Monday 2-Deep, Injuries, and ???? - 10/30

Monday 2-Deep, Injuries, and ???? - 10/30

The Northwestern Wildcats came out of the game with Michigan with few injuries, but the actual start chart for the Wolverines held a few surprises. The Cats project few changes for this week - and Iowa - and here's what we see at Purple Reign...

Changes to the 2 Deep
Probably the most significant lineup chan was the move [again] by Junior DE Mark Koehn to tackle, ahead of Adam Hahn. The Monday 2 - deep has Hahn back at the other DT spot however.

Koehn's start probably reflects his experience, and a need to get more of a rush against the Michigan offense. The job of many DT's is to keep the O-linemen off of the linebackers and ends. Koehn, a former Linebacker and running back, has a little more "quick" and it appears the coaches wanted to get him on the field against Michigan.

In any case, Mark is back on the 2-deep as DE Corey Wootton's backup.

The other big swap is Sherrick McManis taking over for the injured Marquice Cole at left corner, except there a big "OR" between the two players.

One other change is the move of Soph Mike Dinard to the backup to Eddie Simpson at the Will outside linebacker. Macolm Arrington is now on the chart as MLB Adam Kadela's backup. Dinard has had a lot of playing time at MLB, starting as the 4th linebacker in the 3-4, but NU has started a 4-3 since the Big 10 season bagan. He played a little outside LB last fall as a true freshman and you would expect him to play a starting role next season.

Even with his injury, Tyrell Sutton remains the #1 RB, followed by Terrell Jordan and Brandon Roberson.
Officially On Defense:
On Offense:
  • O-Lineman Austin Matthews is "doubtful" for Iowa, Matthews is an important loss primarily because he can play both Guard and Tackle [and Center too].
  • Tyrell Sutton is a Probable for Iowa - he was observed talking with the trainers at the end of the Michigan Game but seemed ready to return.
  • Also on the list almost all season: TE Frayne Abernathy,
  • QB C.J. Bacher was crunched pretty well by the Wolverines at the end of the game with Michigan and didn't return, but is not listed on the injury list this week.
Final Analysis
There's been a bit of speculation in the NU media, [particularly the Daily Northwestern] that Sutton is not happy with his rushing attempts, etc., and might be considering a transfer after this year.

Questions have arisen on the game chats about why Tyrell isn't getting the ball more, and why he isn't producing the way he did as a freshman.

I don't want to point fingers, that's not the NU way, but a running game starts up front and at times defenses have stacked the middle setting up 7 on 5 situations that are almost impossible to block with a 1 back backfield.

We saw Michigan bringing 2 LBs on an A or B gap [inside] blitz almost every play. When your running lane is the 1 or 2 hole [either side of the center], the blitzing linebacker in that hole changes the entire dynamic of the play's blocking scheme. The short passing game opens that up, but blitzing is also a well known way to unsettle a young QB.

I expected to see NU dealing with more blitzes this year, as everyone in the Big 10 knows that we have 3 young players at QB.

C.J. Bacher has the ability to see more than one receiver in the patterns, and will use his quick release to wait to throw. It means he gets sacked once in a while, but he also can move the chains with his passing to the WRs and backs. As he gets more comfortable, you are going to see more games like the first half of MSU.

When that happens, Tyrell's numbers will climb again, as teams will decide to put more linebackers in coverage.

Meanwhile our banged up defense continues to play well, what seems to be missing is the anvil up front for DE Corey Wootton's hammer. When the Cats get that going, either with Kevin Mims, David Ngene, Mark Koehn or even Eddie Simpson also dominating on the pass rush, you'll see the opponents ability to pass decrease even more.

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