Week 2 Wildcat Wrap: The Great, The Good & The Disappointing

NU 9 11 Flag on Field


Iowa gets shocked in 3 OT, Penn State gets blasted by Alabama and Jerry Kill’s health sent shockwaves across CFB. It was a tough day in the Big Ten all around, so a ho-hum 3 TD win over an FCS team isn’t all that bad in retrospect. However, we’re a long way from feeling good enough to beat Illinois, Michigan, or for that matter, Army.

As it relates to NU, we’re simply not deep enough to continue to sustain injuries. Kain Colter is getting way too close to getting injured, which we simply can’t afford and I’m a tad scared by this Sun-Times article discussing the fact he hurt his throwing shoulder (I saw him bleeding and getting  a cut attended to on the sideline). Adonis Smith sure looked like he was injured and with Persa, Trumpy, Dinardo, Ellis, Tony Jones and others already on the sideline, the dinged-up factor is way too high for two weeks in to the season. We’ll all be watching the injury report closely, although with the shroud of secrecy surrounding it, we may not know how thin we are until kickoff next week at Army. Let’s recap the game.

The Great:

NU Athletics &  9/11 Tribute – Does NU marketing get an A+ or what? The pregame ceremony today was as good as it gets for a non-soldout game. Throw in the challenge of 9/11 tributes and the difficult dance of mixing sport with paying tribute to our country’s most tragic moment in most of our lifetimes and you’ve got to hand it to NU. The “N” was an American flag version as was the “N” on the helmets and the band uniforms. It was classy and just felt right. The atmosphere for the pregame was pretty inspiring and when you throw in the high school band day element at half time it was downright stirring at times. Well done, NU.

Team Rushing – Call it conservative, call it vanilla, call it what you want. Northwestern posted its third consecutive rushing total of 200+ and even eclipsed the 300-yard mark with Kain Colter leading the way with 109 yds on the ground and three rushing TDs.  The ‘Cats RB by committee approach was successful, yet, with Trumpy sidelined due to a concussion and Adonis Smith getting injured today, our committee is getting much smaller.  The gameplan was pretty simple  – run it down Eastern Illinois’ throat. Misson accomplished.

Kain Colter in space – Yes, Colter is that important that elements of his game will find themselves in different categories.  However, when Kain Colter rushes and finds space he is simply brilliant. He HAS to learn to protect himself better as Eastern Illinois brought the lumber and Colter can’t continue to expose himself and expect to make it through the season unscathed. He got crushed on his final TD, right in front of me and you could see the blood on his face from the hit. He is tough, and he was something on the ground.

Venric  Mark KOR – It’s just a matter of time before Mark busts one to the house on a kickoff return and as he almost did so twice today. Mark busted a 63-yard KOR that setup the dagger TD and had 3 returns for 120 yards which is deceiving since the final KOR included him falling on the ball since time was expiring. Mark also busted a 50+ yard return as well.  The guy is simply electric.

Rush “D” Minus One Play – For the second week in a row the ‘Cats defensive line was very good. With one exception – last week it was the very first play from the line of scrimmage (and was actually a safety’s fault) while this week it was nearly the final play of the game as we coughed up a 73-yard garbage time rush.  The ‘Cats, until that point had given up only 56 yards on 24 carries. The final stat line shows we gave up 132 rushing yards on 26 carries. EIU’s average of 5.1 ypc is beyond deceiving.

THE GOOD

The OL – The only thing separating this unit from being “great” was the penalties. We had several false starts and a couple of key holding calls including one that negated a Kain Colter beauty of a run. Colter had ALL day to pass in the pocket, and if there is such a thing, he had too much time as he held on to the ball way too long in certain situations. There were no sacks that were complete OL breakdowns.

Responding to Adversity – Fitz always talks about responding and we did just that. We seemed to be out of sync a tad today and we had three offensive penalties in the first quarter, but were able to still respond. We missed a FG and shanked a punt, but each time we responded.  It’s never good to give up plays, but we responded fairly well in a game that was rather sloppy.

