AAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaand scratch that we're back to square one.
The Northwestern Wildcats' QB is still not medically cleared to play against Boston College five days from now. He'll be a game-time decision, coach Pat Fitzgerald will know before the snap whether he'll play, but we'll have to wait until NU takes its first series on offense. He's No. 1 on the Depth Chart, but as far as whether or not he'll earn the start Saturday, it's up to the medical staff telling Pat Fitzgerald he's a go. Kain Colter is splitting snaps with the first team.
First off, this is just so not fun it's unbelievable. I know NU is only doing what it can - hyping up its best player while dealing with an extremely difficult to heal from injury that makes his status unknowable - but it's so tough to get excited when his medical status is flapping around uncontrollably. Waiting for football season is one agonizingly difficult process, waiting for it while simultaneously not knowing about whether your starting QB can play is just sadism at its finest.
Now there's a series of questions:
If Dan Persa can play, will he be effective?: We know he can't run as well as he did last year. We have heard multitudes of good things about his arm strength, which he's purportedly been working on all year while rehabbing. And we also know that Boston College is starting a walk-on who converted to safety from wide receiver last week and just lost a starting corner. Suffice it to say, I think Persa will be damn good if allowed to play. His legs always opened up things for his arm, but he's still a pinpoint passer and NU can succeed on quick outs and slants with occasional deep shots without a QB that needs to scramble.
If Dan Persa can play, how much will he play?: Presumably not the entire time.
How do we feel about Kain Colter as a change-of-pace QB?: I think the consensus around Wildcat nation is, good. Provided he can throw. We don't want him to come in and run read options over and over again, because those are the ingredients for Northwestern's favorite running recipe, 1.5 Yards and a Cloud of Dust. Boston College has one of the better run defenses in the nation, the kid's fast, but he'll have to show his arm to do anything against the Eagles. I'd be quite comfortable with him spelling Persa from time to time, provided he's a QB and not a glorified Wildcat Offense QB.
How do we like Northwestern's chances if Dan Persa cannot play?: My confidence in NU winning goes from 70 percent or so to 25 percent. And I like Kain Colter! I bet a year of seasoning has done wonders for him! But BC is good. Last year our team revolved around Dan Persa, and won seven out of ten games with him playing. Like I said the other day, NU almost beat a moderately good Texas Tech team with Colter running things, but he isn't Dan Persa. He's not the guy NU has built its squad around, and there's no way we can expect him to be as good. I think NU has a shot without Persa, but it's not one I'd like to try taking.
We're all anxious. The suspense, it kills me.