Gophers blog with a heavy emphasis on the football team.
Return to Glory
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Realistic Expectations for Northwestern Wildcats
Sept. 1: @Syracuse LOSS Sept. 8: Vanderbilt WIN Sept. 15: Boston College WIN
Sept. 22: South Dakota WIN
Sept. 29: Indiana WIN
Oct. 6: @ Penn St. LOSS
Oct. 13: @ Minnesota LOSS
Oct. 20: Nebraska LOSS
Oct. 27: Iowa LOSS Nov. 10: @ Michigan LOSS Nov. 17: @ Michigan St. LOSS Nov. 24: Illinois WIN
Overall Record 5-7
Big Ten Record 2-6
Northwestern is another Big Ten team that is having to replace a solid starting quarterback, Dan Persa in this case. However, there have been numerous other depatures too. In fact, only Wisconsin returns fewer starters in the Big Ten this year. In addition to Persa, Northwestern must find a way to replace the reliable produciton of solid wide receiver Jeremy Ebert. It appears Kain Colter will be the starting quarterback this fall for the Wildcats, which means it is additional 2011 wide receiver production that will be missing in 2012. Tight end Drake Dunsmore has also graduated and moved on to the NFL with the Tampa Bay Bucaneers. Lastly, the Wildcats must also replace 4 year offensive line starters tackle Al Netter and guard Ben Burkett. To be honest those were their best two linemen and the rest of the line is proving to be below average, which will add to their offensive woes. Northwestern has shown a history of being able to generate a quality offense, but I see a signifcant step back this year. The one offensive bright spot would be if 5 star wide receiver recruit Kyle Prater, who transferred from USC, wins his hardship appeal this July that would allow him to immediately suit up for the Wildcats this fall. Northwestern's defense has been stuck in neutral, if not actually going in reverse. Only Minnesota and Indiana gave up more points last year, and there simply isn't a quick fix for 2012. I look for the offense to struggle, as they seek to generate continuity on the offense. Unfortunately, the defense will be ill equipped to make up any shortfall on the offensive side of the ball. Northwestern has road games against Penn St., Michigan and Michigan St. and will face Nebraska at home. If Northwestern has any hope of reaching a bowl game they absolutely have to beat Boston College and either Minnesota or Iowa. The end result is a disappoint 5-7 campaign.