Yes We Kain! Colter; Rushing “D” Lead ‘Cats to 24-17 Win (W/Updates)

Kain scramble vs BC

Updated: 9:50 pm et – Nothing like a double-whammy of a NU win and a loss for TTISB who was “upset” 23-20 by South Florida. Didn’t we call that right here? Just so you know NUHighlights was at the game and is now diligently editing the highlights. They’ll be up early in the morning. We’ll have it as a part of our Sunday Morning Sunrise edition, complete with an update on the Big Ten action and 2011 opponents and of course, our recruiting rivals. Keep the comments coming!

Before we jump in, obviously we’re all in celebration mode, but it is time once again to hit the celebration “mute” button. First, Teddy G. reported that Dan Persa will NOT play next week against Eastern Illinois in this report. Additionally, several reports have surfaced on twitter that Kain Colter, the star of the day, underwent “precautionary” X-rays for his leg after the game.   QB1c – be ready! Let’s get back to enjoying things before we sort out the MASH status.

For those of you new to being a ‘Cats fan, well, we tried to warn you. Northwestern (1-0)  outlasted BC (0-1)in a nailbiting 24-17 win at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, MA on Saturday afternoon.  The morning started with the news we had feared – Dan Persa would not dress – and the ball was placed in Kain Colter’s hands to carry us to victory. Boy, did he deliver.

This was a classic chess match in the match-up between two well-coached teams. The major question marks coming in to the game surrounded the ‘Cats front seven against a potent, yet diluted rushing game (ACC player of the year, Montel Harris was out) vs the questionable passing game of Kain Colter against a green secondary for BC.  Boy did those storylines get flip-flopped. On the very first carry of the game BC RB Andre Williams bounced to the outside and blitzed us for a 69-yard gain that thankfully Jordan Mabin saved from a TD – barely. Every single one of us thought “uh-oh, here we go again.” Yet, the ‘Cats “D” stepped up and held BC to a FG on a 1st and goal from the 3-yard line. 

I’m not sure about you, but I spent most of the first half screaming at my TV pleading for Mick McCall to test the BC secondary. Yet, Kain and the ‘Cats ran a full dose of the zone read option and the message was clear – slowly build Kain’s confidence and manage the game. After a clear miscommunication led to a Luke Kuelchy INT that set-up an easy BC TD the ‘Cats were in trouble. Big trouble. Then, mirroring the 2010 Penn State game in the reverse, Northwestern went up tempo and Kain finally got the green light to hit the under routes. Boy, did he ever. Colter put together a phenomenal 80-yard TD drive hitting a myriad of receivers and capped things off with a sick TD run that left All-American Kuechly with his ankles twizzled. The ‘Cats went in to halftime 10-10 with a ton of momentum.

Unlike traditional Fitz teams, NU came OUT of the gates on fire in the second half. It was like a TIVO rewind of the final drive and the 80-yard drive was brilliant as Mike Trumpy capped off the drive with a nifty, shifty 5-yard TD run. The ‘Cats would take command of the game and the strategy was clear as day – stop the run game and make Rettig beat us in the air. Both almost happened. The ‘Cats put up another TD as Colter continued his brilliance making absolute money throws on key third down plays to keep the drive alive. Colter’s hit a money strike by stepping up in teh pocket to drill Jeremy Ebert for a big gain. Then, later in the drive, Colter threw a beautiful pass to Christian Jones who made an “OMG” catch and injured himself in the process. Adonis Smith broke things open on the option pitch and he went untouched in front of a sea of purple to make it 24-10.  There was 9:24 left in the game. We Cardiac Cat club members knew there would be a chance to put this game away, or, settle back in to conservative play calling and find the game down to the final snap. I literally stopped the TV, turned to my wife and said, this game will come down to the very final play. I hate when I’m right. Thankfully I was wrong on the final score and I’ve never been happier to be so wrong. Northwestern had multiple chances to put the game away, but couldn’t. Granted, the refs gave BC QB Chase Rettig a GIFT on a clear penalty of passing past the line of scrimmage, but we had stuffed the run game. We were saying beat us in the air. Chase Retting said “OK” and put the hurt on Jeravin Matthews as they iso-ed the 6-6 Momah all day, until he got hurt.  BC closed to within 7 with a way-too-much-time 6 minutes left. Northwestern put together a drive and found themselves in go in to the shell mode and had a 4th and 1. For the second time of the day, the play call was poor and the execution awful as Colter went read option and got crushed.  BC’s final drive was like so many we’ve seen before. A dink and dunk to get to our red zone.  There was catch after catch and with :14 left and BC in the red zone, they got the most crucial 5-yard penalty I can remember an NU opponent getting. Thanks to the new rule, the BC false start led to a loss of :10 of game time. The final play saw Chase Rettig roll out to his right for a “TD or its over” play and Vince Browne, held in check all day by BC, saved his first real big play for the best time as he crumpled Chase Rettig like a Yugo on the final play. Rettig writhed in pain and NU celebrated in muted fashion as the opposing QB was clearly hurt seriously. 

