Northwestern Wildcats Continue Downward Spiral from BCS Hopeful To Bottom Of Big Ten

Byron Hetzler-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald led his team into Kinnick stadium in search of a desperately-needed Big Ten Victory. In his way stood coach Kirk Ferentz and the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Wildcats were once a BCS hopeful team that had sights on a Big Ten title this season. After three straight losses, the Wildcats certainly needed to get back on track by defeating the Hawkeyes, but lost that matchup as well.

Credit should be given to Northwestern as they battled a very tough Hawkeyes team valiantly and endured the pounding Iowa rushing attack, taking the game into an overtime decision on the road. Unfortunately, quarterback Kain Colter was sacked on the Wildcats’ final play of overtime, showing a true representation of what this season has been for coach Fitzgerald and his football team.

The Hawkeyes defeated the Wildcats with a final score of 17 -10.  The Hawkeyes overpowered the Wildcats’ defense with their power rushing attack. Also, the Hawkeyes’ defense, led by strong play up front, were able to contain the Wildcats’ offense, holding them to very little productivity.

The game played out like many prognosticators had predicted. The Hawkeyes’ relentless rushing attack rocked a downtrodden Wildcats football team to sleep and eventually beat them down physically. But what will football fortunetellers be predicting for the Wildcats from here on out?

First off all, has coach Fitzgerald lost some of the value that he held as a head coach with the disappointing season that his team has had thus far?  This is arguably the most talented team that Northwestern has fielded in many years, and yet the coach has been unable to bring the team together to achieve the common goal of being BCS relevant and contending for a Big Ten title.

Will Fitzgerald still be interviewed for coaching openings at the end of the season?  Yes, but he will have some questions to answer regarding his team’s performance this year.

Also, a big question will be how the Wildcats respond, because they have failed to bounce back since their devastating loss to the Buckeyes earlier this season. This is a team in desperate need of leadership and a glimmer of fortitude. Not everything is going to go your way in the game of football, and the Northwestern Wildcats need to accept the past for what it is and look forward to the rest of their season.

Now is definitely the time to rally the troops and finish the season strong. The Wildcats are looking a calendar filled with winnable games that could give them an opportunity to play in a quality bowl at the end of the season. For the sake of their dedicated coach, this team needs to win the rest of their games on the schedule and show some pride while doing so.

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