Winning Ugly: The Great, Good & Disappointing in the ‘Cats 22-13 win over BC

TD celebration vs BC 2012

UPDATE: Our pal “NorthwesternHighlights” is working diligently on the game highlights and had some technical difficulties. We’ll post a separate post this afternoon once they are up and ready to go!

Behold, a key piece of the future of NU Athletics!

I think PRR nailed the theme of the day in his recap earlier – this type of winning is a bit of a head scratch. Low scoring on offense, defense dominating the run and carrying the day and simply put, winning ugly, just like Fitz’s beloved Chicago White Sox from 30 years ago. What a great day. Picture perfect day, awesome tailgaiting, a ‘Cats win and drumroll….we achieved our goal of reaching 200 NEW season tickets! Anthony F. picked up a pair and sent me an email of his three buddies who took the plunge – Jake S., Ryne M., and John H. Also Dan and Catie B. informed me of their co-workers who were convinced to take the plunge for four. And with that, we are there. Amazing work team. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

THE GREAT

Facilities Announcement – I said earlier today that regardless of the outcome of the BC game, today’s announcement by Northwestern University unveiling the lakefront plan for practice facilities, will be much bigger. Actually, it’s the biggest news of the season short of us making a BCS game. Here is Jim Phillip’s press conference on this:

Here is a visual of the facility that will house football practice as well as a host of applications for nearly every sport and intramurals. It will be out on the lakefront and what is also big news is the fact that SPAC (sports and aquatic center) will be renovated to add diving pools, locker rooms for teams as part of an incredible overhaul for NU Athletics.

 

View from Lake Michigan

And here is what Fitz had to say on the big announcement. As you can imagine, we will be ALL OVER THIS during the week. In the meantime, do yourself a favor and head on over to NUSports.com to learn more about the details HERE. 

AND NOW…BACK TO THE GAME…

THE GREAT

Jeff Budzien – Let’s start with the obvious as our placekicker had an awesome day, tying an NU record by drilling five FGs. He was a perfect 5-5 and is now 8-8 on the season (and in the past two weeks) as he hit from  42, 20, 29, 41 and 19 yards out.

Mike Trumpy – How great was that to see? Trumpy made me look good (I had him as my pick to click today), but he started strongly with some fantastic third down carries and then he cranked it up in to excellent as he carried us in the fourth replacing Venric Mark who got plastered on that crazy hit and fumble late in the third. Trumpy was simply unstoppable in the fourth and sealed the game with his 27-yard TD scamper, our only paydirt of the day. Trumpy ended with 106 yards on 16 carries for a 6.6 ypc mark. With both Venric and Treyvon getting dinged, it is huge that we have Trumpy feeling great.

The Rush “D” – Insane, no? At halftme the scoreboard read “-3 rushing yards”.  By the end of the game, only 25 yard on 21 carries for the Eagles. It has been a back-to-back rushing brick wall by our ‘Cats.

Chi Chi Ariguzo – The defending B1G Defensive Player of the Week put up another stellar day. He was a key to clogging up the run game, was in on the huge fumble we caused inside the five in the third and just has that nose for the ball factor.

Traveon Henry – I remember at least three Henry WOW hits on special teams. He crushed an Eagle on a 3rd quarter Venric Mark punt return.  He leveled a defender on a block to free Hunter Bates on a punt. He nearly took BC’s KOR man’s head off on a late return. It was Jeravin Matthews like on coverage, but just add the heavy hitter factor. Man can this guy hit, I can’t wait to see him in the secondary.

Ball Movement & Rushing – The ‘Cats did everything statistically on both sides of the ball to make you think this should’ve been a blowout. We put up 560 yards of total offense to 316 for BC. We put up a ridiculous 100 offensive plays (to 65 for BC).  And of course, we carried it 60, yes 60, times for 293 rushing yards.  Mark had 77 yards in about three quarters of action on 18 carries, while Kain Colter put up 66 yards on the ground (81 gross). We’ll get to the QB play in a minute, but we did everything but hit paydirt. It’s truly amazing the game was close, but give BC credit, they kept us out of the endzone all day.

Demetrius Fields – How steady is this guy? He caught every ball tossed his way and racked up 9 catches for 77 yards including a clutch 3rd down haul in the 4th quarter. He has been fantastic this season.

Brandon Vitabile’s fumble recovery – One of those freaky plays where Venric Mark got hit and the ball flew straight up. Vitabile grabbed it, saving our drive. It redeemed a 15-yard misconduct penalty from earlier in the same drive.

