A Tale of Two Halves: Reaction and Recap of Northwestern vs. Nebraska

What started off promisingly quickly turned ugly for Northwestern as they fell to the Nebraska Cornerhuskers 38-17. The whole team, especially the offense, suffered a complete meltdown in the second half. With the loss Northwestern falls to 3-4 on the season and 2-2 in Big Ten play. NU had fans feeling good after the first half, going into the break leading 17-14. Unfortunately for the ‘Cats, the Nebraska Cornhuskers flipped a switch and outscored them 21 to 0 after the break.

It started off extremely positively as the ‘Cats forced Nebraska to punt and then the offense marched the ball down the field against the Huskers. Justin Jackson was slipping and scooting for positive yards every play and it looked like Nebraska would have trouble with him all night.

After that drive, however, the ‘Cats started with the self-inflicted wounds. The defense repeatedly came up with stops and gave the offense a chance to seize the momentum, but the ‘Cats couldn’t take it. On one drive, Kyle Prater negated a first down with an offense pass interference. Then, Trevor Siemian tried to squeeze a ball into triple coverage down-field, which resulted in an easy pick. There were multiple instances where the NU D forced Nebraska to punt and then Northwestern proceeded to give the ball right back after stalling on offense.

When they weren’t making critical mental mistakes, the offense play calling was failing to capitalize on what the Cornhusker D was giving them. The Blackshirts repeatedly sent multiple blitzers, yet NU was running plays that took 4-5 seconds to develop. It took them 3 drives to figure out that they needed to run some quick passing plays and screens to counter this. When they finally adjusted, they were able to open up space for the offense to operate.

Despite those miscues, Justin Jackson’s stellar play at running back and the Wildcat defense came to play, which gave Northwestern the lead going into halftime. Jackson finished the first half with 15 carries for 99 yards with 2 touchdowns. He was simply too good to be stopped by Nebraska. After taking a 14-7 lead on the back of Jackson, the NU defense finally broke a bit, as they allowed Nebraska to march down the field on 3 consecutive plays to tie the game up at 14 a piece. NU was able to sneak a field goal in before the first half, taking the lead and some momentum (we thought) into that halftime break.

The second half was a whole different story for Northwestern. They started off with the ball and proceeded to go 3 and out. This was a theme throughout the half. NU would typically run an outside play with Jackson on 1st down, which would get them 2 or 3 yards. Then they would miss a quick pass and fail to convert the third down. The formula did not change, despite the lack of success. Trevor Siemian had trouble finding open receivers and even when they were open, there would be costly drops. It didn’t look like there were any halftime adjustments made to counter what Nebraska was throwing at them. They finished the game with only 28 net yards of offense in the 2nd half.

On defense, Ameer Abdullah, De’Mornay Pierson-El, and Tommy Armstrong ran all over the ‘Cats, especially on 3rd down. Abdullah rushed for 107 yards and 3 TD’s in the second half alone and Tommy Armstrong added another 109 yards of total offense. The real story was how Northwestern defense could not get Nebraska off the field. They continually had them in 3rd and longs, yet Nebraska found a way to keep the drive alive. While they were 1-6 in the first half, they finished the game going 7 for 9 on third down conversions. As a result of these conversions, Abdullah was able to punch in multiple short yardage touchdowns, putting the game out of reach for the ‘Cats.

Special teams wise, the unit looked lost all day. The punting unit only averaged 37 yards per punt and even though the kickoff unit kept the ball away from the returner, this strategy spotted Nebraska 10 yards every drive. The biggest mistake of the day for this unit was the running into the returner penalty that Marcus McShepherd took late. It’s inexcusable that this team doesn’t have discipline on special teams, a unit that Fitzgerald coaches himself. That’s two weeks in a row that the unit has made colossal mistakes.

Overall, it was an extremely disappointing game for the ‘Cats, especially on the offensive side of the ball. Trevor Siemian still doesn’t look like he’s the answer under center. He took a ton of bad sacks, threw the ball into traffic, and failed to make plays when it mattered most. To be fair though, the receivers weren’t giving him much help with the drops and inability to get open. Special teams continue to be a disappointment and it’s to the point where I’m holding my breath every time Northwestern punts the ball. The defense was very solid in the half and I can’t blame them too much for the lost. Northwestern’s offense couldn’t keep the defense off the field.

