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Quick Thoughts On Northwestern-South Dakota, 4-0

A few more guys and this tackle might have gotten completed.
A few more guys and this tackle might have gotten completed.

Well, Northwestern is still undefeated. The game obviously was pretty meh, not because Northwestern didn't play well, but because Northwestern didn't need to play well: the Wildcats were bigger and stronger and faster and it was a two-touchdown game within ten minutes. 38-7 isn't the most impressive scoreline ever recorded against an FCS team, but it's what NU needed. They got in, got out, got the W, and didn't get anybody hurt enough that they won't be playing next week, although there was a scare with Kain Colter.

  • The foot was off the pedal pretty early. The game was mainly running - 277 yards on the ground, 5.2 per carry, not too shabby - and the second-stringers got ample playing time.
  • The defense wasn't perfect - South Dakota completed a few long passes and moved the ball really well on screens, which could hypothetically be worrisome but I got the sense the Cats were fine with bending if they didn't break. And they didn't, keeping the Coyotes off the scoreboard until the second half. And then they were just being nice.
  • The highlight of the day was Brandon Williams' punt that magically stopped on the one-yard line. Northwestern's special teams continues to be that dude. A little disappointed Steve Flaherty got to kick the only field goal and not Jeff Budzien - really ruining Jeff's Groza chances here.
  • No idea where Mike Trumpy was after 100 yards last week, but whatever. Venric Mark is still tough to tackle - 117 yards and three TD's is one of the best lines I've seen from an NU running back, and he could've gotten more. Nice to see Tyris Jones get a TD.
  • Only 15 passes! Kain Colter showed he can still bust moves out of the pocket and Trevor Siemian was fine except for the one time he threw while getting hit and almost tossed the first pick of the season. And a completion for Zack Oliver! May it be the first of many. But not this year.
  • As one would expect, great push from the defensive line - 2.2 yards per carry for the Coyotes and a bunch of balls knocked down at the line of scrimmage, especially from Quentin Williams.
  • We'll talk about it more later, but holy mother of Zod, the Big Ten is a dumpster fire this year. Don't wanna get ahead of ourselves, but, yikes, let's win some ballgames.
  • That about wraps it up. Nice to be healthy and undefeated heading into Big Ten play - let's keep it that way for a few more weeks, you hear?