THE GOOD

QB 1a & 1b – Yes, let’s get the passes you winced about out of the way. Kain took it harder. Yes, Kain missed a wide open  Christian Jones TD and we had seemingly a TD with Prater that we missed. Trevor had his key fumble inside the ten. Yet, if you looked at the combined stat line it looks pretty good – 30/40, 267 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT.  What’s not on the stat sheet is just how many creation plays Kain had when the pocket collapsed. He made some magical runs and manufactured positive yardage and first downs it was a key way to keep so many drives alive. Both of our QBs had fumbles that were uncharacteristic.

Venric Mark – He was his usual electrifying self today. Venric, however, dropped a screen pass and coughed up a fumble that will likely cost him dinner to Brandon Vitabile who somehow caught the thing. Mark had 18 carries for 77 yards, 7 receptions for 42 yards and a pair of short punt returns (including one fumble that he turned in to a positive play). Mark got hit hard and didn’t return after his late in the third scary moment. I watched him on the sidelines and he was on the bike and had a mild limp

The Day – Picture perfect. Mid 70s, great tailgates, a crowd that I swear was around 37K+, but miscounted for 32K and of course, a win.

Brian Arnfelt - The senior captain was in on a bunch of hits and caused a fumble. However, our D-line, as good as we were on the run, we were weak on the pass rush. Granted, Mike Hankwitz reverted to his dropping 7-8 in to coverage which gave Chase Rettig ALL DAY to throw.

THE DISAPPOINTING

3 Not 6 – This was the theme of the day. It shouldn’t have been this hard to put BC away. We didn’t punt until the fourth quarter. We were in the red zone five times and came away with five FGs (one was outside red zone, plus we fumbled) until Trumpy’s TD to win it. you might be able to do this and beat BC, but you’ve got to convert some of them.  We’ve got to figure out a way to be better when we get in to the end zone if we want to keep on winning.

Soft corner play – Chase Rettig just picked apart the soft corner cushion and the BC Eagles created easy seperation on those out patterns. We’ve got to play tighter and jump some of those as they’re so predictable.

Officiating - Cliche, I know. Hoewever starting with David Nwabuisi’s personal misconduct in the 2nd which no one could see through the end of the game, I thought it was incosistently called throughout.

Clock operator – The score continued to change during the first half (it was NU 9 BC 4 for a while and BC had 3 when they really had 0) and the 25-second clock didn’t start on two separate BC plays in the second half. That can’t happen – not at this level.

NORTHWESTERN STATS TO STEW ON

  • 100 plays – 60 rushing for 293 yards, 40 passing for 267 yds – 100 plays is a school record
  • 560 yards total offense, gave up 316 total yards to BC
  • Kain Colter – 16/20 (80%), 144 yds, 0 TD, 0 INT, 1 fumble; 17 carries, 66 yds
  • Trevor Siemian – 14/23, 123 yds o TD, 0 INT, 1 fumble
  • 8 different receivers caught at least 2 or more passes.
  • BC’s Chase Rettig went 24/44, 291 yds, 1 TD
  • NU was 12/19 on 3rd down and held BC to only 2/11
  • We held the ball for 10:41 of the 4th quarter
  • NU had 8 penalties, BC 4
  • NU punted twice all game. One of them was pinned at the 1 yard line.

 

 

 

 

  • Sasser

    LTP –

    Another very important statistic to stew on — # of drives that went 3 and out = zero. Aside from the midfield fumble and our TD drive, we did not have a drive that went fewer than 9 plays. We may not have been good at finding the end zone, but we gave our defense plenty of rest. Textbook ball control offense.

    • http://twitter.com/LakeThePosts Lake The Posts

      Great one. That was one nutty game. Felt like we were in total control and should have been up by 14 most of the game.

      • Db

        See I never felt like we were in control…they moved the ball at will as long as they were throwing it. And we wasted opportunities constantly. Thought we were going to lose the whole game until the punt got downed on the 1, and then again when trumpy ran it in instead of taking a knee after the first down.

  • Spazzycolon

    Beware the Coyotes!!!!!!
    Remember New Hampshire!
    2 weeks to prepare!
    That’s like a “pre-med” program of time to dissect the Cats!