Once again, we find ourselves asking who is this Northwestern team? I think the answer is becoming clear that this team is destined for mediocrity this year. With a coaching staff that can’t adjust to the opposing team’s game plans and a QB that doesn’t make plays, it’s tough to win consistently in the Big Ten. This defense is good enough to win, but the offense, with the exception of Justin Jackson, is not good enough to put up the necessary points. I hope the team proves me wrong, like they did against Penn State and Wisconsin, but until something changes, I’m not feeling overly confident going to Iowa in 2 weeks.

  • DT

    It took you this long to recognize this team is destined for mediocrity? Welcome to NU Football under Pat Fitzgerald, young man…

    • PBRCat

      It pains to say so, but you are absolutely right. The offense had absolutely nothing after the third quarter began.
      Trevor Siemian limped for much of the second half, but he played the entire game. When does the OC chalked it all up to experience and start playing one of the younger quarterbacks with a view towards 2015. Siemian is due to graduate and he has been playing hurt for ages. He starts off each game okay, but he gets worn out as the game progresses. His mobility is an issue and by the end of the game he cannot plant his bad leg to get anything on his passes.

      • DT

        At this point, what you see is what you get, PBR… For some of the Kool Aid crowd and graduation rate champions, this stuff is just fine.. If one aspires to support a quality, upwardly mobile BCS program destined for success, The Northwestern Wildcats are not your cup of tea.. Mediocrity is just fine with many that support this program.. Pretty pathetic..
        Really, the “D” was manhandled pretty much the second half and the offensive effort with its three first downs in Q- 3 and Q-4 was anemic.. Problem is much bigger than Trevor Siemian with the OL just melting down the second half..
        Net/net, Nebraska made a few adjustments at the half, and Fitz, McCall and Hankwitz being the one trick strategists they are were impotent to make any to benefit us.. So it goes, particularly against a legit Top 20 opponent.. Could be carnage at South Bend in a few weeks as well..
        Finally, was a pleasure to meet so many of our season ticket holders from Nebraska in person tonight.. Proof positive the strong sales and marketing effort from Phillips and Polisky is working so well as they tell us.. 30K in red.. Another house of cards from NU..
        Hope the beers were flowing at the American Legion.. ..

        • PBRCat

          Nebraska returned from the locker room prepared to play. I wanted to see Northwestern mount a sustained drive with the 3rd quarter kickoff, but it was a big nothing for the entire second half.
          The American Legion Post was surrounded by Nebraska fans. It reminded me of the Alamo if not the 2000 Alamo Bowl.

          • DT

            I’m sorry to hear about the American Legion.. Unfortunately, having spent three days before and two days after along the River Walk around the 2000 Alamo Bowl, I get the scene you describe.. Ouch..

          • PBRCat

            I am feeling worse about my decision to purchase tickets for the Notre Dame game.
            The Wildcats are not even entertaining to watch at present. It would have been more fun to rake the leaves or clean the gutters today.

          • DT

            I’m still going down with guests from out of town no less.. ND played a heck of a game against The Noles tonight.. Questionable call to some extent cost em the winning TD.. They looked good and Kelly has them out of their period of mediocrity..

          • Mark Heller

            Yes, interesting when pass interference called on a play where the interference doesn’t affect the actual play result. But it would be a nightmare to make the call based on what you (the refs) thought affected the play. So it makes sense to call it. We also saw that tonight called against the Cats (the Vitale catch).

          • DT

            Personally, I’m all for calling the so called, illegal “picks” particularly as the various spread schemes have proliferated all levels of FBS. That said, I think Notre Dame got jobbed on that call.. So effing tired of FSU and the Winston saga as well… Anything but a Notre Dame fan, but I was pulling for them tonight..
            They will certainly take us to the woodshed in South Bend nonetheless.

          • Truth

            UNL ran the most blatant pick play on their first 3rd down pass of the game. #84 did nothing but block whoever was lined up on Westerkamp. It was balatant as blatant gets. No call. Of course.