Demetrius Fields – Demetrius was the leading receiver on the day with a mere 41 yards on 3 rec but he made some highlight level plays.  Fields took two fantastic shots on catches including one over the middle play that rang his bell.

Treyvon Green – The freshman RB scored his first career TD, nearly busted a huge TD run and had some solid carries. Treyvon, like several of his teammates seem to be anticipating contact as opposed to busting through the line. He averaged 5.0 ypc and put up 70 rushing yards on 14 carries in the first real significant time. He may be called on to be huge next week if Adonis and Trumpy aren’t able to go.

Tyris Jones’ Redemption – Early in the game Colter bootlegged and found Tyris Jones WIDE open in the endzone and threw a perfect pass to #34 that Jones dropped. It was clear the sun was in his eyes, but you just felt for the guy. It was great to see Jones haul iI wasn the very first TD reception of the year in nearly the same exact spot from sophomore Trevor Siemian. Congrats to both.

Eastern Illinois’ Hitting – Give credit where credit is due. This Panther team can really put the hurt on you and several ‘Cats will be very impressed as they ice down tomorrow. I was really impressed by Coach Spoo’s team’s ability to really hit hard.  Colter, Fields and others got shellacked on several plays.

Brian Peters on Special Teams – Peters was downright incredible on special teams’ coverage, particularly in the first half.

THE DISAPPOINTING

Attendance – 28,042.  Yech. It sure FELT like we eclipsed the 30,000 mark with the Band Day section filling up the entire corner and the end zone relatively full. I really have a hard time believing there were 19,000 empty seats. I would’ve guessed 32,000 based on the naked eye. What did you think?

Colter’s Pass Timing – Kain had a great stat line – 15 carries/109 yds rushing, 3 TDs, 10/13  passing 104 yds 0TD, 0INT.  However, Colter held the ball wayyyy too long on several occasions.

Defensive Pass Rush – Really? When are we going to drop the 3-man rush and realize it simply isn’t working. Eastern Illinois had all day to throw and even when we flushed Jimmy Garoppolo, we couldn’t close the deal. I’m starting to fear what a team like Michigan will do with that kind of time, aren’t you? We are bigger, quicker and savvier, yet couldn’t get to Garoppolo. Unacceptable.

Jeremy Ebert Connection – It’s a shame that Ebert got a goose egg in the reception category. It’s clear the chemistry simply isn’t there yet with Colter and Ebert. You know he’s got to be excited for Persa to get back under center.

Overall Discipline – The ‘Cats racked-up five penalties but they seemed to come in droves. Plus, an awful looking FG, a shanked punt and of course two HUGE explosion plays that led to 14 points point to the fact we’ve got a long way to go. Don’t look now, but Illinois is starting to pick up steam. EIU and Illinois are two planets away in terms of talent. We’ve got to limit the explosion plays.

STAT CENTER:

  • NU Passing – 12/16 (Colter 10/13, Siemian 2/3), 117 yds (7.3 ypp), 1 TD (Siemian – career 1st)
  • NU Rushing – 67 carries, 320 yds, 5 TDs (4.8 ypc)
  • NU Rushing Indivdual – Colter – 15 car, 109 yds, 3 TD, 7.3 ypc; Treyvon Green – 14 car, 70 yds, 1 TD, 5.0 ypc; 11 car, 57 yds 1 TD, 5.7 ypc; Adonis Smith – 17 car, 55 yds, 3.2 ypc; Tyris Jones – 7 car, 21 yds, 1 TD (rec) 3.0 ypc
  • NU Receiving – Fields 3 rec, 41 yds; Dunsmore 2 rec, 26 yds; A. Smith 3 rec, 24 yds; Moulton 1 rec, 12 yds; Schmidt 1 rec, 10 yds; Green 1 rec, 3 yds; Tyris Jones 1 rec, 1 yd, 1 TD
  • NU Defense - total tackles – McNaul 7, Matthews 6, Browne & Campbell 4 each; sacks – Browne 1, Williams .5, Watt .5
  • NU Defense Totals – total yds – 341; 209 passing, 132 rushing
  • NU Penalties -  5 – 40 yds
  • 3rd Down – 8/13 offense; 4/10 defense
  • TOP: 36:22 NU, 23:44 EIU

Big Ten’s Bad Day

The headline story of the day was clearly Jerry Kill’s seizure which rocked the team, fans and even viewers in the Gophers now seemingly insignificant 28-21 loss to a horrific New Mexico State program. Here are the headlines of the other games:

Iowa State 44 – Iowa 41 3 OT

The Cyclones Steel Jantz spearheaded a game-tying drive late in the 4th and the Cyclones won the trophy no one wanted in Ames. The Hawkeyes surrendered 473 yards of offense in the loss.

