Monday 2-Deep - Do it to them One More Time

After pitching a shutout, you wouldn't expect many changes to the Northwestern Defense this week, and there aren't any. There's only one offensive change of note too as the Wildcats get ready to avenge last year's drubbing at the hands of the Nevada Wolf Pack - this time at home in Evanston...

First the Superlatives

  • Tyrell Sutton - Offensive Player of the Game [108 yards rushing, 24 receiving yards and a TD]
  • C.J. Bacher - Offensive Big Playmaker [23 of 29 passing for 243 yards and 2 TDs - One passing one rushing]
  • Reggie McPherson - Defensive Player of the game [5 tackles, 2 unassisted]
  • Sherrick McManis - Defensive Big Playmaker and Special Teams Player of the Game [10 tackles, 2 for a loss]
  • Jacob Schmidt, Chris Jeske and Carl Fisher - Offensive, Defensive and Special teams Practice Player of the Week

In addition, QB C.J. Bacher was honored as the Hilton Garden Inn Male Athlete of the Week. Another point of interest, Amado Villarreal kicked 2 Field Goals and 3 PATs to finish up with 9 Special Teams points.

One last note: Tyrell Sutton is just one good game [43 yards] away from moving ahead of Jason Wright [now of the Cleveland Browns] to claim the #4 spot on the career rushing list. Sutton has 2,582 yards - Wright finished his career with 2,625.

Then there's the Shutout

The Cats last shut out Oklahoma 24-0 in August of 1997. Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald was involved in the Cats' last Big 10 Shutout - a 35-0 drubbing of Wisconsin in October 1995.

2 Deep Changes - Offense

Trevor Rees [please hold down the cheering] returns to the center spot, anchoring the offensive line. Adam Crum moves back to his normal Left Guard spot. Rees had served his punishment, sitting out one game, for his driving infraction last spring.

2 Deep Changes - Defense

None from the actual "start chart," but apparently Mike Dinard and Eddie Simpson are awfully close over at the Will Linebacker spot. Dinard was on the Monday Depth chart at Will, but Simpson got the start.

Dinard moved over there last year after Nick Roach was injured, and the Cats have invested a lot of practice time trying to find someone who can provide both run defense support and pass coverage in a zone where opposing QBs like to dump off short passes. Simpson had been the Spring starter at the Sam side.

Missing from the 2 deep this week is Strong Safety Brendan Smith, who apparently is still recovering from his off season surgery.

This could be considered a "revenge game

Last year the Nevada Wolf Pack and their "pistol" offense humbled the Cats on their field 31-21. There's a lot of difference between this year and last year, primarily a new QB, and an opener against Nebraska wasn't a "walk in the park" for the Wolf Pack. The Pack didn't score an offensive TD last week.

Nevada's defense is also suspect - Nebraska ran all over the Pack - they had 413 yards rushing out of 625 yards of total offense. Nevada was missing one of their starting linebackers, Ezra Butler, [and Center, Dominic Green].

On offense, the Wolf Pack is trying to work out a QB controversy - just like NU last year. According to their coach Chris Ault;
They are both very good athletes and very intelligent young men. Neither one has much experience.

However, the Pack was 0-fer last year when the Cats rolled into Reno last year and we all know that teams get better between game 1 and 2.

Of course you can expect the NU team to also improve.

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