Northwestern is coming off a bye week, a bye week that was much-needed given the current state of the program. The Wildcats are in the midst of a tailspin that few people would have anticipated, especially with the non-conference slate. Now, NU is in disarray, as the ‘Cats are simply searching for wins. For the second-straight game, they play a team that has quietly been searching for an identity.
Enter the Big Ten’s most overlooked school, Maryland. The Terrapins have put together some quality wins over the last several weeks, Although it did lose to Purdue and No. 4 Michigan, the ‘Terps took care of business against Michigan State and Indiana en route to a 5-2 (2-2 B1G) start. Maryland has been putting up points at will too, scoring within the range of 27 to 56 points per game, and regardless of whether or not the ‘Terps win, every game has been competitive in some form.
During Monday’s press conference, head coach Pat Fitzgerald, who has roamed the sidelines for over a decade, is trying to take it one game at a time. The Wildcats are 0-5 since beating Nebraska in Dublin back in August.
“Expect to go 1-0 each week,” Fitzgerald said at his Monday press conference. While the Wildcats did well in the turnover department, they didn’t walk out of Happy Valley with a win. Against Wisconsin two weeks ago, the ‘Cats were torched by Graham Mertz and company to the tune of a 42-7 loss.
For Northwestern, a win is not only critical for its season, but also for team morale, any potential bowl chances (though there is work to be done) and much more. Getting it done on the road, though, could be just what Northwestern needs to somehow, some way, save its season.
Only time will tell. Saturday can’t come fast enough.