          • Steve

            It sucks really hard to see a no-call like that, but there’s no-calls in every game that suck, and you have to overcome those too. We didn’t deserve to win yesterday, at least not in the second half.

          • Bandcat

            Stay home….we will probably have the white crap to shovel and occupy our time constructively by then.

          • Truth

            Don’t! Just sell them on Stubhub or whatever. You’ll double your money as the stock market declines. That’s a great deal!

          • LProf

            Yes, but I found the Nebraska fans to be the most polite and cheerful of any of the Big Ten schools. I heard a man tell his wife, “Well, it’s understandable that there aren’t that many NU fans here. It’s a small private school, and this city has all those professional teams.” All I get from the Michigan fans is a lot of crap about how NU fans are pathetic.

          • Eva Byerley

            You must have been sitting by the nice Nebraska fan. Over in my section, I have never felt more harassed or uncomfortable by the sea of red, chanting and taunting – at times downright offensive things. I even had a father, who was drunk at the game with his grown children, fall on top of me, more than once. Even when NU was doing well on the field, I was pretty downright miserable…

          • wild-one

            Eva B – I agree with you on the Nebraska fans. They were rude, obnoxious and condescending. I am not sure why people rave about their fan base being classy. Was not my experience at all – quite the opposite.

          • Daniel Revas

            Sounds like sour grapes. There are always a few bad apples in every bunch, and that includes Nebraska Fans. The reason you hear so many good things is that those bad apples are the exception, not the rule.

            Try going to a game in Columbia Missouri.

          • PBRCat

            All of the Nebraska fans that I have interacted with have been courteous. They ought to conduct a charm school for other programs based in Ohio and Michigan.

        • cece

          spot on with the season ticket holder assessment. it was mighty embarrassing in there tonight, so much red on the east side of the stadium. Wake up admin.

          • DT

            Just about what many expected, C..

          • LProf

            I cannot think of a more embarrassing half of offensive (and I mean that in more than one way) football that I have witnessed live since the Rose Bowl season. Am I forgetting any? I see this as at best a 5-7 season and more likely 4-8 (Purdue looked really good yesterday). I see no point in keeping Trevor out there. I don’t accept injury as an excuse; if he isn’t injured, he shouldn’t be out there.

          • Daniel Revas

            Don’t feel too bad guys, we did that to Notre Dame one time, much to their chagrin. Good luck the rest of the way.

          • dnod

            I talked to several Nebraska fans who have Northwestern Season tickets. I paid $70 to be on the 45 year line in section 12 around 30 rows up from one of your season ticket holders. It seemed some of the people around me weren’t too happy about that. If you start winning consistently, that won’t be as much of a problem. I still think your program gets a lot from what it invests. I think you need to invest more in facilities and then you will get better players. We (Nebr) would of loved to have Cain Colter, but he went to the cats. YOu just need more Colters. Good luck

        • dnod

          Looking at your situation objectively, you are a private school that either doesn’t have the money to invest or chooses to invest the money elsewhere. Nebraska is where it is at because of many years of winning, but we got lucky in finding Bob Devaney. I think Fitz does pretty well with what he has. It shouldn’t matter to a kid going to college, but facilities matter and for what I saw, Northwestern has the worst facilities in the Big Ten, although I have been to Purdue, Rutgers or Maryland. I would have patience, who are you going to get to come there? Urban Meyer turned down Nebraska when he was at Utah. You could find a diamond in the rough coach like Barnett, but then they leave because either you can’t or won’t pay enough and most coaches will not feel they can win a National Championship there. What are you doing with all that BTN $$? I’ll be back, because Chicago is a fun town, got to Evansville too late to explore ended up at the Bluestone after the game. Good luck going forward. Hope you go 3-1. The fact that your beat Nebraska in 2011 at Lincoln, says you have a good coach. Nebraska just has better players , better facilities and a long winning tradition. Be patient, it doesn’t happen overnight.

