DE Math: Plus One, Minus Two

DE Math: Plus One, Minus Two

<b>Northwestern</b> gets one back, <b>Wisconsin</b> loses two.<br> <br> Does it add up to a <b>Northwestern</b> Win Saturday? <br> <br> daCoach thinks that there are a few more variables in the equation.

There's no doubt that Loren Howard is NU's Top Defensive End...
But you sense a little hesitation in NU Coach Randy Walker's quotes about Loren's return to the NU Lineup.

Lets face it, Howard is a football machine. From what we hear, he lives and breaths the sport - he's a guy who goes to college to play football, and the education is just something that comes along with the game - [reminds me of some family members, but I digress].

But deep down inside, you hope that he is truly ready to play, and that he doesn't aggravate the ankle again.

He had a similar injury and surgery last year for the other side, and came back in the Spring, ready to go, although he didn't take any chances until August. It was not a pleasant sight watching #66 limp out of Trienens Hall the day after "Meet the Cats" night.

Anyway, the 3 man pass rush should be that much better with Howard in the game. So will the 4-3 running defense. As they've said in Evanston, all he needs to do is knock some rust off.

My only two concerns about the game against Wisconsin is that Howard not reinjure himself, and our WRs find a way to beat the Badger defensive back's holding tactics that riled up Purdue's Joe Tiller earlier this week. The Badgers have already expressed respect for both Baz and Noah - the receivers just have to figure out how to get open.

I would have also worried about the rush from Wisconsin's "bookend" Defensive Ends, but Purdue took care of that last week. Its too bad Zach Strief didn't get to show his stuff against James, but as we have learned the hard way this year, injuries are part of the game of Football.

Now, next week I'll worry about Howard getting cut blocked by the Purdue O-Line.
-- da Coach

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