Recently, SB Nation’s Spencer Hall compiled a list of “ALL THE GODDAMN THINGS THAT ARE GONNA HAPPEN THAT WE'LL HATE” in the 2016 football season. He listed 32 specific things that will happen. Northwestern can be counted on to do a bunch of them (thanks Mick McCall). Here are all the things Northwestern will do this year that we’ll hate.
1. You'll run an option to the short side of the field.
Oh boy, starting off with a bang! Northwestern running the option anywhere is a bad idea.
Also, #BanTheSpeedOption. It makes my eyes burn.
2. You'll punt from the opponent's side of the fifty.
It happens. At least Hunter Niswander usually kicks it short
from all over the field of the endzone.
12. You'll try to ice a kicker.
13. You won't try to ice a kicker.
Pat Fitzgerald has been insanely good when icing kickers. Why doesn’t he do it every single time? Ok, there are obvious reasons to conserve timeouts, but still.
14. You'll have no idea when to call a timeout.
Over the years, Pat Fitzgerald has gone back and forth with being ultra-aggressive get-the-ball-back-with-30-seconds-left Fitz and ultra-conservative we’ll-kneel-it-out Fitz. He has gotten much better at time management as he’s gained experience as a coach. One such example where it didn’t work out was against Minnesota, when the Wildcats called two timeouts right before halftime, only to get the ball back at its own two yardline with 1:06 left. On the first play of the drive, Shane Mertz got hurt and the Wildcats kneeled from there.
But at least he’s not James Franklin.
16. You'll keep running the ball pointlessly on first down.
No analysis necessary. Moving on...
17. You'll never call a wheel route even though the wheel route is perfect, always open, and is the greatest invention in the history of western or any other civilization.
Call this play, Mick McCall. #SolomonCaughtIt
18. You'll spend one half running roughshod over a team and then one half "managing" that lead.
See “Northwestern vs. Purdue, 2015” and “Northwestern vs. Illinois, 2015”
20. You'll punt, ever.
But, but but... Punting is winning!
21. You'll never try an onside kick.
DO IT, FITZ. JUST DO IT.
22. You'll get us excited that you're going for it on fourth and short, but then you'll just have the QB shout a hard count for twenty seconds before taking the delay of game because nobody ever falls for that shit.
23. You'll fall for that shit and jump offsides.
At least one of these will happen during Northwestern’s 2016 football season. Guaranteed.
26. You'll ruin an awesome kick/punt return by getting called for a block in the back on the other side of the field and fifteen yards behind where the play's actually happening.
This happened at least once to Solomon Vault in 2015. It will happen again in 2016.
27. You'll call creative plays until you get inside the other team's thirty and then pivot to conservative nothingness.
Here’s a friendly reminder that Northwestern ran THIS PLAY last year and some people praised McCall for being creative.
28. You'll run a speed option with a quarterback whose forty time can only be expressed using scientific notation.
Zack Oliver running the option. Good times. This probably won’t actually happen in 2016, but we had to include it regardless.
Ok, that’s it. If you think we missed any, let us know.