    • Alaskawildcat

      I have mixed feelings about the bye week being inserted now instead of later when we are in the thick of Big Ten play. With V. Mark getting “dinged up today” the extra healing time may be a godsend. On the other hand two week to prepare for New Hampshire is overkill. It would be gutsy, but I would be for resting all of the starters and having the second time prepare like crazy for two weeks with the intent that they play the entire game.

      • Alaskawildcat

        Ouch, that should be “preparing for the Coyotes” not New Hampshire. (Time to get to bed.)

        • CliffG

          Our bye week is in November. South Dakota is this Saturday.

          • Alaskawildcat

            Thanks for the clarification. I guess the OP was referring to South Dakota having had its bye this week? Anyway, glad to see that we will get an extra week to prepare for Michigan since we will be heading up to their house for that game. Still feel though that we should hold out our starters on both sides of the ball when we play the Coyotes and bring them in only if necesary. Apparently South Dakota is a very physical team which I translate as being out to injure our players as a way to level the playing field from their point of view.

  • Alaskawildcat

    Are there only 3 B1G teams left that are 3-0? (OSU, Min, and us) Watched the incredible BYU-Utah game this evening with interesting parallels between the Wildcats’ quarterback Colter and BYU’s. (For those who missed it, after one second getting put back on the clock to allow for one more play, BYU got a second chance to kick what would have been a tying field goal because of players and fans rushing the field when the second kick was blocked with time having run out on the clock because the ball was ruled to still be live due to a BYU player picking it up.) Just like the Utah State kick in the Wisconisin game, the ball hit the upright. Have to agree how fortunate we are to have a money kicker. Had BYU (or Utah State too for that matter) had NU’s kicker today both the Utes and the Badgers would be in the same shoes as BC with losses.

    • Alaskawildcat

      That should read, “When the first kick was blocked…”

    • http://twitter.com/LakeThePosts Lake The Posts

      Yes, only NU, Ohio St. and Minnesota are undefeated. Crazy, crazy year. I believe NU has 3 of the 4 total wins for the B1G against BCS conference teams (OSU beat Cal). We’re something like 4-10.

      • brad

        This 3/4 stat was pointed out very nicely by the broadcast team on ABC during last night’s Michigan State game

  • Alec

    For ‘Terrible’ you could put down the BTN broadcast team who repeatedly called Kain Colter by Colt Kain and camera work that had trouble staying with plays. As for the refs….. happy we don’t play in the ACC. None the less when’s the last time we dominated the ground game? Even BCs passing numbers weren’t that great for a pass based offense. There are many things to be optimistic about, and considering how teams around the B1G are laying eggs (even Indiana), the stars might be lining up for us……

    Also the new facilities looks great, especially the the lakeside floor to ceiling window for the indoor field (which I hope is a full field in length).

    • reader

      Agreed. My favorite line was “A field goal will do Boston College no good here”. The score was 15-13.

      • JK

        Good call. I heard that one, and I went back and did the math three times — simple as it was — before I just shook my head at the TV. I couldn’t believe his play-by-play partner didn’t razz him a little. It wouldn’t have cringed quite so much if they’d at least acknowledged the brain cramp.

        • Db

          He caught himself 5 secs after he said it. And the reason he said it was because he mentally had chalked up a fg for NU on the previous drive, when we took all the penalties. Still pretty funny.

  • Scott

    LTP, as you further discuss the new facilities, can you describe exactly where on the lakefront this will be. I can’t quite picture where on campus this will fit. Thanks.

    • GradCat

      See the following link for an overhead map that shows you where they plan to put everything.

      http://www.nusports.com/genrel/091512aab.html

      • cece

        so, the new building is going to the north of the athletic center ? and a new field is being constructed to the south of the lacrosse field? and the current parking to the west of the soccer field and to the east of the athletic center will stay with a new parking structure constructed on the surface lot to the west of the current athletic building? thanks everyone for helping to clarify.

        • vaudvillain

          I was definitely happy to see parking being addressed. I was afraid we might lose the parking lot near the lacrosse field, but it looks like that is staying and a 1200-spot parking structure is going on top of the current SPAC lot. Traffic flow around there might be a bit of a mess, but at least there’s more parking!

        • reader

          isn’t the new Kellogg building going to be built somewhere north of the athletic center too? I’m having a hard time picturing where the Kellogg building goes now.

          • CliffG

            No, the new Kellogg building is east of the Allen center

          • Cats67

            New Kellogg building is east of SPAC. East of the Allen Center is the lagoon.