          • DT

            Looking at your situation objectively, losing to NU at Lincoln in 2011 and needing a Hail Mary and total defensive breakdown to win again in 2013 shows just how far your program has indeed slipped since the Glory Days of Devaney which has about as much current relevancy as say the days of Ara Parseghian at NU.. One thing Barnett did prove, is that NU can play at the highest rungs of D-1 Football as the business exists in the era of 65 scholarship parity.. Should be the goal every year at NU, as it was under Tom Osborne at Nebraska..
            I’d suggest Nebraska was not very “patient” with a quality coach ala Frank Solich who was loyal and paid some dues.. Needless to say- you good folks in Nebraska were not overly patient with a Coach named Bill Callahan.. I’d double down on a bet, that if Mr. Pellini were ten games under .500 nine years deep into his Husker tenure, your patience would be a bit thin as well. All that being said, don’t come on here and suggest being patient with our Head Coach.. Doctor, heal thyself, so to speak.. Being a private school has nothing to do with anything related to what you suggest, particularly as FBS exists at AQ conferences BTW.. Look at Stanford, Notre Dame, USC, Duke and Vandy in recent years.. Along those lines, we all share that BTN money equally… Your administration may or may not be investing that in a more prudent manner than NU including facility.. Who knows.
            Finally, I’m glad you enjoy Chicago.. Conversely, I have no plans or desire to visit Lincoln..

      • cebopd

        One thing no on mentions is NU’s inability to take some time off the clock before the 1st half ended. NU scored WAY too early(at 1:58) and Neb had i believe 1 time out. If NU ran the ball once or twice they could have gotten the clock down to a minute or less and would’ve given Nebraska less options in their offense to score. Then Neb marches down the field and scores a TD to tie it up 14-14. I much rather would have had us up 14-7 than 17-14

        • PBRCat

          A perfectly valid observation. Shut down the Cornhuskers during that series and it could have been a buzz killer for the UNL.

  • 4411

    Fitz is just so awful. Fans just sit and wait for how this team is going to be outplayed in the second half. And the special teams are the worst in the country. The return man is sitting waiting for a thirty yard line drive. We have stupid penalties. And this man recruited a qb that has zero running ability. Maybe people who support this guy are ok with a 500 record. Bc average is all he will get this team to be. Average at best. One more thing. For all those who had a W next to Purdue and their pocket achedule should get an eraser. Purdue just showed how bad our offense is with this qb and this staff.

    • Truth

      That’s frankly a dumb comment. There was not a single line drive punt from Gradone today. In fact, he had enough hang time to force a few fair catches and a couple other very risky catches. He punted about average for a Big Ten punter today. The insult was the constant squib kicking as if Fitz decided he was a pissed off dad “grounding” the kickoff unit on a Saturday night.

      • fidel305

        Surpassed by yours

        • Truth

          You’re wrong. And I guarantee you either were not there or have no idea what you’re talking about. Gradone punted reasonably well tonight. Not John Kidd. But few are. If he averaged 37 with the hang time I saw with my own eyes, he did his job. Not BT player of the week good. But good enough for the coaches to not waste time with him next week.

          • LProf

            Are you sure you’re not thinking of the Nebraska punter’s hang time? We don’t see punts like that at NU.

          • 4411

            Dude. His punts travelled 37 yards. That is downright pathetic. And they had zero hang time. In my book that is a line drive punt. They were able to be covered bc it was so short. Seriously you must be watching a lot of high school cube to thinking those were legit punts.

      • NUBobby95

        What game were you watching? He barely had any hang time on any of his punts against one if Nebraska’s major weapons. I am going to call out the fans. No heart, no passion, no clue. Sections 127-130 blow.

    • LProf

      If we end up with a .500 record this year I will dance down Central St. (not really; that’s what’s called hyperbole; my point is, no way in hell are we likely to get to even being mediocre).

  • hoverlow

    QB play, QB choice, coaching, play calling, game prep….. 4-8 here we come…

  • Mark Heller

    Second half: Huskers rush 3 or 4 on the hike then blitz linebacker and corner after NU’s OL are engaged. Seconds count off and the ball is still in the QB’s hand. Huskers start most offensive series on at least their own 40 or better. NU starts drives inside own 20. Can’t sustain that long without other team starting to dominate.

