Room For Improvement in Evanston

090713Northwestern football_3Who knew three weeks into the season Northwestern fans would be bored? After a great 3-0 start, Northwestern is set to take on the Maine Black Bears this Saturday. Thrilling. After a nice hard fought win over Cal in week one it’s been blowout city in Evanston. I don’t expect anything to change this weekend and I won’t waste your time talking about it.

After the Wildcats dismantle Maine this weekend they have a bye week at the perfect time. Why is that you ask? Because they now have two weeks to prepare for what could be the biggest game in Dyke Stadium (Yeah I still refer to Ryan Field as Dyke Stadium) since Michigan rolled to town in 1995.

As I have mentioned before, that game could be a possible site for ESPN’s College Game Day. It would be the first trip to Evanston they have ever made. Someone tell Lee Corso to hit up Hecky’s but keep him away from Mustards and Walker Bros!!!

This Wildcat team has as good of a chance as any to beat the Buckeyes. I’ll hold my five reasons why Northwestern can beat Ohio State piece until the week of since so much can happen between now and then.

Despite the ass beatings NU has handed out they still have some things to work on in this final non-conference game. Here are just a few….

Cornerbacks

Nick VanHoose was lights out last season. He was the lone bright spot at the corner position and did not play like the freshman he was. This season I think many Wildcat fans had unrealistic expectations for the young man. In no way am I saying he is struggling or that he has regressed. He just hasn’t taken that unrealistic leap people have expected. He’s still solid and he will still make great plays. Opposite of him is freshman Dwight White. White has replaced the injured Daniel Jones who looked spectacular during training camp. White has had his ups and downs. He can pack a punch and has showed the ability to make great, smart plays. He is still a freshman, though. Freshman will make mistakes no matter how talented. I expect him to have serious growing pains this season. Let’s just hope it doesn’t cost the Cats a game or two.

Keep the foot on the gas!

Coach Pat Fitzgerald and the Wildcats have been known to blow a lead or two. They haven’t even come close to that this season however they do seem to be a different team when they’re up a few scores. There is no room for complacency once the Big Ten schedule begins. If this team wants to win a Big Ten championship, like they are so vocal about, they must be thirsty for blood especially given their track record. If they are up by 21 or 3 they need to keep on the game plan. I know this is something Fitz is preaching to his players. Let’s just see how they respond.

There really isn’t much to dislike early on this season but again the competition has not been all that great. Cal is on the rise sure but Syracuse and Western Michigan aren’t exactly teams that you brag about beating. With the bye week heading into conference play, I am confident that coach Fitz and the rest of the coaching staff will have this Northwestern team ready for what could be the biggest game of the year.

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