          • cece

            so, where is that in relation to the new map announced?

          • CliffG

            The new indoor field is north of SPAC; the expansion of SPAC is to the east of the present building. The new Kellogg building is pretty far south of SPAC and will stretch from west of the Lakeside fields (currently parking) down into what is now the lagoon, taking it into an area that is due east of Allen Center.

          • CliffG

            The new Kellogg building is most definitely NOT east of SPAC. It is north and east of the Allen center. I’ve seen the site plan.

    • timc

      I think from Teddy’s piece yesterday, there is a map showing it on the northeast corner of campus, right on the lake.

      • Omar

        Only disappointing thing about the facilities is nothing about renovating Welsh-Ryan

        • http://twitter.com/LakeThePosts Lake The Posts

          Morty touched on that in today’s tribune saying “one project at at time.” Trust me, it is in the plans.

  • Pittsburgh Wildcat

    Was at the game yesterday, too. A couple of additional thoughts:

    * A Wildcat TD anywhere during the game could have put the game away early. We’re up 9-3 and driving, and a TD there puts us up 16-3. Fortunately, our defense right now seems to have a knack for forcing key fumbles with the opponent driving.

    * Another momentum change moment was at least getting that late Q2 FG to at least have the lead at halftime. Could have been very bad to have controlled the 1st half like we did, but go into the locker room down 10-9.

    * Glad to see that, for the most part, our RBs are hitting the hole harder this year and running more N/S instead of E/W. Thought Trumpy especially ran with a purpose and certainly seemed to pick it up a notch after Venric went out of the game for good.

    * Officiating. You were spot on with this in the “disappointing.” Incredibly inconsistent calls related to pass interference; you’d think they never saw a WR block before; and we benefited from what I thought was at least 1 real soft late hit call. Only one I really agreed with was the tripping call on BC’s OLineman late in the 4Q. Of course, the referee took forever to throw the flag. Brutal all around.

    * Give some props to NU’s group sales folks. The south end zone has been fairly full the last 2 games, although based on the 32K attendance number I’m guessing fans are just being comfortable and spread out. Still, it’s looked good the last 2 Saturdays. But how the heck did we have more people yesterday vs BC than for a night game vs Vandy?

    * Did anyone else notice what a great read-option Siemian made on one of the 1st half drives (can’t remember if this was a FG or the fumble drive). BC’s LB flattened Venric, but meanwhile Siemian held onto the ball and rushed for 7-8 yards. Love seeing that in the arsenal.

    * There must be something subtle that our defense is doing that we don’t notice with the naked eye. Because the last 2 weeks have featured pretty decent QBs (Rodgers and Rettig), and neither of them has exactly lit us up. They got completions and yards, but nothing on the scoreboard. Big change from what we saw vs. Nassib in the opener.

    * Biggest concern: we’re not scoring a ton on offense. 28 vs. SU, 23 vs Vandy, 22 vs BC. Remember, against SU, 7 pts came on special teams and 7 came via the defense. So our actual offense has scored 73 points in 3 games (24.3 average). Turn one more FG into a TD and oh what a difference that will make.

    • http://twitter.com/LakeThePosts Lake The Posts

      Really good points across the board. I was thrilled we were aggressive on the final drive of the half and should have put this in the “great” category. We normally go ultraconservative there. It was a huge momentum shift to go back on top.

    • rhett

      Secondary – it felt like BC completed several 10-yard hooks to the receivers outside against soft man coverage. I wonder if after the Syracuse debacle that’s the new soft spot. Looked like the idea was bend but don’t break, like, “you will NOT beat us over the middle and/or over the top” until the bad guys at least crossed NU’s 40. If that was the plan, it mostly worked. One hiccup, strong red-zone D, and a whole lot of punts.

      Of course it probably won’t be that easy against Illinois…

      • wcgrad

        I think it’s pretty clear that we lack the secondary athletes to play tight coverage from the line, unless we’re willing to put a safety over the top. I don’t want our safeties matching up with opposing WRs one on one either cuz that’s a one way ticket to 50+ yard TDs. Other attempts to play tight coverage will take away from a pass rush. I have 0 problem with 4 man rushes because bringing 5 or more leaves our secondary exposed. You have to pick your spots or you’ll get burned.