    And with 4.5 minutes left and down 3 touchdowns Cats still can’t give their backup QB some experience? I mean theoretically it was still “possible” for Cats to win – a trillion to one.

    And being an Eastsider the West Side started to empty purple when NU still had a statistical chance to win.

    Another good to great game by the defense.

    The ticket office needs to make Purple Pricing adjustable both ways!!

    • DT

      Good to great game by the “D”? Not the game I was seeing from the West Side in 130.. Decent effort the first half.. Poor effort in Q-3 and Q4.. Moreover, they were gassed..

      • Mark Heller

        Well, I think you can disagree but any time one team routinely starts drives at midfield and the other team inside its 20 in most cases the former team will win and might win convincingly. And especially if the former team is sacking a QB who holds the ball well past 4 seconds. Disagree strongly with Greenstein’s criticism of the O line – you can only hold off a pass rush for a certain amount of time at which point the ball must come out. (Especially if blitzes aren’t initiated until it’s clear where the gaps between engage O linemen are.) Nebraska wasn’t blitzing at the hike of the ball, but rather after it was clear to the blitzer(s) where the gap was.

        Even during the second to last Husker offensive series they substituted in their entire second O line while leaving their skilled players – read ball handlers in. Huskers could have scored again at the end if they wanted.

        • DT

          Agreed, Pellini took the foot off the gas at the end.. Nice of him…

        • royko

          I think it would be interesting to see where this defense would be if we had anything going on offense. There’s just no way they can do much if the offense keeps going 3 and out.

          • Truth

            Top 10 scoring. Top 50 yards. We do a nice job of bend but don’t break. The glaring exception was the 7 UNL put up at the end of the 1st half. That sucked. Oh, and of course the 7 straight consecutive 3rd down conversions in a row without forcing a punt to start the second half. Otherwise, I can’t blame them.

        • Truth

          Greenstein is clueless. And a bad journalist. Bad. His ego greatly exceeds his acumen. And acumen is sheer flattery in his case, due to the size of his ego.

        • wild-one

          Mark H. – could not agree more. The Oline is doing a good job. They seem to be gelling as a group, which is important. You are right – can only hold them so long. This O line is strong and physical. They are not perfect, but they are improving and I have confidence in them moving forward.

          Go Cats !.

    • PBRCat

      The Wildcats really have to address their problem at quarterback. Trevor Siemian seems to struggle with mobility in the second half of every game. I would like to see someone else play before Siemian graduates.

  • Bandcat

    Gassed says it for the D…28 net yds in the 2nd half for Trev and Co….Alviti must be a bust or Fitz is going with Seniorty Prevails at all times at theQb position..there will not be a bowl game this year…Trev had his chance it’s ova and time to start shaking it out for next year.

  • PBRCat

    Tonight many Northwestern fans exited early and as Nebraska started to pile up points it seemed as if the remaining fans went completely silent. The cheering had stopped.
    Nebraska mounted one scoring drive that took under one minute. Northwestern does not have the ability to put up points by means of a lightning quick strike any more. Once the Wildcats fell behind by more than two scores, it seemed to be effectively over.
    Many family members of the various coaches sit in our section. They looked positively numb as the game concluded. No one was talking.

    • bowl eligibility is looking tough indeed. 5 games left, need to win 3. They’re not winning at ND, so that means they need to go 3-1 vs. Michigan, vs. Illinois, at Iowa, and at Purdue.

      All of those games certainly are winnable, but winning 3 of them will be tough IMO.

  • fidel305

    Siemian got the 17 he’s good for. What did u expect, good quarterbacking? A scoring duel?

    And, of course, gradone lost us the field position “battle.”

    And, naturally the defense wore down.

    All pretty much what was expected

    • H George

      yep, right on Fidel. I really want to see Trevor do well, but it’s clear that he’s not able to perform in this very predictable and ultra-conservative offensive game plan. Time to make some changes and let Oliver or Alviti get a few reps. This team has no heart and soul. This team can’t hold the momentum of the game, and when they score, they let the opponent right back in the game. And when the pressure’s on, they can’t make the big plays.