No matter how you slice this, this is a HUGE win. As I said all week, a win with a back-up QB on this type of stage says quite a bit about our program. You take a Heisman candidate off any roster and you see what happens. Just ask Auburn, who had to rely on a miracle onside kick to save an embarassing loss against Utah State. Kain Colter was a stud today. The psychological blow that the NU team suffered when #7 wasn’t in action last year wasn’t prevelant today, regardless of the fact the Persa announcement was relatively recent. We now all become the biggest BC fans that aren’t BC fans out there to help substantiate this win. 

The #1 rush defense in America got torched for 227 rushing yards (54 att).  They gave up an ACC best 309 ypg last year and we had that by the first drive of the third quarter and put 424 yards on the board. Granted, our much-maligned defense had a poor day statistically. We made Chase Rettig look like the Heisman candidate (OK, that’s a big exaggeration) by coughing up 375 yards passing, but it was part of the big picture strategy of goading them to pass and stopping the run. The rush defense was absolutely lights out AFTER the first play of the game. Andre Williams put up 69 yards rushing on the first play, yet NU locked up the Eagles for a grand TOTAL of 35 yards rushing the rest of the game.

Congratulations to the Wildcats players, coaches and staff. What a great win for the program and a launching pad for positive things for 2011! I can only imagine what Dan Persa would’ve done against that pass defense. Talk about a Heisman stat pad game! Kudos to him for being on the headset and clearly being a winner by providing leadership and apparently light moments in stressful times on the sideline. It was quite a contrast to what Tyrell did at Ohio State in 2007.  Great job Dan!

The Great

Kain Colter – Thrust in to the unenviable position of having to step in to the shoes of Heisman candidate Dan Persa, Kain was a winner in every sense today. Check out his stat line – 17/24, 197 yds, 71 yds rushing (including sack yardage), 1 rush TD, 1 INT.  His late second quarter and first drive of the 3rd quarter showed the potential of what he and we could do in games to come if McCall lets him throw.

WR Blocking – To me, the untold story of the game was the collective stellar blocking by the WR corps. Demetrius Fields laid the hammer to spring Trumpy.  Jeremy Ebert sprung a huge hit on a big play.  With the lone exception of the hold by Rashad Lawrence which negated the first Adonis Smith TD, the WR unit was brilliant. It was a difference maker in the game. Congrats Dennis Springer!

Jeff Budzien – Odd, wasn’t it. After Budzien drilled a 43-yard 1st Qtr FG you had instant comfort in our placekicking game. Budzien was perfect on PATs which has been an Achilles heel issue for us in recent years.

Defensive Gameplan – It’s rare when you say that a team giving up 375 yards passing yards should get praised for a gameplan, but the ‘Cats silenced the critics of the front seven if you give them a mulligan for the first play of the season. A great strategy and even better execution. Well done Coach Hank.

Brandon Williams – Once again, an unsung hero as he was so clutch. Williams averaged 45 ypp (five punts) and if the NU coverage team had paid better attention, he would’ve trapped BC at about the two on one punt. His punt before the final drive (58-yarder) was negated by a false start and was a costly penalty.

