Game day is here! The moment we’ve been waiting months for has finally arrived. Half the Warrior crew is out on the West Coast bringing those West Lot beats to Palo Alto. Special Happy Birthday shout out to Andy Day!!!
Let’s see who we’ve got in the game.
Four years ago, the ‘Cats took on Stanford to open the season in Evanston. In many ways, the program was in a very different spot. Northwestern was coming off back to back 5-7 seasons, and deep within the fan base there was unrest and questions about Fitz. The Wildcats had questions at QB as Trevor Siemian entered the NFL draft and few people (aside from yours truly) were picking the ‘Cats to beat the Cardinal. I like to think this game was an inflection point for our program, as Northwestern smothered Stanford and only lost two games during the regular season to finish in the top 15 of the CFP rankings. Since then we’ve won three bowl games and a B1G West Title. What a difference a few years makes – Fitz’s Q score has never been higher as we enter the 2019 season.
Just as it was four years ago, the ‘Cats are dealing with a change at QB, and we really didn’t know what we are going to get at the position this weekend. Fitz has played his usual media games and has folks guessing about who will start on Saturday – is it the talented but unproven Hunter Johnson, or the veteran TJ Green? Or, will it be a combination of both?
I seriously hope it is not the latter – we saw last year against Purdue how quickly a team can burn its momentum by switching QBs throughout different series, not allowing either to get into a rhythm. I’d like to see Hunter in there – we saw what TJ Green could do last year and it wasn’t anything to write home about. Perhaps he’s made serious strides this offseason, but I have my doubts.
Stanford runs a pro style offense, similar to a lot of what the ‘Cats see in the B1G. They’re going to run the ball, run play action, and play smart football – grinding out games. The ‘Cats will try to do the same, especially with some of the questions at QB.
However, something tells me Fitz has been playing us all and we’ll see Hunter Johnson run out for the first NU offensive snap of the game. I think the ‘Cats will play conservatively to start out, and expect a lot of Bowser early on as we ease into the game and the season.
I believe the biggest weakpoint on our team is the secondary, and KJ Costello is the kind of QB that could pick us apart. However he doesn’t have the same weapons he’s had in years past, aside from a solid TE (from what I’ve read).
This is going to be a low scoring game – I love the under here. Fitz has a great record in tight one score games, and even though our team is young, they’ve been in some pressure situations over the past few years – the B1G championship experience will be valuable. Fitz has never had an issue getting the team up for big games – they will be fired up and ready for this one. I think we pull it out with a late FG.
Game Score: NU 20 – Stanford 17
Player to Watch: Hunter Johnson on offense, Greg Newsome on defense. I’ve said enough about HJ – for Greg, can he take over as the lead DB for Hartage and play lock-down D?
Warrior to Watch: Andy Day. Our West Coast Warrior reps the purple faithful out in the Bay Area and is going to do it up right for this season opener and his birthday.
Other Game to Watch: Illinois – Akron. A bettor threw down 55K on Illinois to cover -17, can they avoid a Northwestern-like performance against the Zips?
ANDY “B” DAY
Solid defense. Painful to watch offense. Does that remind anyone of a team? Sounds a lot like the 2015 ‘Cats. I think this game looks very similar to 2015 Stanford @ NU. Go ‘Cats!
Game Score: NU 16 – Stanford 6
Player to Watch: Whoever ends up playing quarterback
Warrior to Watch: Grayhack. He’s out in the Bay and ready to play.
Other Game to Watch: Oregon – Auburn in Jerry World. Should be a fun one.
Game Summary: I’m curious to see what the offense is all about this year. I assume it’s same old same old, but we don’t even know who the QB is at the moment…. which is concerning.
This is a non con game though. We have demonstrated that we don’t give much of a shit about those in recent years. So, I’m going to take the same attitude. I’m also going honeymooning on Sunday, so it’s a win either way.
Game Score: Cats 21 – Stansbury 16, Roger’s Honeymoon – 100
Player to Watch: Mick/TJ/Hunter
Game Summary: No Cats are getting caught in Trees tomorrow. Our defense plays lights out and gets critical turnovers in the red zone as our offense is a mess. McCall decides to use the Wildcat QB strategy which does not pan out.
Game Score: NU 12 – Stanford 9
Play of the Game: Pick in the end zone saving a TD
Player to Watch: Bowser
Warrior to Watch: DAY. It’s his 30th celebration. Got to love it.
Other Game to Watch: Duke Bama. Upset alert.
69-0 Cats win
Game Summary: A team led by two quarterbacks is most often led by none.
I don’t know anything about Stanford.
Game Score: Cardinal 24 – Cats 10
Play of the Game: First play of the game – when we find out who QB 1A is
Player to Watch: The QB Platoon!
Warrior to Watch: The birthday boy!
Other Game to Watch: all of em. Happy Labor Day.
Cats 2 Stannis 0