        • rhett

          It’s funny – I’ve always figured time, rather than space, was the worst way to expose DBs. (As in, “You do have to pick *some* spots or you’ll get shredded.”) What good is having 8 men back if the QB always gets 8 seconds and can just find whoever he wants once the play breaks down? Of course it’s really an optimization problem that includes both dimensions, plus keeping the QB guessing…

          Blitzing makes the outcomes more volatile. This is a good thing against overpowering offenses, and a bad thing against bad/erratic ones, I think. I agree there was no reason to give away free big plays to BC.

  • TA

    Does anybody know why we don’t play a nickel package like…every other team in football, everywhere? All day, BC had three receivers on the field, and we stayed with the base 4-3, four DBs. I know we’re clearly playing zone all day, but it seemed like they targeted the guy who was lined up against Ariguzo often.

    • ExpectVictory

      Doesn’t Hunter Bates come in on our nickel package?

      • TA

        Yes, but as best I could tell while at the game, that very rarely happened until the last drive of the game. Maybe it was a TE split out for BC (I don’t pretend to know their personnel well). But they would have three guys in WR positions, and we’d stay with 2 CBs and 2 safeties.

        I’m not being critical here, Really just curious. Seems like we are bucking the trend of most teams putting a ton of DBs out there.

        • rararawrgocats

          I think it’s a matter of playing the pass vs. playing the run. I agree that it seems like you’d bring in personnel to match the offensive set, but from what I gather, NU goes into a nickel package only in obvious passing situations (i.e. the last drive of the game, when Bates came in).

          I don’t know what the better option is. I also noticed that Ariguzo was targeted quite a bit – but maybe having the extra LB in there is worth it if it helps shut down the run.

  • timc

    Strange game, like the first two. Most of the people in our section were saying the same thing. Are we the jack of all trades, master of none? Just feels like there are two unfinished scripts with the Trevor and Kain scenarios. With each one left to his own there is an identity it feels like we are never going to see. It’s at the point where, because it appears we aren’t going to see them on the field at the same time, you just wan’t to pick one of them and stay with him the whole game, and in the case of Trevor, you want to see what can happen with him and our WR’s. Kind of frustrating, though I’ll take the wins.

  • vaudvillain

    Against the Coyotes, I’d kind of like to see them give Colter and Siemian each a full half to run the offense. Let them settle into a rhythm a bit more, and see what happens. Even if Colter remains the 1a, I think Trevor would benefit from more playing time. I’d also wouldn’t mind giving Venric a chance to rest up, and run Trumpy a bit more. If Trumpy can get rolling and we can add a legitimate “lighting & thunder” aspect to our running game, I think that will bear fruit as the season plays out. After all, a “thunder” RB can help tremendously once we’re down inside the ten, trying to get TDs instead of FGs.

    • http://twitter.com/LakeThePosts Lake The Posts

      I really think this captures a lot of fan’s mindsets. Let’s get Trevor some time to get consecutive series and really work the WRs. This game is a perfectly placed game for us to really work on a lot of things that need improvement before we start Big Ten play.

      • Db

        I like the lightning/thunder angle, as long as we stop pitching it wide to thunder 10 months off an acl surgery.

        I do like lightning between the tackles, but that fumble would seem to be unavoidable. He hits the hole so fast and hard, I do not know how it is physically possible to hold on to the ball. That hit was positioned well, but that seemed like venric’s force more than anything.

        You know where I stand on Trevor/colter. I use every game colter has ever played as substance. His best stats were in his first game ever, which would suggest his progression has stalemated a bit. He is an inaccurate passer, he does not read pressure well. Leadership is nice, and so is being really fast, but putting the ball in the end zone is what wins games. Period. And he just doesn’t do that.

        Evaluating siemian on 2 drives a game is preposterous. And he isn’t just a gunslinger. He is by far the better ball control option, as his passes hit receivers in the hands and in stride. And while he moves well, I would much rather keep my qb behind the line of scrimmage so he doesn’t get tattooed.

  • cebpd

    There was a key 3rd down play when you KNEW BC WAS COMING, an all out blitz. Kain was in, didn’t recognize it, and got stuffed. Trevor would have gotten the ball out quickly/audibled/whatever. what Kain makes up for in mobility, he lacks in pocket awareness and QBing

    • NULabMonkey

      You’re talking about the zone blitz deep in BC territory? Without a replay it’s difficult to speak with any kind of specifics, but if it’s the same play I’m thinking of, you should give BC more credit. They had the blitz timed pretty well and brought pressure from Colter’s right (towards the END of Colter’s rotation as it were). Siemian might have seen it and thrown around the pressure, or he might have motioned his slot receiver to block, or he might have gotten sacked, he might have thrown an interception, or he might have coughed up the rock, or he might have gotten really confused and run 80 yards backwards before getting drilled for a safety.