THE GOOD

NU’s RB By Committee – If you saw a statline that read 227 rushing yards on 54 carries with 3 TDs you’d be talking Heisman candidate when you consider it was done against the defending #1 RUSH DEFENSE IN THE COUNTRY. The fact it was done by the combination of Colter (71 yards, 3.1 ypc, 1 TD), Trumpy (85 yds/15 att, 1 TD), Smith (53 yds/11 att, 1 TD), Schmidt (11 yds, 3 att) and a cameo by true freshman Treyvon Green shouldn’t diminish the accomplishment. To me, Trumpy clearly separated himself as our go-to back. He didn’t look to good at the end of the game, I hope he’s OK.

Tyler Scott – What a force our new starting DE was! Scott’s motor was non-stop and he had so many plays that don’t show up on the stat sheet it’s hard to recall all of the good. Yes, he had a sack and yes he had a few hurries, but #97 was all over the place and Rettig knew it. What a drastic improvement in productivity from that slot.

NU Fan Support – The seats eventually filled in, for the most part, but the purple was out in full force. There were several third down

The purple was out in full force in Beantown. Our road travel continues to spike significantly!

situations where you could hear the Wildcat faithful that were in various pockets througout the stadium.  Both endzones were purple, but there was a noticeable tint of purple to offset the glaring yellow of the Superfans. Great job folks!

Discipline - NU has shored up the penalty-plagued ways of 2010 at least in week one. The line again had a few false starts and there was the lone holding call on Lawrence, but a great improvement overall in terms of limiting mental errors.

O-Line – Colter had plenty of time in the pocket and also had some indecisiveness that caused penetration against the line. I thought they played a good, but not great game. There were a few glaring oopsies.  The fact we can’t get the short yardage first downs by simply winning the trenches is disturbing, but no one is perfect in week one.

THE DISAPPOINTING

Killer Instinct -At some point, for us to get to the next level we will have to figure out how to learn to put teams away.  Our ability to hang around against ANY team is a great trait. Our inability to smell the blood and go for the kill is still an elusive trait. Let’s hope this is the year we develop it.

Offensive Playcalling – Again, sounds like I’m a curmudgeon here sour grapes-ing playcalling AFTER a victory. However, the ultraconservative approach to Colter passing in the first half was underscored by the last drive of the half. BC’s secondary was weak and gave cushion all day long and we were pretty worried about the pscyhe of our new starting QB. He proved he was ready. Also, the 4th and short calls and execution were just plain bad. I trust the staff regarding Schmidt and his fall camp, but Trumpy and Smith looked pretty darn good to me. I would’ve loved to have seen them earlier in the game.

Officiating on line of scrimmage/intentional grounding – when will ESPN create the tackle box line? Also, the line of scrimmage line, which does exist, did not get challenged by NU or the refs at all. There was a close call in the first half and also the 3rd and 18 completion by Rettig was clearly a penalty.  Ben Johnson was pleading a case and no one was listening.  I was stunned the NU staff wasn’t on the field complaining. Ever since the Iowa game last year, we really have to work to get a “in the grasp” call, no?

Stats To Stew On

Rushing – NU: 54 carries, 227 yds  BC: 30 carries, 104 yards

Passing – NU: 197 yds, 17/24 BC: 375 yds, 24/44

Total Yards: NU: 424 yds, BC: 475 yds

TOP: NU -28:58, BC – 31:02

Penalties: NU 4-26, BC – 5/47

3rd down: NU 6/15 BC 8/17

Game Ball: Kain Colter. What can you say? A maturation within the game itself and delivery of a huge victory to set the tone for the season. Congratulations Kain!

Quick Hits

  • With the win, Pat Fitzgerald (35-29) has tied Gary Barnett for third alltime for wins among Northwestern coaches.
  • Fitz is now 6-0 in season openers.

NU Highlights

As soon as I get them from NUHighlights we’ll post them right here. Check back tonight!!! So, what did we miss?

  • Wildcat86

    Great recap, LTP. I thought Trumpy and Kain played very well, but to me the difference was our D line. The penetration they got in the second half was something I hadn’t seen at all last year. Yes, our secondary needs to get better, but I will be very happy if we get D line play like that all year.

