All-Big 10 QB Dan Persa Completes Comeback Trail; Ready for 2011 (Video)

A couple weeks ago, the Northwestern Wildcats launched “PersaStrong,” a media campaign to promoting senior quarterback Dan Persa as a 2011 Heisman Trophy candidate. Persa enters this season after being named the All-Big Ten first-team quarterback in 2010, a season in which he broke the Big Ten’s all-time record for completion percentage with a 73.5 mark. He missed the last three games due to a ruptured Achilles, but still had a 5 touchdowns, threw just four interceptions and ran for another nine scores. He is healthy and ready to go for training camp.

Today was NU Media Day; and Persa spoke about a whole host of topics. Watch the video after the jump

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Northwestern Launches Persa Heisman Campaign; Voting Opp for New B-Ball Court

Today the Northwestern Wildcats launched “PersaStrong,” a media campaign to promoting senior quarterback Dan Persa as a 2011 Heisman Trophy candidate. Persa enters this season after being named the All-Big Ten first-team quarterback in 2010, a season in which he broke the Big Ten’s all-time record for completion percentage with a 73.5 mark. He missed the last three games due to a ruptured Achilles, but still had a 5 touchdowns, threw just four interceptions and ran for another nine scores. He is healthy and ready to go for training camp.

“In addition to his 159.0 pass efficiency rating, Persa is a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar, a candidate for Capital One Academic All-America honors, a nominee for the NFF’s William V. Campbell Trophy and a member of nearly every major quarterback and offensive player award watch list.

“PersaStrong” is consists of three prongs:

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#35 Northwestern Wildcats: College Football 77 in 77

GO-CATS!

It’s going to happen someday right? It has too. Chicago sports KNOWS DROUGHT. The Blackhawks ended their 49 year cup drought in 2010. The Cubs have that 1908 thing still going, and Northwestern football has 1949. That’s the last time they won a bowl game; failing in eight tries. Then there’s the basketball team which still hasn’t been to a NCAA Tournament (the only major conference school never to have done so).

Maybe this is the year in Evanston?

Pat Fitzgerald displayed some of his trademark intensity in the post Ticket City bowl game press conference on New Year’s Day. The ‘Cats played well and put up a good fight, but alas, a loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Fitz emphasized a certain point about his program by raising his voice significantly. Therefore, I will type in all caps the portion of the quote spoken with an elevated tone of voice. I hope this further conveys the message.

“As I look at our junior class it’s one of the more successful in our program, starters across the board who have played multiple years AND ITS TIME THAT THEY STEP UP AND IF WE WANT TO WIN THESE KIND OF FOOTBALL GAMES AND WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS THAT CLASS HAS GOT TO STEP UP, THEY GOT TO START MAKING MORE PLAYS AND THEY GOT TO START LEADING, AND THEY GOT TO BE THE CATALYST FOR US TO BE WHERE WE WANT TO GO. AND I CHALLENGED THEM AT THE START OF BOWL PREP, A LOT OF GUYS MADE PLAYS LIKE JORDAN DID and if we want to go where we want to go it’s their time now, it’s their senior year,” he said.

Ah, the joy that arrives when you reach a home team you cover regularly in the 77 in 77.

pat fitzgerald

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“GO CATS!” Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald to Sing at Chicago Cubs Game

#7 Michigan State-Northwestern: Brutally Honest Game Preview

michigan state

On my way home from the “Banks Bowl” (nickname I give to the annual IllinoisMichigan State meeting, because the former is my undergrad, the latter my MBA school) on Saturday night I drove past the town of Climax, MI on I-94.

The miles immediately leading into Climax are exciting, but then when you’re past Climax, it’s all downhill.

By the way, wouldn’t it be HILARIOUS if there was a town called Refractory Period, MI bordering Climax?

I bring this up because MSU football has had a tendency to climax during the middle of the season these past couple decades. It seems like they start 5-0 and finish 7-5 every season. They’ve also been prone to tremendous let-downs. Beating undefeated Michigan and Ohio State teams in midseason (see 1998, 1999, 2001) then losing to Indiana and Purdue the following week.

Will this year be different? With a 7-0 record, the first since the national title year of 1966, and a #7 BCS ranking, it appears so. Will the excitement for Tom Izzo’s basketball team will be delayed a little?

This week the Spartans show up for Northwestern‘s Homecoming, where they’ve beaten the geographically closest of my three “home” teams three out of the last four.

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