NORTHWESTERN ENDS BOWL DROUGHT! What Chicago team is next?

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Today, the Northwestern Wildcats ended their 64 year old bowl drought. They upped their record in bowl games to 2-9. And they did it over an SEC team no less, the once 11th ranked Mississippi St Bulldogs. In 2010, the Chicago Blackhawks ended their 49 year old Stanley Cup drought. In 2005, the Chicago White Sox ended their 88 year World Series drought. So now that leaves only two: Northwestern basketball, who’ve never made a NCAA Tourney. Well, with how they’ve played at home lately, their injuries and a RPI of 105, I’d say they have to wait a year- at least. And the Chicago Cubs 104 year Sahara like drought? They lost 101 games last year, so don’t expect that to change anytime soon.

Let’s get back to what the Cats accomplished today.

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New Northwestern helmets for Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi St.

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When the Northwestern Wildcats look to end their bowl game drought tomorrow (you might have heard a thing or two about it in the local media) they’ll do so with these new helmets on. Expect to see a lot of running with Venric Mark and Kain Colter at the Gator Bowl vs. Mississippi State, MSU has a cornerback named Johnathan Banks who will be a top 15 pick in the NFL Draft.

So they’ll be less passing with Colter and Trevor Siemian.

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Northwestern student reads book in stands at Iowa game (photo)

northwestern-jersey

Here’s a post that just reinforces all stereotypes. A Northwestern student brought a book to Ryan Field to keep himself occupied during a college football game versus the Iowa Hawkeyes. After the jump, you can see him reading it in the stands during crunch time.

The fan responded on the comment threads in the original post, and informs us the book is sports related- “The Book of Basketball” by Bill Simmons.

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Northwestern’s Venric Mark punt return TD (video)

When Venric Mark of Northwestern returned this punt 75 yards for a TD, the Wildcats took an 11 point lead at Penn State. It looked like NU might get their first 6-0 start since 1962 and Pat Fitzgerald would get his first win over PSU.

But the NU defense collapsed in the second half, tired from being on the field most of the day, as Penn St. dominated time of possession, and PSU went on to win 39-28.
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Pat Fitzgerald talks about Northwestern’s new Under Armour uniforms

northwestern-jersey

Pat Fitzgerald had a great quote on dais at Big Ten Media Day: “some people have called me the youngest old-school person in the country, and I’m okay with that”

He’s definitely earned it, as Northwestern has been to four straight bowl games, a first in school history. Their academic rating, APR is so high that it makes them one of the best ranked schools in the nation. And in 2012, they’ll be the only school in the league to play 3 BCS conference teams in the nonconference schedule.

The Wildcats will do it with sweet, new school meets old school uniforms.

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Northwestern linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo: good player, greater name

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Northwestern’s defense was much maligned last season. The pass defense was especially substandard. But at the conclusion of 2012 spring practice, the D was ahead of the offense and it showed a lot of improvement. The secondary will be retooled, so the defense figures to lean on the front seven this fall.

And when you’re coached by a linebacker in Pat Fitzgerald, the linebackers will be a group with a special focus.

“He’s a defensive guy, he likes to see the defense swarm around to the ball. He’s got little pointers here and there for us to get to the ball faster,” said Chi Chi Ariguzo.

The 6-foot-3, 220 pounder, was the backup SAM linebacker behind senior Ben Johnson as a freshman, but this year he should get the starting gig.

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Northwestern Linemen “Jugs Machine” Challenge (video)

tyler-scott

Get ready for the Jugs Machine! Sounds like a nickname for Pamela Anderson. Wait, she’s kind of a gross thought today, sounds like 1993 Pamela Anderson.

Being a punt returner is serious business. Fielding a high kick is no small task by itself, but it’s made that much harder when you have to concentrate on the ball, and be aware that very large men are speeding towards you with the sole intent of destroying you. But what happens when instead of a fast, low center-of-gravity back is returning a punt, you get the big boys in the trenches doing it?

check out the video below of a linemen jugs machine challenge at Northwestern.

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Stanford and Northwestern initiate football series; not academic quiz bowl

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Think of it like an Academic Quiz Bowl, except on the gridiron. Northwestern continues college football series with all the schools across the nation with similar elite graduation rates and exceedingly stringent entrance requirements. They’ve had recent home-and-homes with Vanderbilt, Duke and Rice.

They have a similar series slated with Notre Dame, and now Stanford.

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Northwestern’s Five Biggest Wins of the Pat Fitzgerald Era

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With the 28-25 upset of the ninth-ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers this past Saturday, Northwestern Head Coach Pat Fitzgerald gained sole possession of second place on NU’s all-time coaching wins list. Fitzgerald stands at 38 wins, one more than his predecessor Randy Walker and 11 behind Lynn Waldorf’s school-record of 49.

Fitz is inked to be at the school till 2020, so it’s safe to say he’ll have the record all to himself soon enough. He appears to be a “lifer” at the school, like Bobby Bowden was to Florida St.

The win Lincoln, a game in which the ‘Cats entered as 17 point underdogs, turned Northwestern’s season entirely around; it breathed life into their once near fatal bowl hopes. Where does it rank among the greatest hits of the Fitzgerald era?

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