    Fitz’s post game interview is below. Glad to see him happy but also keying in on the things we need to fix.

    http://espn.go.com/blog/bigten/post?id=31916

    Great road win to start the year! Go cats,

  • Ryan

    Great game! My main disagreement would be with the offensive line being listed as “good.” I thought they were excellent today. The few times BC tried to bring linebacker pressure, the line did a great job communicating and the tackles were athletic enough to get to the outside and put a body on them. There were obviously some less than stellar plays (3rd down play inside our 5 yd line, for instance) but anytime you rush for 200 yds against one last year’s best run defenses in the nation, I’d say it was an excellent game.

  • zeek

    Can we get a shoutout for the special teams? That was some of the cleanest special teams play I’ve seen out of Northwestern in a while. Maybe I’ve gotten too used to not expecting much, but everything was clean out of our special teams units.

  • http://LakeThePosts DT

    @LTP-
    Think you are a bit tough on Coach Mick’s Game Plan.. Sure- went a bit conservative but apparent to me, the progression was sound and enabled Kain to get comfortable… As you know, I’ve certainly questioned his calls and approach previously but liked what I saw today… Still not sold on him as an OC, but the guy sure knows how to coach QB’s..

    Also, been saying it since 95, but when are we going to stop this prevent stuff at the end of games? I’m starting to think its cultural in the program to allow too much cushion down the stretch in our numerous close games… Drives me crazy at times… Man…

    Finally, great game by Minnesota today at SC… These guys are going to be tough under Jerry Kill… Good for The Ten to send one of our lesser teams to Tommy’s Backyard and give them a game… Were truly, in a situation to win it down the stretch…

  • Adam

    It feels great that football season is back. BC has me on edge until the end – what a fun game!

    Go Cats!

  • JimB

    Great recap LTP, but I’m curious what Tyler Scott would have need to do to get in the great category in your eyes! Not sure we win that game without him. He gets my game ball. Great to have an every down disruptive force on the D-line again (apologies Vince). If he stays healthy he’s going to be a BEAST.

    Colter was good but great might be overdoing it a bit. As noted, the O-line actually played a pretty good game but he was very skittish back there, and also made some not so great throws and reads. I give him 6 Persas (out of 10) for his arm, 6 Persas for his accuracy, 6 Persas for decision making, 10 Persas for his running and 8 Persas for grittiness and moxy. That’s 36 out of 50 Persas. Nice but not great. He needs to hit 40+ Persas before you can put him in the great category IMO.

    Can you imagine what a healthy Peras would have done in that game? 300+ yards in the air, 75 on the ground, 4 TDs and he probably would have saved a kid from choking during halftime. Let’s hope he’s back for Army!

  • Lord willie

    I will be the first to say it. Having been to last year’s Vandy game and the BC game, Cotler first starting assignment was better than Peras’ game last year. Additionally, it was against a much better team that will end up bowling this year. If Cotler can stay healthy, we will need to ride him for the rest of the year. Dan is not in game shape and just might not get there. I was really impressed with the fitness of the Cats vs the Eagles. Expect the same weather for the next two weeks and Cotler is in a much better position to start versus Peras for the BIG slate of games. WE might have to get use to Cotler behind center and he will have to learn how to check off on a second or third receiver before leaving the pocket.

  • Doug

    @LTP
    1) We won, and thats great, but I’m surprised you didn’t bring up the issue of 3rd down defense. Time after time in the second half, we stopped them on 1st and 2nd down, or even backed them up and created 3rd and 11 and 3rd and 18, and then failed to stop them one more time and get off the field. That was certainly the reason they scored their second touchdown. Worse though, its frightening because BC isn’t really a passing team, and also isn’t really an offensive team, and we couldn’t stop them and maintain momentum, which says to me that this is the same old cats’ D that we’ve watched since 2001. 3rd down defense belongs in the “ugly” category, and I’m still very worried about the D this season.

