(by the way, I get to use AP photos for free on here. It's awesome. The guy David Arnold is tackling might be dead.)
It's been about 36 hours since that game, and this is just about the first time I've been in front of a computer. Which is a good thing. Anyway, on to the recap:
- First off, yes, we get that "Northwestern played poorly", and that "we should have blown them out", and that "the era of Northwestern being a bad team is over and we should be angry when we play close against bad teams," but, yo, chill out, people. We won. Kill the gloom and doom. Iowa needed two blocked field goals to beat the University of Northern Iowa, and go check how their season has been so far. Playing a close game against a bad team doesn't make you a bad team, so, please, people, just be glad we won.
- That being said, that was arguably the least interesting football game I've ever watched all the way through. Serious props to the Northwestern student community for having a halfway decent showing in the stands, despite hangovers and the fact that we were playing Miami (OH) and it was really cold. My friends and I got to the game about 15 minutes early, and we were really worried, because there wasn't anybody sitting more than four rows back, but it filled out nicely. (By the way, one of these days I'm due for a rant about how absurd it is that our games are at 11 AM. It's preposterous.)
- On the field: first off, spare me the "It was Miami (OH)" bit. NU played fantastic defense yesterday. Sherrick McManis' pick was unbelievable, a poor throw, for sure, but, still, an amazing catch. We essentially neutralized their run game, and although we couldn't contain their quarterback much, seven sacks - yes, even against Miami - is impressive. But what's important is that the guys playing great weren't the guys you'd expect: David Arnold looks like a bonafide player out there after two weeks, I saw Quentin Williams and Kevin Watt doing good work filling in for Corey Wootton, Brian Peters was on and around the ball and had a preposterous one-handed grab. Roderick Goodlow, in limited snaps, has looked legit. We're talking about players we weren't expecting to talk about coming into the year - or even two weeks ago - and I think the fact that our recruiting swag has increased tremendously in the past few years is going to lead to bigger and bigger roles for our younger guys as two-star seniors and juniors might have to ride pine behind three- and four-star freshmen.
- I've never seen Northwestern hit big before, really, outside of Brad Phillips' potential helmet-to-helmet banger last year against Iowa, but we were hitting big yesterday. I was about 30 feet from Demetrius Dugar's decleating of some random Miami punt returner, and it was nutso. I heard it, because I was right there, but I'm not surprised if you could hear that from the south end zone. Demetrius, you're good in my book. The Mike Williams having 200 yards receiving in an embarrassing loss is completely forgotten, that hit was awesome. (Also, that hit on Zeke Markshausen was legit. Surprised he got up, but I wouldn't be surprised if the reason he dropped three passes after that and the extra point on our next touchdown was botched with him holding was because that hit killed around 15% of his brain cells.)
- Offensively, people are worried, and I'm not gonna act like I blame you. Kafka looked - say it together - shaky. 15-31 with a pick is pretty bad against a team like Miami. On the positive side, Kafka seems a lot more ready to throw the ball away rather than force it into coverage. In fact, he's almost enthusiastic about it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of his throwaways are reaching the stands, because he hurls them dopes. But on the negative side, the long stuff just isn't there. Yeah, he hit Jacob Schmidt, but that was more on Schmidt's great catch and the fact that the defense couldn't stop a play that my IM team ran today. Also negative, he completed less than 50% of his passes and threw a pick against one of the worst defenses in the country. So, yeah. That's not good.
- Also, we have to accept that we don't have a running game. And we have to not use it.
- Oh, and thanks to Coach McCall for reading Sippin On Purple, because he put Kafka under center in the goal line formation today, as I suggested.
- How bad are Miami's wide receivers? I lost count of the amount of drops they had. I'm actually surprised they had a hands team to field the onside kick at the end, because I'm pretty sure at least 70% of the RedHawks' roster actually are not the owners of hands. Methinks Brian Peters has more receiving skill in one hand than many of them had in two.
- Morton Schapiro earned a lot of fans in the first few rows of the student section by turning around and yelling "FUCK" when Mike Kafka threw a pick. My older, more conservative readers might find any sort of football related emotion or profanity offensive, but, I'm really excited to see that my school's president is as passionate as our sports teams as I am. For most of this school's history, presidents presumably didn't give a crap about any sports, and Bienen was a huge NU fan, but it seemed like he was going through the motions in an "if our sports teams improve, maybe our school's academic stature will do to increased applicants" way. But Morty's not BSing. He's already in love with NU sports. I mean, did you read this article in the Trib the other day? THE GUY ACTUALLY KNOWS THE NAMES OF THE OTHER D-I SCHOOLS THAT HAVEN'T MADE THE NCAA TOURNAMENT. We're in good hands. President Schapiro, welcome, thanks for responding to the incessant "Morty" cheers, and it's good to have you. Let's get to that freaking tournament. (And yes, I'm glad to see that NU's important officials public profanity quotient has improved mightily in about four days.)
- Alright, people in the student section, let's get something straight. There are rules related to the "Time to move the chains" chant, and you're not following them. Here they are:
- Northwestern gets a first down.
- The band plays that song nobody knows the lyrics to where we go "GO CATS" at the end.
- Someone (or, in some instances, two people) yells "What time is it?"
- Everybody else yells "TIME TO MOVE THE CHAINS", points in the direction of the field that the first down is going, and goes "huh!"
These are the rules. They are not being followed. Sometimes the band doesn't play the song. Sometimes they wait a really long time to play the song, and people jump the gun and do the cheer before the band plays. Sometimes, NU runs the hurry up and people don't do the cheer at all.
Look, folks, it's of utmost importance that we do this correctly. Our sectionmates have a need to know what time it is, and furthermore, they would like to know how that time relates to the movement of the chains. And if we don't tell them, well, we're doing a disservice to both them and the team, but most importantly, ourselves.
- Also, when you beat an 0-6 team, don't chant "OH-AND-SIX". First off, not cool. Second off, a more apt chant would be "HEY, EVERYBODY, THINK ABOUT HOW MEANINGLESS OUR TEAM'S ACHIEVEMENT IS BECAUSE OF THE PERENIAL SUCKITUDE OF THE TEAM WE JUST ACHIEVED IT AGAINST." And that's not catchy.
- In questionable news: Vince Browne had a big sack in the fourth quarter. He celebrated by doing the Jared Allen cattle-lassoing move. It was captured for eternity by an AP photog, here:
Vince, it was a great play and all, but, uh, really? You're gonna go with the cattle-lasso? Either way, it was awesome, keep doing it.
Also, it's immediately evident that Browne's bicep is the size of my head.
- Stefan Demos is already a true Northwestern hero, but the underarm pass that got picked just about sealed his place in world history. I've never seen anything like that before, but Demos' grit and courage to excitedly throw a really soft floater while sprinting out of bounds after a botched extra point, then get back into the play and tackle the guy trying to run it back is the stuff legends are made out of.
Anyway, that's all I got.