Northwestern football has had a tremendous season. But what makes them so great?
Northwestern has had a very successful season thus far, ranking No. 14 in the most recent College Football Playoff Rankings. The 10-2 Wildcats were a surprise second place finish in the Big 10 west, lead by star running back Justin Jackson and All Big-Ten first team linebacker Anthony Walker.
Jackson, a Sophomore, has rushed for 1,344 yards this year while totaling 147 yards through the air. Jackson’s best game was against Illinois, where he totaled 186 yards on 28 carries. He has also been an underrated pass blocker, contributing to the solid O-line in protecting Quarterback Clayton Thorson.
Thorson, a 6’4” Freshman from Wheaton, has thrown for 1,465 passing yards and a 99.7 QBR this season. A pro style quarterback who can throw the ball, Thorson is the sort of player who may not lead his team to win many games, but he most certainly will do everything he can to keep them from losing.
Now, we move on to the defense. Led by Walker, Nick VanHoose, and Jaylen Prater, Northwestern has allowed an average of 16 points per game, and some of that is credit to former Northwestern linebacker and now head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who has completely turned these Cats around from last years disappointing 5-7 record, and it all starts with tough defense and the running game for these new wildcats.
Overall, it has been a great season for the Wildcats, and I look forward to seeing what they can accomplish in the Bowl game and future seasons. Their successes this season have come as a surprise to some, but this is what I have been hoping for many seasons now. The exciting ground-and-pound style, the third down stop, and the fight song at the end of a victory.
This is how I feel the Wildcats Football should be. Most of all, this season has been very successful, and I predict they will be playing a Bowl game on New Year's Day, 2016. Things are looking up in Evanston, Illinois and it’s looking like it’ll stay that way!