    @All
    Anyone know why we burned the freshman RB’s (Treyvon Green) redshirt? Seems unnecesssary with 3 RBs in the rotation and Tyris Jones on the field once or twice as well…

    Finally my thoughts on Persa — if he was projected as the starter, and then things took a turn the wrong direction, that means that he’s had a relapse in his rehab. Basically, he probably did too much too soon, and its caused irritation/swelling/some other problem. This seems benign enough, but it could take weeks to recover from that and then regain whatever strength was lost while the leg was rested and allowed to calm down. So here’s to his health, and lets not expect him before Illinois. (No, I’m not an expert — just been around a lot of injuries, including my own (not achilles)).

    GO ‘CATS!

  • wildcat6

    With Northern Illinois destroying Army 35-6 at half, maybe the NU coaching staff should consider saving Persa for the Illinois game on Oct. 2nd. That would give him 4 more weeks to heal, and we might well be 3-0 heading into that game.

  • http://aol.com countryboy

    I am very happy about the win. I have 2 concerns about what we did in this game. Coach Hank has to stop calling the 3 man rush in long down and distance situations. All that does is give the opposing quarterback time to pick apart our zone coverage. I yelled at the tv every time we went to a 3 man d line. It’s a prevent victory defense. We were getting decent pressure with a 4 man rush. Second concern is that Mathews looks like easy pickings at cornerback. He needs to be coached up on looking for the ball and breaking on it.

  • Lake The Posts

    @all – thanks for your candid and thorough defense. This is one of the many things I love about the community – great insights, not afraid to challenge our opinions and always pointing out an angle or approach I hadn’t thought of or may have slipped on remembering.

    @countryboy – agreed, actually meant to put it in disappointing. Dropping 7, 8 in to coverage and hoping a 3-man rush is going to do something in a pass situation is wishful thinking. We got to Rettig when we brought pressure. Indeed Jeravin had a tough day, no other way about it.

    re: Colter “Great” vs “Good” – it’s about context. Based on the first career start, the circumstances, the pressure, the prominence of BC’s rush “D”, it was great. You take that pick off the board and a few early nervous floaters and it was darn near perfect. Yes, Scott had a very solid game and could very well have deserved “great”. Budzien and Williams getting indiv. nods was essentially a “GREAT” for special teams.

    How bout Notre Dame – longest game ever? Brian Kelly is losing LOTS of fans with his childish behavior screaming at assistant coaches and mocking players. Who would YOU rather play for?

  • Ahmed

    @LTP: Agree with you about ND, Kelly’s behavior was embarrassing to watch. Glad we’re NU fans and not ND fans.

  • fitz29

    @LTP – I was thinking the same thing while watching the ND game. When Kelly got in his WRs face for an INT off his helmet b/c he wasn’t looking for the pass, all I could think about was how Fitz would handle it a differently. He would encourage the kid and tell him to ‘Flush It’ and move on and be ready for next time. I know Kelly is a great coach, but if I were a H.S. recruit and saw both games today, I would definitely prefer to play for a coach like Fitz who is pumping up the crowd, sprinting onto the field to call TO’s and encouraging and celebrating with his players throughout the game – not getting red in the face screaming at his assistant coaches and singling out players on national tv.

    Great, Great win today. I won’t add any detailed commentary, but I thought the kicking game was excellent all around today. I am really encouraged that the 3rd phase of our team, Special Teams, could be a strength/advantage for NU for at least the next 2-3 years with Brandon Williams, Jeff Budzien, and Venric Mark all being sophomores (granted Mark didn’t have many opportunities today).

    Nice to see Christian Jones make a couple of nice catches today. I am hopeful he’s going to be a big time WR in the years to come. Is it me, or he is so much bigger/stronger than any other underclassmen we ever play at the WR position?

  • Ahmed

    Does anyone have an update on Trumpy’s and Coulter’s health? Both were banged up at the end of the game.