    • Truth

      Wow, you have no clue…

      What lost us the field position battle was the 3 and outs and UNL’s ability to always make progress. We were NOT out-punted tonight. Far from it.

      • fidel305

        Ur wrong again. Nothing new for you

        • let’s do some simple math here:

          Northwestern punted 8x for 295 yards, Nebraska got 3 punt returns totaling 26 yards. So Northwestern punted 8x for a total net of 33.6 yards per punt.

          Nebraska punted 5x for 167 yards and Northwestern had no punt returns. So Nebraska punted 5x for a total net of 33.4 yards per punt.

          So the punting was equally bad by both teams.

          Truth says the problem was that Northwestern punted without gaining yardage, and this rings true. All 8 of their punts came off of drives that totaled less than 20 yards, with 7 of them failing to even pick up 10 yards.

          So you start in poor field position, don’t move the ball, and then have a short punt. That’s worse than starting in decent field position, moving the ball a bit (all 5 of their punts came from inside the Northwestern 40), and pinning the other team.

          • 4411

            The problem with that math is they were punting from the 45 or 50 on several of those punts so a 35 yard punt with hang time is ideal. They were not looking to blast punts. We were. And failed miserably However the biggest problem is our terrible offense. If we could get the ball to the 50 then a 35 punt isn’t so bad.

      • LProf

        I will agree that punting wasn’t our biggest problem last night, Mr. Gradone.

      • H George

        I’ll politely disagree with you. I was at the game, and our special teams were horrid. The kick-offs and punts looked like high school level kicks. NE clearly won the punt war and field position war.

  • H George

    This team has no idea who it is. The defense played three good weeks, and then fell apart tonight. In the 4th quarter, Nebraska pretty much abandoned its passing game and just kept running the ball, to great success.

    I just don’t get the play calling on offense, and the receivers just couldn’t seem to get open. Offensive line was inconsistent, several key drops from the receivers (again) and Trevor throwing into triple coverage. How does Mick McCall keep his job?

    What really angered me tonight was the fact that we made absolutely no adjustments at half time. Nebraska sure did. We didn’t and went totally flat the second half. Bad game, and as Wildcat fans started streaming out of Ryan Field, the Husker fans took over as chants of “Go Big Red” echoed around the stands. Not a good showing for Northwestern and Homecoming.

    Special teams are downright embarrassing. We win against Illinois, and maybe Purdue. We don’t go to a bowl game this year. The good news about that, is that MAYBE, just MAYBE, Fitz is forced by Dr. Jim to shake up his coaching staff.

    • PBRCat

      Nebraska was running the ball to keep the clock running down. Nebraska’s lead was secure by then and the Northwestern defense could not force a punt.

      • H George

        probably. But none-the-less, Nebraska was moving the ball and scoring on all run plays.

    • Robert Bruce

      Fitz needs to go. If Hoke is going to get canned for having consecutively worse records every year he has been HC, then Fitz needs to go as well. I would use the money being donated for the new stadium to buy him out. If he stays for the duration of his contract, a new stadium would be a huge mistake and a waste of $$$$$$$.

    • the defense got worn down in the 1st half, when the offense picked up a total of 2 first downs on their first 5 drives.

      If you’re on the field the entire game, eventually bad things happen.

      • LProf

        Exactly what happened. I don’t blame the defense at all (or at least much).

      • Anthony

        I agree, It doesn’t help we do a hurry up O every single time and go three and out. I have no problem with hurrying to the line of scrimmage to prevent the D from substituting players and keeping them on their toes…but eat up a little more of the play clock please.

      • bd8

        The D had already given up a long TD drive and allowed to opponent to convert big 3rd and longs in the 1st half which has been a problem all season.

        • the defense has a maddening tendency to get too conservative at key times that infuriates me. But overall they were pretty solid through the first 2.5 to 3 quarters against Nebraska before tiring out and getting run over (literally and figuratively) in the 4th.

    • LProf

      If you think about it, we have nothing but possession receivers; there’s no one out there with anything approaching breakaway speed.That’s why we virtually never have long yardage gains (Trevor also has something to do with that, I suppose). How we beat Wisconsin is a mystery to me, but even there the offense didn’t really shine.

