Two teams are heading in opposite directions. Dan’s undefeated team can smell a Big Ten Championship, and potentially more, while Mac’s ‘Cats face a must-win rivalry game if they want to make a bowl. Here we go:
2012 Northwestern (Mac’s Team)
Game 12: vs. Illinois
Final Score: L, 34-20
Record: 5-7 (2-6 B1G)
This game was a disaster from the beginning.
Any momentum gained from the upset win over Michigan State was immediately lost when Colter suffered an injury in the second quarter. On 2nd and 10, he was sacked and landed awkwardly on his shoulder. Initial reports claiming a dislocated shoulder changed to a broken collarbone. That was it for the dynamic quarterback’s season.
So in comes backup Trevor Siemian. He hasn’t seen much playing time all year, and it showed. Siemian turned the ball over three times, two of which resulted in defensive touchdowns for the Illini.
We gave up the frickin’ HAT. How did I manage to do that? No hat. No bowl game.
Whatever, man. I know you’re all here to read Daniel’s side anyways. Enjoy!
2013 Northwestern (Daniel’s Team)
Game 12: @ Illinois
Result: W, 35-23
Record: 12-0 (8-0 B1G)
“Roses are red
Illinois wears blue
But even in a video game
They still can’t beat NU.”
The final score doesn’t do this game justice. We lead 28-3 at halftime as Kain Colter completed 16 of his first 19 passes for 257 yards and three touchdowns, and he eventually finished with 374 total passing yards and four scores.
We were dominating them so badly that I finally simulated a second half of play to spare myself from boredom and give the Illini a chance to save their dignity. In a way, they did. Then again, they’re Illinois, so it doesn’t mean much.
The only other important development from this game was that Colter’s stellar performance was enough to vault him into second place on the Heisman watch list, behind only Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, despite Colter outplaying his counterpart in NU’s win over the Buckeyes earlier this season. Colter domination next week in Indianapolis would likely change voters’ minds.
Big Ten Championship: #2 Northwestern vs #8 Ohio State
Result: W, 21-3
Record: 13-0 (9-0 B1G)
The first time these teams met, we held the ball and pounded out a win on a dreary Evanston afternoon. This time, we pounced on Buckeyes early, and even after Colter threw two interceptions to offer them a chance to strike back, our defense continually suffocated them, and our offense was explosive through the first three quarters.
OSU’s Miller was held to a wretched 6-for-10, 37-yard passing performance and only 10 rushing yards. Even as Colter didn’t put his best game forward in this matchup, Miller’s struggles were bad enough to smear his reputation in the eyes of voters. And thus, Kain Colter officially became the first Heisman Trophy winner in Northwestern history.
NU’s quarterback finished with a total of 2,261 passing yards and 19 touchdowns, 1,011 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns, and, of course, led the Wildcats to their best season ever.
Somehow, Colter didn’t make the First or Second all-America teams, but hey, we’ll take what we can get. His teammate Damien Proby took home the Nagurski and Butkus awards, and virtual Pat Fitzgerald received National Coach of the Year honors.
But of course, the greatest honor is the spot in the natty. NU clinched its spot in the national championship and is preparing to take on the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide in Pasadena with hopes of achieving legend status in the sports realm.