  • James

    Older sister went to ND, so I’m unfortunately a fan (though they are a distant #2 to the ‘Cats). Tough game today, but this team is the most talented I’ve seen in a while at ND. I think they’ll recover and hopefully beat down those dirty Wolverines next week. B Kelly was slightly embarrassing, but he’s feeling the heat and his team played probably the worst you can play from a fundamental standpoint.
    As far as NU goes, HUGELY satisfying game. Had to seek out a TV at a random bar up in Maine here to watch by myself, and I’m sure glad I did. I ended up sitting next to a surprisingly nice BC grad couple towards the end of the game, so my celebration was slightly muted, but it was great nonetheless. Though I was a little uneasy towards the end, after that Colter 80 yard drive I did not think we would lose this game. Our defense was buckling down and Colter had (and hopefully maintains) the confidence he needed. Anyway, on to the next one! GO CATS!

  • NUmanager

    @LTP – Totally agree about the WR blocking. That’s the stuff that will hopefully lead to huge chunks of yardage all year.

  • Old Fat Bald Alum

    I have to disagree with you about Rettig looking good, LTP. Yards, yes, he had a lot. Poise, not so much. If there was pressure before he was ready to throw, he was done — on most of the sacks it was clear he was going down three or four seconds before anybody got to him. He had two obvious grounding calls, one of which was ignored, and I think you’re right about crossing the line of scrimmage near the end. On the last play, how do you not get rid of the ball? What are you waiting for? Nobody is going to be open in the end zone in that situation. You just have to throw it.

    It’s a really good win under the circumstances. But my point is, before we get too excited about the defense, NU will face several vastly superior QBs. The coverage has got to be better.

  • David

    “Lord willie Says:
    September 3rd, 2011 at 7:18 pm
    I will be the first to say it. Having been to last year’s Vandy game and the BC game, Cotler first starting assignment was better than Peras’ game last year. Additionally, it was against a much better team that will end up bowling this year.”

    I have to question Lord Willies assertion that Colter’s game today was better than Persa’s game against Vandy. Persa was 19-21 with 3 TDs, 0 Ints. He also ran 17 times for 82 yards. He had more TDs than incompletions. A 90.4% completion percentage does not suck either.
    Colter was 17-24, 0 TDs and 1 costly Int, He rushed 21 times for 71 yards and a TD. I will grant you that BC is better than Vandy. But…I am not sure your statement is accurate.
    That said, I am thrilled with Colter’s performance. He is clearly the heir apparent at the QB spot…and the future looks bright.

  • Wildcat86

    @James: are you seriously defending Kelly’s actions? I don’t care how badly a Fitz coached team played, he’d NEVER show up his players in that manner. That was pathetic. I hope the Wolverines CRUSH TTFSB next weekend; obviously don’t love U Mich, but over That Team From South Bend, GO B1G!!!!

  • nuftw

    Re: playcalling on 4th down

    As near as I can tell, one of the plays was a dive up the middle and one seemed like it was supposed to be an option to the outside but was messed up by penetration. What would you have called?

  • Brad

    I have to generally echo all the positive points already made about today’s game. (It’s impossible to express how excited I am at the promise of a reliable kicking game.)

    As much as I don’t want to admit it, both the 3rd and 18 Rettig pass that went for ~26 yards and an earlier play that looked close were correct no-calls. I replayed them both a few times when they occurred and also just found the real NCAA rule about illegal forward passes beyond the LOS. Evidently, the QB’s entire body has to be beyond the NZ when the ball is released. (I think this rule has changed in the past few years to be more in line with the NFL rule.) Maybe LTP is referring to a different play, but I know at least Rettig’s leg was behind ESPN’s line of scrimmage even though the ball was well beyond the line. Still, the no-call intentional grounding in the first half should have been a penalty, imo.

    Still a quality win for the ‘Cats, and, I hope, a sign of things coming together for the season.

  • Alaskawildcat

    The comparison with Notre Dame is also noteworthy in that both BC and ND had more yards than the victors. I was surprised to see that BC also had a greater time of possession as it seemed like Colter and company did a great job keeping the offense on the field so our defense did not get tired. In retrospect what was most impressive was how all three phases of the game were played equally well so that a temporary lapse by the offense or defense did not become compounded.

  • NU Cat ’95

    One etiquette note for the Cats (since I hope they’ll likely need it a few times this year): When winning a game on the road, feel free to go salute your fans and sing the fight song after a win. But wait until your host team finishes singing its alma mater first.