    • bd8

      In the 2nd half, the 3 leading NU receivers were out or hurt – Shuler, Prater and Vitale.

  • H George

    Has anyone heard an update on Miles Shuler?

    • DT

      I have not.. Certainly wish him well and a full recovery from whatever injury he sustained..

  • Robert Bruce

    Northwestern has second tier players, it is that simple. NU has no tradition and nothing but rust belt cold weather to offer the kids. Sure Chicago is somewhat of an attraction, but it isn’t called the Windy City for nothing. The top talent play at programs that will get them the big $$$$$$$$ in the NFL. They don’t care for tradition, and crap like that. Think I am wrong? What got Jim Tressel canned? The kids sold their gold footballs, etc for tats. If they did that during the Hayes and Bruce eras at OSU they would have been severely reprimanded or even kicked off the team! Kids only see the benjamins, nothing more, nothing less. If the kids actually cared about academics NU would be in the top ten every year, as would U of M, but the kids want money and hot white girls to bang.

    • DT

      That is one hell of a post, my man.. Not sure where to start, but my impression of how Chicago got the name “The Windy City” has nothing do with weather, climate, or the like. Actually, history will show that New York journalists tagged us with that narrative per the amount of bluster and hyperbole from Chicago scribes and politicos around the Columbian Expo Worlds Fair… Seems, the NYC establishment thought the Midwest hayseeds were a bit full of themselves..
      Here’s to cash and hot chicks by the way.. Down right American.. Much like Jim Tressel’s sweater vest..

      • PBRCat

        Exactly right. Chicago was named “the Windy City” by rivals in other cities that were bidding for the right to host the World’s Fair.
        As for the other comments above, I am beginning to agree that the coaches rather than the players have to be reassessed.

    • fidel305

      Explain Stanford then

      And ND is looking pretty good too

    • LProf

      Are you really as much of a jerk as you sound? Probably not possible. Let’s try to inform you of some things that would have been obvious to a person of normal intelligence: Since virtually all recruits will never play in the NFL, a college education matters, and NU ranks at the top of the BIG on that front. Also, have you ever spent any time in any other BIG location? They don’t get a sun tan in January there. As for having second tier players: were those all 5 star guys playing in the 96 Rose Bowl or the Gator Bowl two years ago. You make absolutely no sense at all. And by the way, Chicago is called the Windy City because of the post-Chicago fire politicians going around the country pumping up the city; actually, we are about 12th windiest. But then again, you don’t sound like someone to whom facts actually matter.

    • LProf

      Also, we could do without the thinly veiled racism; thank you very much.

  • Robert Bruce

    Can’t win with 3 star recruits and an ultra conservative HC that obviously can’t fire up the troops to play a full 60 minutes of football. It will be a tremendous waste of time and $$$$$$$ to try and build a new stadium. No kid from the deep south is going to come up to play in Chicago.

    • fidel305

      Firimg fitz is the obvious option you are ignoring.

    • LProf

      I’m sick of hearing the crap about academics. Tell that to Stanford and Duke. Hell, even Harvard has gotten competitive in basketball. And as for our academics; is it just me, or does NU dredge up every grad who had a cameo on Saturday Night Live either to be grand marshal or speak at graduation? What about the cancer researchers or rocket scientists who went to NU? Hell, I know of at least four famous law professors who went to NU undergrad. But all NU is identified with in the public’s mind is entertainment. Don’t get me wrong; I am very proud of the entertainment folks (especially Colbert), but don’t we have ANYTHING ELSE??

  • KenRutsky

    It seems to me…we’ve gotten to the point where we have better athletes than we have coaching. We are outcoached EVERY week. I’d even argue that to be the case in the Wisconson game. Maybe against Penn St not…

    We could, with better coaching this year be probably 8 or 9 win team, I think we have that level of talent. But I believe our coaching will hold us back to 5-6 wins. I like Fitz, but if he doesn’t get the right OC, and a special teams coach too, then he will never get back to the level of success we want…and that matches the current recruiting talent…

  • PBRCat

    I am not comfortable that the Wildcats will come out of the “bye week” without suffering another defeat.

  • fidel305

    Hire Tressel.