SjT - This much I know....

Iowa may come back to win this game [They Didn't], but after last weekend's game at Michigan and today's first half at Iowa, I know this much ...

* Pat Fitzgerald is our coach. Do not underestimate the job our young coach has done with this team the last two weeks. The X's and O's can be learned, the emotions and personal side of coaching can not. You either got it or you don't and Fitz has "got it."

We all felt how devastating the MSU loss was - to head to Ann Arbor and Iowa City following that loss, the biggest task was not to just get blown out of the Big House and Kinnick. Not only has this team held together, they've gotten better.

That fight, unity, drive and bond can all be credited to our leader on the sidelines. This man is ready to be a coach, my friends. He'll have to tinker with coordinators and play calls and learn a lot there, but he has the biggest thing in a coach - he has his team and his players will play for him.

* C.J. Bacher can run this offense. We saw what a big difference the loss of Baz made in the first half of the season. In the last 3 games, we've seen what a big difference a CJ can make in getting the O back to where it should be. This guy's our quarterback, and he has a couple more years left!

* When the offense is balanced by a solid QB, Tyrell Sutton is one heck of a running back. His numbers will show sophomore slump, but he hasn't lost a step from last year when the offensive rhythm is established and has even added some strength in running over foes.

* Long offensive drives rock! And they let the defense rest to rush more! Just as Fitz is finding his groove, our OC appears to be finding his way rather nicely. Now just don't let up on offense with a lead! Oh yeah - and on 3rd and 1, do NOT run an option to the SHORT SIDE of the field, especially when Brewer doesn't yet know how to make the defender commit on the option.

* Our defensive players have a lot of heart and hustle. I'm not sure Colby deserves to be back next year, but it's nice to see our players hustling and fighting hard - with the right schemes they can be effective and we can hopefully add to the talent pool.

* Special teams is still a glaring weakness on this team. The missed FG hurts and thankfully the interception wiped out a horrible punt that set Iowa up for a TD. We really need to focus on improving this area ASAP.

* We have our own excuses this year, so I don't want to keep hearing about the weather in Ann Arbor or Iowa's slew of injuries. We have our own injuries and trials.

* If we had had this team on the field in place from the start of September, we may be thinking Phoenix right now ... not the BCS bowls, but the Insight Bowl.

Much like the 1997 team where an early injury (Bates) really killed the season, we were hurt at the start of this year by Walker's death and injuries. But we're really playing decent football right now and looking like a much improved team - the opposite of what you'd expect would happen after a loss like the MSU game - so that has me optimistic for next year and the future.

Oh yeah, one more thing I know ...

* WE WILL BEAT ILLINOIS in two weeks!

GO CATS!!!
-SjT

Stephen J. Truog, former NU Marching Band member and now educator in Arizona, comments on the Wildcats from both the sidelines and his couch
He has his own NU oriented Web Site - Visit SjTonline

You can send your direct comments or "back door" information
directly to Coach Roy [CoachRoy74 on AIM]
[or comment on the Purple Boards]
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