  • Jimgocats93

    @LTP
    Good call on the passes beyond the line of scrimmage. First one lead to a BC score. On the second one I think my neighbors called the police for rear someone had been killed in the family room.
    Deferring on the coin toss proved prophetic: best use of a first half closing score along with a momentum carrying scoring drive to open the second half. Go Fitz!
    Plus no one mentioned our good fortune with BC missing two field goals.
    Loved it and really glad we are back in action! But man alive, when will we put someone away!!!!
    Persa by Army? But definitely by Illinois.

    gocatsgo!

    gocatsgo

  • JM

    Looking at the schedule, I’d wager we see Persa versus Illinois. The two-week gap after Army would be the ideal time to work him in, and it keeps the Illini guessing about what he can and can’t do going into a big game.

    Very good performance overall. Two concerns goi g forward: first, we still can’t get a yard when we need it, and second, Matthews was picked on a lot and that’s probably something we should get used to.

  • James

    @wildcat86 Ok….clearly you strongly dislike ND and your view of the events is going to be skewed more negatively. I said it was embarrassing, and I’m sure he’ll answer for it and tone it down, but this is not some unforgivable offense. I realize I’m in the minority, as most here seem to despise ND and will look for any reason to lash out at them so that’s fine. I’ll just repeat that unlike years past (basically the last decade), I do not think they are overrated this year and I think they’ll come back from this loss and surprise some people. Michigan will be a very interesting game. We’ll certainly get a better gauge of what both teams (and more importantly for us, Mich) are made of. The idea of Denard Robinson running around on the ‘cats linebackers is sort of terrifying to me right now. That to me will be the true statement game for us, if we manage to devise a game plan to successful shut him down or at least contain him during that glorious night game. Obviously getting ahead of myself here, but if we come out on top that night and are 5-0?? Sky is the limit.

  • Lake The Posts

    @Brad – thanks for sane, rationale anaylsis on the further review. I wasn’t aware that it is the full body has to be across for it to be a penalty. That actually seems unfair. Also, makes it nearly impossible to call well. I actually did think his entire body was across on 3rd and 18 but will go back and review as well.

    As for ND, my current hometown of Lake Bluff (Lake Forest HS) has me rooting very much for former LFHS Scout QB, Tommy Rees. It is weird to find myself pulling for an ND team, but once I saw Kelly’s histrionics I was easily grounded back to my normal ways. One outburst at a player is understandable – sometimes it is even appropriate (ie. personal misconduct penalty), but the volume of his point the finger, not the thumb mentality was really disturbing. If you look at ND’s schedule it’s hard to see getting past 7 wins, but yet, no one will call them out for their schedule. ND has Big Ten month ahead with @Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue plus USC, Maryland, BC, Navy, Stanford with likely wins over Wake, Pitt and Air Force. Got a great stat on this coming up.

  • timc

    Just wondering if everyone is expecting Persa to come back, whenever that might be, as a complete game starter. I would expect some rust-speed, timing, tentativeness. It’s a blessing that we can ease him in with Colter, and his growing confidence.

    Also want to echo the alarm about Matthews. OC’s will be all over this game film and throwing his way. He just looks like he’s really lost out there. No idea where the ball is.

  • J.R.

    My prediction is that Persa won’t be back until the Illinois game. Kain was about what I expected after a full off-season. However, his arm strength is not nearly as good as Persa’s. I wonder if he WRs will have to adjust to that once Persa is back on the field. The ball will come out a lot faster and harder with Danny throwing.

    Regarding the BC game — why oh why do we try to rush three on 3rd down and long? The ONLY time that was effective was the last play of the game. I can understand if we line up with three down linemen and then throw in a zone blitz, but I don’t remember any time when that was tried.

    Frustrating win, but I’ll take it.

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West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Northwestern0000
Wisconsin0000
Minnesota0000
Nebraska0000
Purdue0000
Iowa0000
Illinois0000

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Indiana0000
Maryland0000
Michigan0000
Michigan State0000
Ohio State0000
Penn State0000
Rutgers0000