      The point is that it’s absolutely pointless to speculate about what could have happened if Trevor was in for any particular play. We can have a discussion about how the two different QBs handle pressure, we could compare their stat lines through two games, hell, we could even work together to come up with specific examples to demonstrate your claims about “pocket awareness” or as you put it, “QBing”. What we can’t do is get bogged down in a “coulda/woulda/shoulda” conversation, which is what the Colter/Siemian discourse is increasingly degenerating into.

      Sorry if that’s a lot of pretentious bullshit coming at you, but you’re a Northwestern fan and we should hold each other to higher standards (yes, even on Football blog comment sections). You can do better, step it up.

      • Db

        I would say we know what colter will do, because he does the same thing every time he is blitzed: panics, ducks, and tries to escape. True we don’t know what siemian will do, but we at least have seen examples of production against the blitz.

      • Db

        I would say we know what colter will do, because he does the same thing every time he is blitzed: panics, ducks, and tries to escape. True we don’t know what siemian will do, but we at least have seen examples of production against the blitz.

  • rararawrgocats

    Re: Colter vs. Siemian

    If I had to choose just one QB to play, I would choose Colter. He hit some big passes and made a lot of great plays with his feet. He runs the option extremely well. Moreover, I think his decision making is more sound than Siemian’s at this point. Siemian has a heck of an arm, but has forced a few too many balls into tight coverage (see: dropped INT vs. Syracuse). Colter has missed a few throws, sure – but he hit 80% of his passes yesterday, including a 40+ yarder. It’s not like he can’t throw the ball.
    I think Siemian is a great option to have, and I wouldn’t hesitate to start him if Colter was hurt, but I think some fans are looking just at Colter’s negative plays and Siemian’s positive ones. Siemian has a strong arm, no doubt – but that’s not all there is to a good quarterback, especially when running the option in the spread.

    • Purple Line

      Colter greatly limits what we can do in the passing game because he’s erratic and has a weak arm. Against BC he had 3 egregious passes where he missed completely wide open receivers, including one that came out of his hands practically end-over-end and hit the receiver’s feet 5 yards away. As a result the playing calling relies on Colter throwing short passes all day, whereas with Siemian we can extend the field. I might feel a little more inclined to start Colter if we didn’t have a running game (like last year), but with Mark and Trumpy both looking good it’s not like we have to rely on Colter’s rushing ability.

      Also if you want to justify how Siemian forces “too many balls into tight coverage,” a single example is not gonna do it. That’s one pass, not many passes. You also left out the fact that Siemian is also a very accurate passer in addition to having a strong arm. It’s not like he’s Evan Watkins out there.

    • s

      You mean the 40+ yarder where the receiver was 5 yards behind the defense and should have gone for an easy TD if it wasn’t way under thrown? You mean the “decision making” where he immediately tucks it and looks to run if his primary receiver is covered?

  • Matt

    ¨Mike Hankwitz reverted to his dropping 7-8 in to coverage which gave Chase Rettig ALL DAY to throw.´

    In conference play, that´s the way to lose.

    • Sasser

      Against whom?

      • Matt

        If we give the Qbs of the eight conference teams, we have yet to play, ¨ALL DAY to throw,¨ we lose to at least half of them.

        • Sasser

          No, no, and no. If you’ve watched any of the other teams this year, the B1G is all about rushing quarterbacks this year.

          Indiana — Throwing offense. But their defense is historically terrible.
          Penn State — Balanced. I would put Terbush on par with (Vanderbilt’s) Rodgers.
          Minnesota — Rushing offense, assuming Gray’s on the field. Otherwise, balanced.
          Nebraska — Rushing offense. That, and we beat them at their own game last year.
          Iowa — Zero offense. Supposed to be throwing, but that remains to be seen.
          Michigan — Rushing offense.
          Michigan State — Throwing offense.
          Illinois — Rushing offense.

          So no, right now, with how the B1G is going, I don’t see where we lose four of those games due to lousy pass defense.

