Random Thoughts: on NU's Schedule

There are a few things on the Northwestern Wildcat Football Schedule that have raised those "danger-danger" signs in Coach Roy's mind. Nothing to do with the Cats', except they have to be sure not to fall into a few traps...

What does that Aussie guy say? "Danger, Danger?
As I look at Northwestern's schedule, I can see some "easy" games, then a few that will be tough, but I also see a couple of traps that could really make this football season a downer.

Ohio University - The Bobcats have a new coach who has fired up the program with major college ideas - former Nebraska coach Frank Solich has come in with his winning record and something to prove.

Wouldn't he love to come into Evanston, just north of Chicago with all the media, not too many NU fans, and hang a big L on the NU Wildcats.

There are media guys already talking about the "turn around" at Ohio U - and a win would fit the "template." NU has to put these guys away early as much to shut up all the talk as to get our season off to a good start. I think this one is won in the trenches by Barry C. & Co., but I'm still a little worried.

-Danger-Danger-

Northern Illinois - Last year's "Tied for First" MAC team comes into Evanston [again without all the students] ready to prove to the Chicago media that they're for real. Joe Novak, another Miami of Ohio grad, would love to follow in Terry Hoepner's footsteps and hang a big loss on Northwestern at home.

He's got 7 starters returning on offense, 6 on defense from that tied for first team, and while his team might be in a bit of disarray - there's no question at QB - last year's backup, Junior Phil Horvath, of Naperville Central, will be under center.

Horvath was the backup last year, who came off the bench to beat Maryland, then went 2-1 while the starter, Josh Haldi healed. He can generate a passing game - he gained 191 thru the air against Bowling Green.

The Huskies probably will come off a loss to Michigan on the road, and given that they're not too banged up, they should be considered armed and dangerous.

-Danger-Danger-

Illinois - Down there after we've won for the last 2 years, the Fighting Illini may have lost their mascot, but they seem to have found some drive.

Ron Zook, another new coach, has been pumping up the Illinois team and has a couple of pretty decent recruiting classes worth of kids to make a statement in the Big 10. It will be both team's last regular game and the Illinois just might be pulling it together.

Last time we won in Champaign, we did it with our running game - Jason Wright just ran and ran and Illinois just couldn't do anything to stop him. We might be in a position to do that again, but I'm just a little worried that Illinois might be finally playing together again.

-Danger-Danger-

I'm also a little worried about Penn State, although they seem to be falling apart, and Purdue, a couple of teams we should be able to beat, even though we're away against the Boilermakers. [Yeah, Purdue is one team everyone thinks we can't beat, but somehow I think we can]

Anyway, Coach Walker wants to finish better than 6-6 this year. The teams listed above should be part of those wins, but when I think about this season, I keep hearing the Crocodile Hunter saying, "Danger, Danger."
-- da Coach

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