“There’s no bigger fan of their program than me,” said Northwestern basketball coach Chris Collins in regards to Northwestern football and their historic victory on Saturday.
Northwestern, football variety, has clinched the first Big Ten title game appearance in school history, and they did it with two games still left to play thanks to the fact that both Wisconsin and Purdue lost on Saturday, supplementing NU’s double digit upset win in Iowa City.
In his on-field post game interview on Saturday, Northwestern football coach Pat Fitzgerald said his team needs to keep “pounding the rock,” which also happens to be the Northwestern hoops team motto.
“We talk about pound the rock…We’ve been a team that fights on every possession,” Collins said after his team beat American University 63-51 in just the second game in the new Welsh-Ryan Arena. It was a very unimpressive victory on a lazy Monday night in a sluggish atmosphere at the new barn.
NU found themselves tied with American with under 10 minutes to go, but found a way to win by double digits in the end. While the basketball result was sleepy and lacking in excitement, there is no shortage of enthusiasm for what is going on with football right now and Chris Collins is just as pumped up as anybody.
“I was watching the game, I was going nuts!” said Collins, who went on to discuss the similarities between his program and Fitzgerald’s.
“I think we mirror each other a lot. We have similar personalities, and there’s no bigger fan of their program than me. We try to use them as an inspiration, and we talk about what they’re doing.”
“What an amazing accomplishment, and it’s just the beginning, we’ve got more games to win.”
NU will meet either Ohio State and Michigan in the Big Ten title game in Indianapolis on December 1st.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, regularly appears as a guest pundit on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.Follow paulmbanks