Alabama 27 Penn State 11

The Penn State “D” played solid, but the platooning QBs for the JoePas couldn’t get it going. The SEC wins yet again.

Ohio State 27 Toledo 22

The Buckeyes were taken to the brink as it took a final drive stand to stave off what would’ve been the first loss to an in state team since Oberlin in 1921.

Illinois 55 South Dakota State 3

Yes, it was only an FCS opponent, but watch out for the conference enigma, Illinois, which seems to have carbon copied the NU blueprint today as the Illini put up 364 yards on the ground (50 carries) against the Jackrabbits, our 2012 home FCS opponent. Scheelhaase and Colter had nearly identical numbers today. The Illini scare me.

Michigan State 44 Florida Atlantic 0

Kirk Cousins was steady with 186 yds, 2 TDs, but this one was all about “D” as Sparty gave up one, yes one, first down. MSU is 2-0.

Wisconsin 35 Oregon State 0

How good is Wisconsin? Russell Wilson looked brilliant again with an 189 yds, 3 TD day on 17/21 for the day. I’m giddy we don’t play them this year.

Nebraska 42 Fresno State 29

The Huskers can thank Ameer Abdullah for returning a kickoff 100-yds to the house after the Bulldogs closed to within two in the 4th. Nebraska survives a semi-scare like we thought they would.

Virginia 34 Indiana 31

The Hoosiers drop to 2-0 despite a 21-point 4th quarter and yet another good stats day for QB Edward Baker-Wright (272 yds passing). The Hoosiers actually blew an 8-point lead in the final 96 seconds as UVA scored a game-winning FG as time expired. Ugh.

Rice 24 Purdue 22

The Owls blocked a Carson Wiggs FG as time expired for their – get this – first BCS win in 22 attempts. Rice hadn’t beat a Big Ten team since NU in 1997.  NU faces Rice on November 12 at Ryan Field.

Michigan 35 Notre Dame 31

If you missed this one, shame on you. Go find it. Dear God, if I’m an NU CB right now my jaw is dropping. Whoa.

2011 Opponents

UCF 30 BC 3

So much for our season-opening win being THAT good. BC got THUMPED by Central Florida, who held Chase Rettig and BC to 84 passing yards and 141 total yards while getting blitzed for an NU-like 235 yards. This is NOT good and makes you reconsider just what it was we did last week.

San Diego State 23 Army 20 (0-2)

The Black Knights dominated in nearly every facet of the game. Army owned TOP with 42 minutes of possession and put up 403 rushing yards yet they lost the only category that really matters. All of a sudden our tough non-conference schedule is not looking so hot in the W-L column. Army

  • Go’CatsToTheRoseBowl

    Anyone else notice Brent and Kirk at the big house, BOTH rocking purple-on-purple dress combos? Go ‘Cats!

  • PurpleHeart

    Couldn’t agree more that Ebert is being WAY underutilized. What gives??

  • Scott Feeney

    You commented about how hard the Panthers hit. Often it was dirty play. Their LB (#28 w/ dreadlocks) was repeatedly launching himself helmut first at the helmuts of NU players, particularly Colter. He succeeded in ringing Colter’s bell (probably a concussion) on Colter’s last touchdown run. #28 should have been flagged on that play. If it was the pros, he would have been fined. Everyone at the bar where I was watching the game was commenting on how #28 was going for kill shots on NU players.

    Scott
    Washington, DC

  • wcgrad

    @Scott

    Agree 100%. While EIU impressed me with their overall effort, and Garoppolo made good decisions, I don’t like congratulating them for their hitting.

