Two Deep Changes for Minnesota

<b>Northwestern</b> released the Monday 2 Deep for the game against the <b>Minnesota Golden Gophers.</b><br><br> If change is inevitable, then the inevitable happened last week -

Everyone knew it was coming, talked about it, expected it....
Those who watched the Ohio State game know that Freshman Trevor Rees [6-2 280 - NU Photo] started, relieving Junior Matt Ulrich at Center for the Wildcats. Ulrich moved back to guard, a position where he played and started all last season.

From Pearland, Texas, Rees played in a similar offense through high school and was targeted by the 'Cats, who were facing the graduation of Austin King, now with the Tampa Bay Bucs. Rees takes over at center one game later than King originally did his freshman year.

Coach Randy Walker was on record after the spring game about not liking to start freshmen on the O-Line [The first Austin King centered team was 3-8], but Rees' play as a backup in practice and the Duke games brought about the inevitable change.

Regular readers will remember the center shuffle the Wildcats held during the Spring Drills - Redshirt Senior Carl Matejka originally was expected to play center, but he decided 2 days into the Spring that he really didn't want to play football and graduated last Summer.

So up stepped a frosh, Jim Devine. Devine got injured during the spring, and even Greg Lutzen, a converted D-End snapped a few before he was moved to guard.

By the Spring Game, last year's left guard, Matt Ulrich [6-2 310 - right] was snapping the ball for the Wildcats and everyone was waiting for the arrival of the two incoming freshmen centers, Rees and Austin Matthews. At guard, Ulrich was considered the #2 blocker on the Cats and is the Cats' fastest lineman and one of the strongest.  He's still listed as the #2 Center.

The move of Ulrich to guard, moves Junior Bill Newton to backup and moves Greg Lutzen - also injured during the summer - to backup left guard. Once again, the Cats go into the Minnesota game with 10 offensive linemen, but the average weight has dropped a bit. to 310 lbs across the front.

You have to like the lineup of Zach Strief and Ulrich on the right side - I'm sure Jason Wright and Noah Herron do.

The only other change on the 2 deep is the addition of Marquice Cole as #2 Left Cornerback. Cole suffered a back injury against Air Force.
I saw two things that bothered me in the Ohio State game....
1. Where is the line during Punts and Field Goals?
NU looked like a bad High School team when we're trying to make the kicks. The snaps are off target, there's a significant rush, Brian Huffman was kicking for his life, and poor Slade Larscheid can't even show if he can kick because there are more opponents around around him than Wildcats.

Our kicking game doesn't seem to be Div I caliber, but I suspect the fault is not the guys trying to kick the ball.

2. When did our receivers catch the dropsies?
You know, start looking down field before the ball arrives? I saw a whole bunch of dropped passes by upper classmen late in the game against OSU. We had an old Little League coach who used to say, "Gotta have it."

I use it with my kids today - when the game is on the line and they toss you the ball you "Gotta have it!"
That's it for today...keep those cards and letters coming in folks...

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