (including a 90+ yard TD pass - the second longest in Wildcat history) the Wildcats evened up their season 5-5. Not only did Northwestern win, but the 28-6 margin beat the point spread. Only one more win is needed to qualify for a bowl; but two are needed to assure a postseason.

I’d feel a lot more comfortable with two more wins…

So reviewing the last week’s prognostications, the closest scenario was “The Good”:

The Good:

The Rice Owls fly into Evanston to take on the Wildcats. It is warm for November, meaning that the temperature isn’t below freezing immediately after nightfall. Kickoff is at 1100, with a relatively warm, sunny, breezy day.

The Owls are desperate for a win to keep themselves in possible bowl contention. The Wildcats are focused on getting another win to even their season at 5-5. Fans on both sides note that this game is like a bowl to see who gets to go to a bowl.

Coming out a little flat, the Wildcats allow the Owls to strike first. Coach Fitz is none too pleased and lets his players know it. Within minutes, the Wildcats even it up and start to truly awaken. At the half, Northwestern goes to the lockers with a two touchdown lead.

Going into the third quarter, the Wildcats really kick it into high gear and quickly pull away from the Owls. The subs start coming in once the Cats achieve a three score lead. Rice scores the occasional TD/FG, but the Wildcats just bury them, keeping the three score cushion. The game ends with Northwestern grinding out a drive near the end of the fourth quarter, deciding to be merciful and not run up the score.

Final Score: Wildcats 38 - Owls 20. Northwestern evens up their season and seems poised to hit the critical 6 win mark against the Gophers.

Wow - the Wildcats actually beat Rice more that I thought possible. (Projected best case: 18 points. Actual: 22 points.) Most encouragingly, the Wildcat defense held the Owls to only 6 points - which were scored against NU’s subs with little time left in the game. It marked the third straight win, and the second straight really good defensive game. The win squared up Northwestern’s season and put them one game away from bowl eligibility - but still two wins away from bowl assurance.

I want two wins, but the Wildcats must first take care of business by doing a little Gopher hunting to get to that all important sixth win.

That preview is to follow.

Go Cats!

BJ Mitchell (Former NUMB Spirit Leader)
Twitter: @nuspiritleader.


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