    Endangering other players’ safety with unsportsmanlike/dangerous play should never be congratulated. I understand the idea of ‘ringing the bell’, and disrupting the rhythm of the offense, and not all bad hits are the result of dirty play. But as a program that emphasizes doing things the ‘right way’ shouldn’t that extend to the field? Even though you can gain an advantage by ‘laying the big hit’ the offensive players, does that mean it’s the ‘right’ way to play?

    From the strategic standpoint emphasizing hitting (instead of the ‘see what you hit’ head up proper tackling) often results poor tackling technique and leads to missed tackles/big plays for the opposing offense.

    Also, what’s with players losing their helmets? I was disturbed to see Colter lose his on a running play – exposing him to a serious head injury. I know that the NFL instituted a new rule that the ball is dead when the ball carrier loses his helmet. Has the NCAA done the same?

    OK, I’ll get off my soapbox. Encouraged by the 2nd and 3rd team offenses. Also, Classy by Fitz to not run up the score.

  • sailingcat

    Sideline energy didn’t look great to me this week, especially after Fitz called them out last week.

  • PBRCat

    Best attendance at a non-conference home opener in Evanston since 1998 (Barnett’s final year). 28,000 + in the stadium today.

    Not bad considering most students were not back on campus since classes have not started yet.

  • JimB

    Sorry, can’t give a “great” designation to the marketing when Goose Island is absent from Wildcat Alley with no explanation. I know those folks read this blog and no one corrected LTP when hyping it for newbies. I wouldn’t normally complain about not getting free beer but when it’s part of the selling point of getting a new fan there (who I brought with me) and established tradition, there ought to be some word of warning when it’s gone. Poor form. Hope this was only a one game absebce.

    As for the game, we’ll get killed in B1G play if we play like that, especially on defense. But we always play down to the level of our opponent so it doesn’t worry me too much. We do need Persa back for B1G season if at all possible. I respect the hell out of Colter but he’s simply not a good enough passer. Simien looks intriguing for the future.

    Go Cats!

  • sz

    I haven’t seen an ending to a game as intense as TTFSB @ Mich since Mich @ NU circa 2000.

  • Anon

    Ditto on the goose island tent. I have used that for a selling point in the past for casual fans, as the “free beer” generates the necessary wow factor. Unfortunately the presence of an FCS cupcake was no enough distraction to overcome this omission. Did the sale of goose island last year result in a drop of their sponsorship?

    Beer aside, great opening day atmosphere. Better crowd, more energy than previous home openers in my opinion.

  • nuftw

    Not too much to learn from play EIU. NU did what it should, though some of the big play threats are a little worrying.

    What a bad week for the B1G. Several bad losses (Iowa, Minnesota, Indiana) and the closest thing to a good win was against an 0-2 ND team.

  • EZ

    I have to agree with sailingcat here; sideline energy was a big concern of mine. I mean, at the beginning of the 4th quarter, the NU faithful and the student section was JUMPING, and not a single crap was given by the NU sideline. After big plays, they looked a little more alive, but the tone was oddly somber throughout most of the game. I’m hoping this will improve once the rest of the students get back.

    Also, before we all get on Colter for being an inefficient passer, let’s take some time to remind ourselves that he isn’t getting the opportunities. The pass was not greenlit AT ALL during the second half when Colter was in. Colter was beginning to resent being a handoff monkey, and as a result, made one of the laziest handoffs I have ever seen in my life to Adonis (same play he went down during, watch the replay). Colter knew the play was busted from the get go, but he had his QB scramble option and his pass option stripped at the half. I have never seen such an unenthused QB in my life, I’m not surprised Fitz pulled him that same drive.

    Fitz NEEDS to give this boy passing reps if Persa isn’t going to be healthy in time for conference play; our run game is good enough to beat the likes of BC and EIU, but we’re going to have a much worse time when we have the veteran defenses of the Big Ten to worry about.

    Otherwise, this was a hell of a fun game to go to! It’s unusual for the Cats to win in such a decisive manner while Michigan takes it down to the last 2 seconds of play.