          • Doug

            1) Terbush plays for Purdue, not Penn State.
            2) We lost to Michigan and Illinois last year with the same quarterbacks they have this year. Both times we tried to make them pass and they lit us up. Martinez also had a (then) career passing day against us. Ergo, what you see against non-conference does not dictate what a team will do against us, or that it will be unsuccessful.

          • Doug

            Why didn’t it just respond normally? Why the @sasser as a big bold blue link bit? I didn’t even type his name… Help. I’m really not a fan of these new comments (sorry LTP).

          • wcgrad

            Missed McGloin’s annual coming out party against us. That’s a throwing offense with O’Brien in charge.

          • Narcissus Smith

            Michigan and Illinois are two rushing offenses that absolutely torched our secondary last year.

  • Cats83

    NU gets 41 votes in the AP poll, just missing the top 25…Nebraska is at 25, then in the ‘others receiving votes’ list, it’s Oregon St, Baylor, and NU. Go Cats!

  • JK

    The Cats are up to 28 in the week 4 AP poll. That’s a big jump, but it seems to be about where they belong…at last. The no respect for those first two wins was sending me into a slow burn.

  • Wildcats99

    Interesting piece in the Sun-Times today demanding that the Cats start Trevor over Kain. I’ve never seen a newspaper be such an advocate for a coaching move. I agree though 100%. As much as we all love Kain, Trevor is the better QB.

  • Db

    One of the pro colter points that is bothering me – comments about how great he escapes the rush. The most effective way to beat a blitz is to read it and get the ball out of your hand. Typically you want a team to blitz because it leaves them naked. The defense would much prefer that you run east/west for 50 yards and gain 5. If that was your downside you would blitz every time. Which is why everyone brings the house against colter in passing situations. He doesn’t react in a way that can hurt a defense, thru the air, not consistently anyway.

    • http://twitter.com/buckyor Bucky

      You are presuming that every rush Colter evades is the result of a blitz. Many, if not most, have come from simply rushing four. No blitz to beat on those plays.

      • AdamDG

        Colter consistently tucks and runs when his first read is covered. When you have a team with many talented WRs, you need to go through your reads as a quarterback. As athletically gifted as Colter is, I can’t see how many feel that starting him gives NU the best chance to win.

  • http://twitter.com/LakeThePosts Lake The Posts

    Fact ‘Cats are 28th in AP and 30th in ESPN/USA Today is kind of a crock. When you 3-0 against the schedule we’ve had (only team to beat 3 BCS AQ teams) you’d think you’d get in at 25. Great trivia ? – How many weeks of the regular season has a Pat Fitzgerald team been ranked?

    • Doug

      2 or 3? He’s never won when ranked…

    • Purple Line

      I don’t know if it’s a crock. Yes we beat BCS AQ teams, but none of them were predicted to be very competitive in their conferences. I don’t think our wins exactly scream ‘top 25 team,’ and it’s gonna take some more wins for NU to shed our less than impressive preseason expectations from the coaches and media (no votes in the preseason polls). If we do our job in the coming weeks and more ranked teams lose, we’ll certainly be ranked.

    • cece

      Patience.

    • vaudvillain

      Though we always seem to play our best when we’re in the “also receiving votes” category. Once we get ranked, for whatever reason, we lose. But then again, we got the home night game monkey off our back…so maybe we can get the “they finally ranked us” monkey, too…and then, of course, the bowl monkey!

  • JP

    Add me to the list of people who noticed the clock operator goofiness. On Budzien’s 4th FG, just before the half, the back judges were slow in putting their hands up because, IMHO, they rightly wanted the clock to run off and not make the teams line up for a kickoff. Watch the highlight video and you’ll see it. I think they were surprised the clock had already stopped. Home-field advantage? The Cats don’t have it with their timekeeper, that’s for sure. If that’s a paying job, give me an application.

  • Purple to Pasadena

    Although this took place last week, in light of what we saw yesterday (or in this case didn’t see, specifically Ifeadi Odenigbo on the field), add to the disappointing the burning of Odenigbo’s redshirt in the Vandy game. Please tell me that Fitz didn’t burn that redshirt so that Odenigbo could replace Deonte Gibson on the second string for a one-week injury.

West Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Nebraska3000
Minnesota2100
Iowa3100
Illinois2100
Wisconsin2100
Purdue2200
Northwestern 1200

East Division

TeamsW (Overall)L (Overall)W (B1G)L (B1G)
Penn State3010
Maryland3100
Ohio State2100
Michigan2100
Michigan State3100
Indiana1100
Rutgers2101