Northwestern Finds Exciting New Playmaker in Disappointing Bowl Loss

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In the inaugural Ticket City Bowl, Northwestern lost the game, but found a new weapon on offense. In his first real extended action, freshman QB Kain Colter played multiple positions in a New Year’s Day bowl game.

“Coming in I was a little nervous, but that first play: we scripted it out, and once I got that under my belt I felt okay,” Colter said after the game.

“We did a great job of getting them some different looks keeping ‘em off guard. I played some quarterback, some running back, some receiver, motioned out,” he said.

By Paul M. Banks

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Cats Bagged by Texas Tech, Northwestern Bowl Drought Extends Another Year

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Another year, another college football bowl loss. The Northwestern postseason losing streak is becoming almost as historical as the stadium in which they lost their bowl game today. Falling to Texas Tech on New Year’s Day, the Wildcats have now lost their last eight consecutive bowl games since their Rose Bowl triumph in 1949.

Dude, that’s a long time ago.

But the Cotton Bowl Stadium is even older; opening in 1929. The iconic venue has been home to bowl games which decided national titles, the Dallas Cowboys, SMU in their heyday, the World Cup and even Journey music videos. It would have been perfect venue to see a Chicago team end it’s postseason drought.

But Tech QB Taylor Potts, WR Lyle Leong and the rest of the Red Raiders kept that from happening.

By Paul M. Banks

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Northwestern’s Life After QB Dan Persa Begins with a Loss

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Today was Northwestern starting quarterback Dan Persa’s 22nd birthday. Many of his approximately 2,500 Facebook friends posted well wishes on his Facebook wall. But with a 48-27 loss to the in-state rival Illini, in an ultra-hyped contest that injury precluded him from taking part, I’m guessing he’s had better birthdays than this.

Persa brought a lot to NU’s table: a 15-4 TD pass to INT ratio, #1 in the nation in fewest interceptions thrown percentage (302 attempts), 74% completion percentage (also tops in all of college football, and a Big Ten record), The Silver Football trophy candidate also led the team in rushing yards.

His replacement in today’s Wrigleyville Classic, redshirt freshman Evan Watkins, finished 10-20 for just 135 yards, one interception, no touchdown passes. He also ran 7 times for 15 yards. Obviously, there was a huge drop-off in offensive production with NU being sans Persa.

Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook on how Persa’s injury affected NU: “How much did not having Martez Wilson affect our defense last year?”

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Northwestern QB Dan Persa Ruptures Achilles, Out for Season

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The Northwestern Wildcats 21-17 upset win over #13 the Iowa Hawkeyes came at a price, a hefty price. They lost one of the most valuable players in the Big Ten, and college football overall, in Junior QB Dan Persa.

Persa threw the game winning,  20-yard TD pass to Demetrius Fields with 1:22 left, but ruptured his Achilles just after the play ended.  Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn, a favorite for Big Ten Defensive player of the year, was blitzing him, but only lightly brushed him. A back-side Iowa rusher also went past Persa untouched. It appeared that Persa may have jumped up, or was about to commence running after the play, expressing the positive emotion of a thrilling comeback, which culminated in a 91-yard drive.

Either way, the freak injury means Persa will miss the final two games, along with NU’s bowl appearance. Redshirt Freshman Evan Watkins, a native of suburban Carol Stream, will start next week versus the Illinois Fighting Illini at the Cubs’ Wrigley Field in the Allstate Wrigleyville Classic.

By Paul M. Banks

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