  • Corey

    The lack of goose island may be do to the new sponsorship by miller. I was disappointed as well.

  • Corey

    Also, Colter’s passing has been greater than 70% both games if I’m not mistaken. He’s got the accuracy he just needs more strength for the long throws. I agree, more reps.

  • Henry in CT

    Michigan beating ND was a hoot. Denard can’t pass worth a dam but they got lucky. He threw that last one up for grabs when they didn’t have to and the Michigan guy caught it. In spite of Michigan winning I don’t think they go anywhere because their D still isn’t very good and Denard just throws the ball up for grabs and hopes his man will come down with it. Still watching him has to remind you of Colter. Both are dangerous explosive runners but neither has a clue about the passing game. Colter at least doesn’t throw a lot of bad balls like Robinson but Colter takes far too many risks. Even one of the announcers commented that he was nervous watching Colter play. As far as our D is concerned, it looked pretty good except for giving up two huge plays. We certainly seem capable of stopping the run but we’re not going to stop anyone who can throw the ball.

  • Vaudvillain

    BC lost to UCF 30-3. 21 of those points came in the 4th quarter, and like NU, UCF eclipsed 200 yards rushing. UCF’s a good team – Pre-Snap Read had them at 31 before the season started (NU was 35 and BC was 62). Not really sure what (if anything) this means…all I know is I like it better when the folks we beat win as many games as possible. Hopefully BC can recover from their 0-2 start and keep their bowl streak alive.

  • Wildcat86

    The Michigan/TTFSB game was an amazing college football game. I can’t believe U Mich came back from dead…at least three times. At least U Mich saved face for what was otherwise a very poor showing for the B1G today. Iowa, IU, Purdue and Minnesota all losing? Wow.

    I hope I can speak for the whole NU community when I say our thoughts are with Coach Kill and the Minnesota program.

  • Polymersci

    You have to love Colter’s athleticism and fearless approach to the run game, but when your QB plays with such intensity, the question becomes, “when, not if he will get injured.” Man he got his bell rung on one of his TD sprints. For me, Kain has been the biggest surprise of this early season. He showed up to play ball. Fitz is going to have to coach him on not taking so many hits and when to get down to avoid unnecessary contact. In light of this, I was a bit disappointed that the backup QB’s didn’t get more reps in the second half.

    Trevyon Green, this kid may be the real deal. Will have to see how he runs against the B1G teams, but a glimmer of hope in our shrinking “running back committee.” I hope Adonis Smith is OK. Venric Mark turned it on on his KOR’s. He can be electrifying.

    The biggest fix we need to make is our defensive secondary. I thought coming into the year this would be a strength. The D-line seems to have stepped up in the off-season, but when B1G play starts, a simple look at the first couple games makes the game plan easy, pick apart our secondary. They play too soft and don’t seem to have gelled yet as a group. Get rid of the 3 man rush on third and long, if we have no pressure on the QB, the B1G quarterbacks will have a field day. I’ll take a 2-0 start, but much improvement will be needed by the time we play Illinois and then get deep into the B1G schedule.

    To LTP; you were spot on with the shout out to the NU marketing for the stars and stripes on the field, helmets, band, and even the coaches/staff uniforms. Nice touch.

  • Bobb Hall Alum

    I have a strong feeling we’ll see #7 take some reps in the 1st half @ Army. Danny’s dressing today was a good sign. Contrary to a lot of the rumors floated around in the LTP comments, we have no concrete reason to think he isn’t ready to go. I just just don’t want QB1′s first snap to be AT Illinois at their homecoming.

    Agree on the attendence. It felt a lot better than 28k…

  • Jimgocats93

    Six TD’s is good, but giving up 3 is bad.
    I was hoping for 50 points and holding them to 10 -13. We really need that kind of production to get to the next level. I really like Fitz doing it on the ground and showing some class by not running it up through the air.
    I would like to have seen more turnovers forced and no big plays by EIU. The penalties and that final run & score by EIU were bothersome.
    As the weeks become months these early game stats do make a difference in rankings and respect nationally.
    We are progressing and atmosphere is improving, we are very close!
    gocatsgo

  • timc

    Watching Colter really makes you appreciate the rarity of a the REAL duel threat QB’s (like Persa) who can scan the open receivers and potential running lanes-all in a few seconds. Kain seems to be doing only the latter. I noticed how open Ebert was on many occasions and Colter just wasn’t looking for him.

