[font=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]8. Northwestern 4-7 (2-6)[/font] Two Cent Overview
The Wildcats lost their best player from last year, running back Noah Herron, but they are still the poor man's Running Back U. They have a senior quarterback in Brett Basanez and playmakers at receiver. The defense suffered some losses, including their standout defensive end Loren Howard who is transferring to Arizona State, but they do return linebacker Tim McGarigle.
Sept. 3 Ohio (W)
Sept. 10 Northern Illinois (W)
Sept. 17 at Arizona State (L)
Sept. 24 Penn State (L)
Oct. 8 Wisconsin (W)
Oct. 15 at Purdue (L)
Oct. 22 at Michigan State (L)
Oct. 29 Michigan (L)
Nov. 5 Iowa (L)
Nov. 12 at Ohio State (L)
Nov. 19 at Illinois (W)
Five Questions Begging For Answers
1. Who will be the next running back to ease into 1,300 yards?
2. Will Brett Basanez finally throw for more than one touchdown per game?
3. Will cornerback Jeff Backes be missed more for his coverage or his experience?
4. Will Dan McGarigle lead the nation in solo tackles again?
5. Could they have gotten a more difficult Big Ten schedule?
Something To Look For
Expect a more inflictive passing attack this year. Basanez is a senior and he needs to show it with his arm as much as he has with his head.
Six on offense, four on defense and the place kicker.
Linebacker Dan McGarigle. He led the NCAA in tackles last year. He's going to continue to get opportunity after opportunity in 2005.
Second Best Player
Quarterback Bret Basanez. A senior quarterback in Randy Walker's system has no reason not to succeed. Walker believes that he has never had a group of seniors like this, and Basanez is at the head of that table, "I don't think there's a quarterback in the country that works harder than Brett Basanez...he came into our place at about 185 pounds. Now he weighs about 218 pounds and almost resembles a division one football player."
Best Chance For A Bad Loss
at Ohio State. Revenge is a dish best served in Ohio Stadium.
Most Important Game
Penn State. Not only would it be a quality win against a quality opponent, there is a chance that these two teams could be close in Big Ten record, and it would be nice to have the tiebreaker at the very least.
Best Game To Pack Up The Family Truckster And Travel To
at Arizona State. It'll be your only chance to see where the Fiesta Bowl is played. (Zing!)
Player People Will Be Pleasantly Surprised By
Running back Brandon Roberson. The sophomore will be battling Terrell Jordan for the starting spot. Roberson is faster and more elusive, but Jordan is more experienced. Either way, it's not unusual for the backup running back to get significant yards in this offense--Noah Herron rushed for 700 as a backup in 2003.
Something They Don't Do So Well
Reach the endzone via the pass. Twelve touchdown passes last year for Basanez. Granted this is a running spread offense, but still, twelve touchdowns? They threw for almost 3,000 yards and only managed one touchdown pass per game. That's just odd.
Player Most Likely To Own A Restaurant
Campbell Black. Assorted tomato-based canned soups, duh.
this game looks to be tougher than most of us thought....