Joe Robbins - Getty Images
Northwestern's SB Nation blogger was kind enough to answer some questions for me.
Thanks to Sippin' on Purple, who answered the same Wildcat-related question that LTP answered earlier. My answers to his questions are here.
1. What is your explanation for Northwestern's excellence in close games? This has been a trend in the IU-NU series since the early 2000s, but now it seems to have spread? Is it just luck that is going to run out some day? Something more?
I think it's karmic payback for Northwestern's basketball game, which either 5-10 points, but only loses either by one point or in overtime. But seriously, I always attribute such things to chance. Close games between even teams should be won 50 percent of the time, and Northwestern wins a significantly larger margin than that. Last year, things seemed to be heading in the opposite direction, as NU blew some large leads and lost four games by ten points or less, but this year, NU has already won three games that were tight until the final few minutes, including one on a last second drive. The Cardiac Cats refuse to not ride.
2. Despite the excellent start, a bit of a quarterback controversy seems to have developed. What are your thoughts on Kain Colter and Trevor Sieman. How do you think it is going to turn out and how do you think it should turn out?
To set things straight, this is not a quarterback controversy. It's two quarterbacks splitting playing time. Colter is a better runner with a weaker arm and Siemian has a cannon. Northwestern's been splitting their snaps to give defenses different looks. A quarterback controversy implies the two players are competing for the number one spot, whereas Pat Fitzgerald has made it clear that both players will play for the foreseeable future, and nobody seems to have a problem with that - not the players, who seem fine with the arrangement since they both get to say they're first-string QB's, and not the fans, because we're 4-0.
3. What do you think about your defense this year? I can't get much of a read from the numbers, nor can I get a read on the quality of the competition. Good? Bad? Players to watch?
I was expecting bad things, very bad things, as a bad all-around defense lost some of its better players, including three of four starters in the secondary. Those fears were confirmed when NU gave up 470 yards passing to Syracuse, not counting an additional 60 yards in pass interference calls. However, since then, the D has stepped up. Only 13 points for Vandy and BC, who only ran for 25 yards on 21 attempts, which, dare I say, is good. Nick VanHoose has emerged as a really impressive corner as a redshirt freshman, while the linebackers - David Nwabuisi, Chi Chi Ariguzo, and Damien Proby - are all having great seasons thus far.
4. Finally, how do you think this one is going to turn out?
I have Northwestern. Let's call it 35-24. I think NU's offense looks really nice, but I'm not going to put it past the Hoosiers to put up some points.