SjT: NU D Throws a Shutout - C.J. just Throws

First off, perhaps the best thing about the First Northwestern Wildcat game on the new Big Ten Network? Our designated abbreviation on top of the screen was NU. Not NW or NWU, but NU. FINALLY!

So, not a great game but a solid first effort all around with lots to be excited about this year
The good ...
* C.J. Bacher - He was on fire, he was utilizing every one of his weapons and he was cool under fire. He even showed some elusiveness (except he seems to spin out of pressure the opposite way you would naturally). Our offense is in good hands!

* Special teams - NU fans dreaded the new kickoff rule - but touchbacks and opponent starting position inside the 30 were the norm.

And WHOA! Touchbacks!! Opponent drives starting inside the 30!! NICE!

Good coverage and punts too. Now let's work on returns.

* The secondary - Tighter coverage and a bit of an attitude. McManus was flying around the field and making some nice pump-up plays. Good to see some aggressiveness (without the stupid penalties, of course).

Over all - I'm liking our secondary's attitude this year ...

they're hitting hard, they're pumping the D up and every time I see a pass, they're right there. No more cushions! I actually thought we could have been flagged for interference a couple times ... but hey, push the limits until they flag you, right?
The bad ...
* Our O-line - Tyrell Sutton earned every yard he got through sheer will and by breaking many, many tackles. Our line didn't help him or Bacher much. We did wear them out at the end, but I want that domination to start early.

We should have more rushing yards - our O-line needs Trevor Rees back next week [and Adam Crum playing his normal guard spot.]

* Our front seven on D - Let's hope our secondary's attitude is contagious because we need some edge and fire up front. We gotta get some pressure there.
But overall, nice to get the shutout and nice to see us start to dominate in the second half on both sides of the ball. We just need to score more points when we have the chance.

Next week should tell us a little bit more about the Cats' chances as the level of opponent takes a step up. As for attendance, tough to say ... probably the usual suspects (small alumni base, spread out alumni base, school not in session, not much excitement over opponent from walk-up fans) -- though the weather looked nice.
Around the league:
* PSU and OSU look solid
* MSU is surprising me with their offensive openness
* And what the heck happened in ANN ARBOR?!?!?!
Lloyd may be retiring earlier than expected if they don't wake up next week.

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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All Items Copyright 2007 by Stephen J. Truog and PurpleWildcats/Purple Reign

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