This was the first ten win season in quite some time for Northwestern, who will be entering 2013 their eighth season with Pat Fitzgerald as the head coach. He has managed to get the Wildcats to bowl games five straight seasons, and he finally won his first bowl game last season vs. Mississippi State.
On offense, the Wildcats were one of the surprises in the Big Ten conference. Running a two-quarterback system featuring the electric Kain Colter and the more prototypical Trevor Siemian, the Wildcats put up some great numbers.
The offense finished third in the conference in scoring, putting up a solid 31.6 points per game on the season. They finished sixth in total offense, managing 394.9 yards per game on the year. These were great numbers, and the rushing attack was especially good for the Wildcats.
Going into 2013, the Wildcats will continue to run the two-quarterback system. It worked effectively for them all throughout 2012, as Kain Colter is able to play multiple positions when Siemian comes in the game.
At running back, the highlight waiting to happen in Venric Mark returns. He ran for 1,366 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns to go along with 104 receiving yards and a touchdown. Add this with his outstanding return ability and he is one of the best players in the country.
At receiver, everyone returns except Demetrius Fields. Christian Jones and Tony Jones will lead the receiving group and look to improve upon solid 2012 seasons. Kyle Prater, the one-time five star USC recruit, has a whole year of experience of his belt and could impress.
The offensive line also returns a lot of experience and is led by center Brandon Vitabile. The Wildcats look primed to have another outstanding offensive season in the Big Ten and hope to finally make a run at a conference championship.