Vicious Electronic Questioning: Northwestern 2012

Submitted by Brian on November 8th, 2012 at 7:17 PM


What's the deal with your quarterback rotation? Who is Michigan going to see more of? 

The deal with it is that Northwestern decided to get experimental when there was sort of no need to. Basically Northwestern started the year with Kain Colter at quarterback, which was working, then decided to bring in Trevor Siemian for some drives. Siemian, you see supposedly has a better arm while Colter's the better runner, which gave teams different looks, plus allowed Colter to split out to wide receiver. This eventually translated into Colter coming in for drives with lots of run plays or short passes and Siemian running drives with lots of pass plays. This eventually translated into defenses realizing what was going on and stopping it, because duh.

However, I think that idea is over: Siemian only threw one pass in the team's last game against Iowa. I think Colter's the guy going forward - he's not an awful passer, and really has the moves to make guys miss on scrambles and options. I just wish he'd been playing all-time QB all year long, because I think NU would have won one of the games we lost. Against Iowa, Colter was finally given the green light to throw a deep ball, and lo, it was like a 60 yard touchdown.

a8uwm5wqmra0kdrcb3re[1]How is the WR corps? Where is Kyle Prater? We have pretend fantasy team status riding on this. 

[ed: if you're reading this, Roger, do not make an attempt to decipher the picture at right. that way lies madness]

Northwestern had a really highly touted wide out corps coming into the year - the best in the conference, according to them! - with a lot of tall, quick guys with a lot of upside. It hasn't really panned out yet, but I think two years down the line that statement could be true, but right now it isn't there. That said, part of it is the balls aren't getting to them because of the QB's and another is that Northwestern's running game is so effective the pass just serves to spread the field.

Prater's a really weird story - he's obviously got the physical skills that made him the top wide receiver in the country in high school, but something just isn't right. I think he's a step slower than people think, and Northwestern's offense tends not to center around getting one receiver the ball every time it's in the air anyway. He did have a one-on-one downfield a few weeks ago and had his guy beaten, but the pass from Siemian was way underthrown.

Are you disappointed in the offense? It seems to alternate between thumping bad teams and surviving on a surfeit of fortune against good ones and Minnesota.

The dilly-dallying between Colter running and Siemian passing was really stupid and dumb and I hated it. It was cool for exactly one week that Kain Colter would split out wide and make some catches. Then teams keyed onto it and it stopped being fun, because unsuccessful gimmicks are still unsuccessful. The offense is still the highlight of Northwestern, and its excessively enjoyable to watch Colter run the option with Venric Mark, but the playcalling has lacked imagination at times.

Is the Northwestern secondary as reliably Northwestern-y as usual? I notice you've given up a ton of passing yards but the efficiency number (48th) is less depressing than normal.

A lot of the poop happened when Northwestern gave up 470 yards to Syracuse Week 1. It was everywhere, but mainly on Demetrius Dugar's side of the field. The poop, that is.

Northwestern has looked okay against the pass since, but lockdown freshman Nick VanHoose is hurt. Without him, problems? I don't know.

aquarium-otter-sleeping-largeFitzgerald Toussaint i3h6KtaEOq2m[1]

One of these mammals is Fitzgerald Toussaint. One is Henri, the Otter of Ennui. BUT WHICH ONE

How are the Wildcats against the run? Do you have guys who can run at tailbacks while completely unblocked and tackle? That's really all they have to do. I don't even think you have to answer this question. 

After literally decades where this was not true, Northwestern seems to have a passable run defense. David Nwabuisi is a competent tackler at middle linebacker, as are Damian Proby and Chi Chi Ariguzo at the outside spots. There were some problems against Penn State - understandable, you know, like the old saying goes, Zwinek and Zordich and pray for umm... zirconia? Zagreb? - but for the most part, this is a rare Northwestern unit that likes wrapping up tackles when they're meant to be wrapped up.

Knicks 2011-2012 : Linsanity :: Knicks 2012-2013 : ???

The Knicks resign John Shurna after cutting him at the end of training camp. I mean, he wouldn't play ever, but I'd probably be just as excited about seeing him at the end of the bench every time I watched games as I was during the height of the Lin thing.

What is wrong with this damn conference? You guys are smart. Figure this out. 


I ran this past some guys in the Northwestern science department, which is not an actual department. We took the Big Ten standings for the past 15 years and organized them using the Hernstrom-Cafferty Coefficient, which is something I just made up. By putting on goggles, taking some blue liquid in one graduated cylinder and pouring it into a yellow liquid contained in a beaker, as well as nodding and taking notes when the liquids changed colors, we determined that there is, in fact, a statistically significant dip in the Prager-Pellini Quotient of the 2012 Big Ten conference, which is another thing I just made up. After looking at the results, we can safely hypothesize that the main problem with the Big Ten is, beyond a preponderance of a doubt, caused by something we've coined the Cook Microprontomial Factor, which is a fancy science term for all of your dicks. The problem with the Big Ten is your dicks. Your scrawny, unceasingly pathetic dicks.

[ed: : ( ]

In other news, I have a degree from Northwestern University, but I'll be damned if you ever ask me what my GPA was. I got my transcript mailed to me in about July and I threw that nonsense in the bottom of my sock drawer before even I could read it.

Do you sometimes wish that Northwestern's journalism school didn't exist?

Yes. If Northwestern's journalism school doesn't exist, I don't apply to Northwestern. I don't apply to Northwestern, I apply some place where the sports teams don't finish up every game by scooping your non-vital organs out with a melon baller and eating them in front of your eyes, then scooping your eyes out with the same melon baller without washing it, likely getting lots of gross gastric juices inside of your brain cavity. If Northwestern did not have a journalism school, I wouldn't have to follow Northwestern sports, and therefore I'd be able to go on job interviews and talk to girls without people asking me about why I have a friggin melon-baller shaped gouge mark in my chest, dripping entrails.

[ED: I was just hoping for a Darren Rovell zinger.]



November 8th, 2012 at 9:10 PM ^

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that the game NU would have won with Colter playing at QB was none other than Nebraska (even if that isn't the case, I am rolling with that thesis).

This means that two coaches have screwed UM over this season: Fitzgerald for not playing his best option at QB against Nebraska and Dantonio for leaving his balls on his dresser at home and punting on 4th and 2 from the UN 40 yard line when a first down would have sealed the game. Add in Denard's ulnar nerve exploding on him in the first half against the Huskers and I am convinced that the football gods simply want UN to win the Legends division this year.

Based on the way things have been going for UM, I assume that PSU will blow a 35-point, 4th quarter lead against Nebraska this weekend. I just might have to take up drinking if that happens.


November 8th, 2012 at 8:39 PM ^

Been reading the blog for the better part of 2 years now, and I still have no clue what's up with Henri, the Otter of Ennui. Site search and google yielded no good explanations that I could find. Someone care to enlighten?


November 8th, 2012 at 9:36 PM ^

Northwestern ended a sentence with a preposition?? I call shenanigans!


The deal with it is that Northwestern decided to get experimental when there was sort of no need to.



November 8th, 2012 at 9:58 PM ^

There is a reason he wrote

In other news, I have a degree from Northwestern University, but I'll be damned if you ever ask me what my GPA was. I got my transcript mailed to me in about July and I threw that nonsense in the bottom of my sock drawer before even I could read it.