  • http://www.hailtopurple.com/jhodges/ jhodges

    @LTP

    Note that in 2012 Northwestern will play the University of South Dakota (Coyotes), NOT South Dakota State University (Jackrabbits, who Illinois played yesterday). South Dakota is actually completing its transition to FCS from Division II this season (SDSU already did so a few years a go).

  • http://www.leanblog.org Mark Graban

    Colter is indeed an exciting runner and he needs to avoiding taking big hits, but I was really annoyed with Glen Mason and his color commentary…. after EVERY play when Colter ran (it seemed), he talked about how Colter would get hurt. Enough already, Mason.

  • mwmakerx5

    The Goose Island absence isn’t marketing’s fault. The State of Illinois liquor board cracked down on handing out “free samples” and it can no longer be done. Goose Island is still a supporter and they would be out there if they could. Trust me on this one, that is true.

  • skepticat

    So far our defense has showed it can stop the run against a 3rd-string running back and an FCS team. As for the pass, well, best not go there…. Overall, the defense has not shown that they’re able to close the door on an opponent. Neither did the offense during the BC game, when just one more score — even a field goal — would have put the game comfortably out of reach.

    Yet so far this season we’ve had one of the more consistently solid performances in the conference, along with Wisconsin, Michigan State, and Illinois. Yet none of those teams have really been tested — and as BC and Army rack up the losses, it looks more and more like we haven’t been either. Meanwhile, Fresno State and Toledo were probably very underrated going into those games, so those may turn out to be quality wins.

    In short, it looks like we’re at least in the top half of the conference, though the conference looks (yet again) like it might be pretty soft this year. Of course all this is based off of relatively solid performances against very questionable opponents, so who knows. And with NU’s tendency to pull off some upsets while inexplicably laying eggs against conference bottom-dwellers …. I guess it’s still really to early to draw many conclusions.

    So I’m not really sure what to make of it all. Despite the skepticism, I’m just happy to take the win and be sitting at 2-0. Here’s looking forward to (or hoping for?) another win next week, which should be a nice test of our run defense despite Army’s 0-2 record.

    Go Cats!

  • JimB

    @mwmakerx5: That’s good info about Goose Island and too bad to hear, thank you for sharing. My point is that it shouldn’t be coming from you after the game, on a comments board. If there’s a relatively major change in pre-game tradition it’s the responsibility of the marketing folks to spread the word about it BEFORE people show up disappointed, wondering what’s going on. I know no one likes to advertise negative news but it could have been as simple as including something in the season tix package and online about Wildcat Alley with an asterisk at the bottom saying “Unfortunately, due to changes instituted by the State of Illinois liquor board, Goose Island will not be part of Wildcat Alley this year.” But there was NOTHING anywhere. In fact, when you got to the web site, there is not even a link to anything on Wildcat Alley that I can find, which is I think a little odd.

    Now, excuse me while I go call my congressman. . .

    Go Cats!

  • wcgrad

    @Henry

    I’m still worried about Robinson, – his passing ability is more than enough to light up our secondary – Is anyone other than Maybin athletic enough to make the adjustment on the ball in man coverage? If I’m Michigan’s OC, I take shots at Matthews with the underthrown deep ball – it keeps NU in the soft coverage with the large cushion even if they never connect.

    I’ve seen QBs at the NCAA level and the NFL level use the strategically underthrown deep ball when in man coverage, or when the defense is playing for the receiver and not the ball as Notre Dame was. The offense has the advantage here, because he knows when the ball is coming before the defender does. The receiver can slam on the breaks and one of two things usually happen: the DB goes right by the receiver leaving him with an opportunity to catch it or the DB goes through the receiver resulting in a pass interference flag. Matthews found this out against BC on BC’s last TD drive. Momah stopped and Matthews couldn’t – big completion for BC. With how often DRob did that last night, it feels like the coaches told him to do it. Notice, he mostly did this to the sideline where there was no safety help. Try this with safety help over the top and you’ll throw an interception. He got burned once with an interception (in the endzone when the defender managed to recover in time to make a play), but also made about 4-5 plays that allowed them to win the game.

