Posts Tagged ‘northwestern wildcats’


The legends division promises to be wide open this season as the teams are all relatively equally matched, save for Minnesota.  However, the team that I feel is a sleeper has to be Northwestern due to the fact that they won 7 games last fall, and probably would have won more if star quarterback Dan Persa did not go down with an injury during the Iowa game, causing him to miss the finalthree games.

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Northwesteern will be welcoming back senior quarterback Dan Persa this upcoming season, and that will be a huge boost as they lost their final three games that he missed with an injury.  Let’s check out how Northwestern’s schedule breaks down for this season.

Week 1: At Boston College:  This will definitely be a challenge to begin the year for the Wildcats.  Boston College is almost always a solid team even if they aren’t competing for ACC championships.  In the end, I think that Pat Fitzgerald’s crew will pull out a late victory in this one.

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The Northwestern Wildcats have been one of the more consistent teams in the Big Ten over the past few years under head coach Pat Fitzgerald.  With this string of success, more Wildcats should start hearing their name called on draft day in April, so let’s see how much potential this upcoming class has.

7 Dan Persa QB Senior:  Persa is an excellent quarterback who is coming off of a major injury.  He is one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the country, and it can be argued that other than Cam Newton, no player meant more to his respective team then Persa.    He also has some running ability, as he was Northwestern’s leading rusher last season with 519 yards and 9 touchdowns.  He also threw for 2581 yards with an astounding 73.5 percent completion rate.   The 6’1″ senior missed the final three games last season with an injury, so these numbers could be even better had he finished the season.  He also led many clutch drives, most notably against Iowa, where Persa rallied his team from being 10 down to a 4 point victory, with the winning touchdown pass coming in the final 90 seconds of the game.  He reminds me of a Colt McCoy type player- a dual threat quarterback who is also deadly accurate- and should be a 3rd round pick.

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Northwestern recently released their depth chart for the beginning of fall practice.  The offense returns a staggering 9 starters, and  the defense returns 7, therefore giving head coach Pat Fitzgerald a ton of returning talent to work with.

The two new starters on offense are sophomore WR Rashad Lawrence and senior guard Doug Bartels.  The offense was the strength of this Wildcat team last season, and it should be again this season.  I expect huge things to come this season for senior QB Dan Persa, who is returning from an injury that kept him out part of last season and all of spring practice.

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Northwestern QB Dan Persa

The Northwestern Wildcats wrapped up their spring practice last Saturday with their annual spring game. Many players did not play due to either injury or the coaches held them out, so it is a little tough to read into the teams strengthes and weaknesses after the spring game.  This team has the potential to be a force this season in the Legends Division.

 While Starting QB Dan Persa did not play due to the fact he is still returning from an injury suffered last year in the upset of Iowa, the three QB’s all vying to back him up did.  My guess is that the number two guy on the depth chart this fall will be Kain Colter, due to the fact that he played  very good in the bowl game, and nearly led the comeback against Texas Tech, and is also more of a dual threat than the others.  However, Evan Watkins could also be in the mix for the back up job this fall.

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March Madness has come to Big Ten Country

The Big Ten fared very well on selection Sunday sending seven of eleven teams to the Big Dance.  Only the Big East fared better, sending eleven teams albeit with a much bigger conference. 

Earning the overall number one seed and playing in the East region is the Ohio State Buckeyes.  The Buckeyes have been impressive all season and should make a deep tourney run.  Leading the Buckeyes is freshman forward Jared Sullinger, who will likely make the jump to the NBA after this season.  No reason not to expect at least an elite eight appearance by the Buckeyes this season.

Two Big Ten teams will be making an appearance in the West region this year.  The eighth seeded Michigan Wolverines will be facing the ninth seeded Tennessee Volunteers to start off.  This is an intriguing match-up as both teams are very solid so it should be one of the better round two games this year.

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Golden Gophers Leading Scorer and Rebounder Trevor Mbakwe

Minnesota:  17-13 (6-12)

Northwestern:  17-12 (7-11)

Minnesota and Northwestern just played a game against each other not too long ago, one that Northwestern won pretty easily with a final score of 68-57. The season series between the two teams is currently tied at one win apiece, with the scores tied at exactly 138-138 combined for the two contests.

Even though both games were won by 11 points by the respective teams, this rubber match should be an exciting game. For Northwestern, they will have to use their great court vision as a team (10th in the nation in assists) and rely on the offense of John Shurna, who is averaging 17 points per game and shooting 47.4 percent from beyond the three-point line.

Minnesota will need to slow down the efficient offensive attack of the Wildcats if they are going to win this game.

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