The Wildcats dropped their first game of the season on Saturday to Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Khakis Wolverines. Here’s how the second half went down:
- Feeling Blue, again: Northwestern knows this feeling – not since 2008 have the Wildcats defeated the Maize and Blue. Saturday’s loss was their fifth straight in five years to the Wolverines, adding to the heartbreak and frustration of NU fans everywhere.
- Rudock the Red-nosed Reindeer: One year after trashing Northwestern 48-7 while quarterbacking the Iowa Hawkeyes, Rudock again left coal in the Wildcats’ stockings. No one seems to know what exactly it is about Rudock, but Northwestern lost to him yet again.
- Thors-On, Thors-Off: The Cats’ QB and the offense couldn’t manage anything, as they failed to reach the endzone for the first time since September 27, 2003 in a loss 20-0 to Ohio State. Additionally, the last time Michigan allowed a point was three weeks ago against UNLV.
- Stats are for losers: Thorson finished the day having completed 13 of 27 passing for just 106 yards and the pick-6. It was the first time of Thorson’s short career he completed less than half of his passes.
- Not so Juicy-J: The usually consistent Justin Jackson was unable to muster anything in the second half, although he equaled his first half total on his first run of the third quarter. Jackson ended Saturday’s game with 25 rushing yards on 12 carries.
- Ehhhhh, OK: Northwestern’s vaunted defense wasn’t the biggest problem on Saturday, but it wasn’t that great either. Accounting for 24 of Michigan’s 38 points, the defense gave up big play after big play, something that hasn’t normally been seen this season. The Wildcats also didn’t have a takeaway on the day.
- Scary moment, part the first: After a Michigan field goal to open the third quarter, Northwestern Superback Dan Vitale laid on the ground for a few minutes after a huge hit from linebacker James Ross. Ross was ejected for targeting, and will be suspending through the first half of next week’s game against Michigan State. Vitale returned a few plays later.
- Scary moment, part the secondary: Defensive back Matthew Harris took a knee to the head while trying to tackle Derrick Green. Harris dove after a jumping Green, and fell to the ground after Green’s knee knocked him in the helmet. Harris was carted off the field, but was able to walk to the cart.
- Will we have some more? Senior backup QB Zack Oliver entered the game with just over ten minutes remaining in the fourth. While Fitz probably pulled Thorson because he didn’t want to risk an injury, it remains to be seen if Oliver may end up starting in the near future with the futility of NU’s offense.
- Next week: Northwestern will look to rebound against Rudock’s former alma mater Iowa in a pivotal Big Ten West matchup. The 22nd ranked Hawkeyes beat Illinois 29-20 and advanced to 6-0 on the season.