    I think we will compete with anyone that we play, but it’s going to take us playing at a higher level than we have over the first two games to pull out enough wins to factor into the division race.

  • Henry in CT

    @wcgrad – I don’t think either Colter or Robinson has a strong arm and Robinson is not a good enough QB to be throwing the intentional underthrown pass especially with the game on the line. He was just plain lucky in that game against ND like when the fumble came out to him and all he had to do was pick it up and run into the end zone. Michigan has him being a drop back passer in a pro style offense where he more or less has to throw it or eat it and mark my words this will not work out well. He will keep throwing it up for grabs and their luck will run out sooner or later.

    BTW, if those ND DB’s would have just turned around and looked for the ball there could have been several picks.

  • NUAuD

    Loved the game overall. I felt attendance was the best I’ve seen for a home opener. I was in the east stands and was really impressed by the Purple Presence on that side. I wasn’t impressed with the utter lack of energy in the east stands though, especially on 3rd downs. No one was standing an cheering. My friend and I were standing and received multiple, “Down in front!”‘s from people wearing purple. Really?! Where I’m from, you STAND AND CHEER on your team on 3rd downs. But I digress…

    Love being 2-0, Go Fitz! GO CATS!

  • hudyblitz

    Good home opener. Agree that the crowd was likely north of 30,000 and there were fairly long lines to get in at 2:30 when we went in, so much so that the ticket takers started tearing tickets at our gate (J) when we came in, instead of scanning. (On the other hand, when my little kids and I left in the 3rd qtr, I saw the ticket folks scanning in the torn ticket stubs, so maybe the count is real).

    Nice to have a running game again this year. Let’s take care of business at Army and get everyone healthy for Illinois…..can’t wait to see Colter and Persa on the field together.

  • TK

    Just a couple comments:

    It felt like 30K even. Ever since that Wisconsin game a few years ago when they only reported 32K when the stadium looked 85% full, I don’t trust their attendance figures unless the stadium is either really empty or really full.

    That really stinks about the Goose Island tent. That is our go-to when we don’t feel like tailgating before an 11 a.m. game and also as many people have said, was a major selling point to our casual fan friends. I know Goose Island would love to be there, but I had an inkling when all of the stuff that says Wildcat Alley on it now has no mention of Goose Island on it, when before you’d see the logo on everything.

    I think you can chalk up another 2 season tickets to the board. My uncle and I and then two other season ticket holders worked this one couple who was in from Iowa to watch her daughter on the spirit squads. They were really nice people and we filled them in on just about every question they had about NU football. On the way out, we pointed them in the direction of the ticket office. At the very least, they will be going to every game (whether their daughter gets them tickets or not) and they will be wearing purple at all those games.

  • reader

    I agree that the attendance looked like more than the announced number. We stood on a pretty long line to get in just before 2:30 and the stands were packed with lots of purple. I was surprised by how many students were there.

  • HappyNUyear

    I believe the scanning was started to get a more accurate attendance count.

    The Run “D” has improved from last year, let’s remember people the 72 yard run at the end of the game and most of the 4th were with 2nd & 3rd string “D”.

  • EricB-Lombard

    Was it me or did the sound / audio just suck at the game? The announcer was muffled and inaudible. This was my daughters first NU game and I told her about the Put Your Hands In the Air, she was so excited, when the time came you could not hear it, we have season tickets on the 50 yard line and could not hear it, was disgusted audio quality.

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Minnesota1000
Purdue1000
Iowa1000
Nebraska1000
Illinois1000
Northwestern0100
Wisconsin0100

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Rutgers1000
Penn State1000
Michigan1000
Michigan State1000
Ohio State1000
Indiana1000
Maryland1000