NU vs EIU Rapid Recap: NU wins by a lot of points

(John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

(John J. Kim / Chicago Tribune)

Are you having a good day?  No? Well you’re still having a significantly better day than Eastern Illinois.

  • Clayton Thorson did…well exactly what we thought.  11/16 for 152 and a score, plus a rushing touchdown, plus a couple of throws that were nearly intercepted.  Good game, not a great game, looked really impressive on a few 15 yard throws over the middle.
  • Everyone who ran the ball looked great. Jackson didn’t get to 100 yards, which might hurt his Heisman campaign, but he was good as usual.  Warren Long set a career high for yardage in the first half. Auston Anderson came in and looked good when he was called on in the 4th quarter, but did fumble.  Vault is a human Swiss Army Knife.  The backfield is fine.
  • No wideout caught more than 2 balls.  Dan Vitale caught 4.  It’s not like NU was slinging the ball around, but I would sure love to see a reliable second wideout target show himself.
  • If you want to nitpick on poor performances, NU didn’t look fantastic covering kicks and they didn’t have nearly as many touchbacks as they should have with a gusting wind going from North to South.

The real takeaway from this game is…well…there isn’t one.  We knew EIU was hot trash.  They got scrubbed 33-5 to a Western Illinois team that just got waxed by Illinois (Illinois by the way might not be awful but that’s another story for another day).  NU was supposed to pound this team and they did.  This was the biggest margin of victory for the Wildcats under Pat Fitzgerald, and it didn’t even really feel impressive.  We still don’t know how good this team can be.  A week from today when we see what this squad can do against Duke, we’ll know a heck of a lot more.  For now, let’s just enjoy having maybe the best resume of any team in the Big Ten West.  But let’s not carried away…yet.


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