10 reasons why NU wins the Valero Alamo Bowl Tonight....
1. NU hasn't won a bowl in a while - we're due for a good game at the end of the season.All in all, I think its a close game with the winner decided in the 4th quarter, but this isn't the defense that played in the last Alamo Bowl - these guys bend at the end of the game, then come up with the big play to win.
2. NU is playing for their first 10 win season in a long time.
3. The Wildcats love the underdog role - We were not suppossed to beat Iowa at their homecoming, the same at Minnesota, but the Cats won, and did it convincingly.
4. The Kevin Wilson factor - Dig back in your memory Cat fans. Remember the conversation on the bus between Randy Walker, and his then Offensive Coordinator Kevin Wilson?
Wilson showed Walker the spread, which the Cats implimented the next Spring, and became the wide open offense we have today.
Now, remember that Kevin Wilson is now the Offensive Coordinator of Oklahoma - the team that whalloped Mizzooo in the Big 12 Championship. A win by the Wildcats vindicates Wilson's push to change to the spread, and Mizzoo had a hard time stopping the Okies.
5. Sutton is back - When the Cat's get the ball, NU Running Back Tyrell Sutton will be the man standing next to C.J. Bacher`.
The Alamo Bowl may be a lot of things, but for Tyrell Sutton, this is his draft position, Senior season, and NU legacy all rolled up in 60 minutes. He blocks for CJ, he carries the ball north-south, and he's the safety valve on passes. His 776 yards rushing still leads the team. He's been missed in the NU offense.
6. DE Vince Browne is also back - He was the Anvil to Corey Wootton's anvil, and the third guy the 5 O-linemen had to deal with every down until he got hurt. Having Browne back in the D-Line rotation means a sharper set of outside rush men. Its bad enough shutting down Wootton, Kevin Mims and John Gill. Browne has 3 sacks in one game.
7. NU's Safeties, "Sminny" and Phillips, love a QB throwing the ball around. Smitty is Brendan Smith - the safety with two Pick-Six" plays in 2008. Brad Phillips also has 2 picks and 101 tackles.
8. The Wildcat defense is playing better than fans have seen since the Rose Bowl days - when Pat Fitzgerald was the on field leader. Defensive/Safeties coach Mike Hankwitz, along with Jerry Brown, RAndy Bates and Marty Long put on the pressure.
9. Pat Fitzgerald - NU's head coach, now the 2nd youngest coach in Division I, bleeds purple. As a player he's the only back-to-back Bednarik and Nagurski winner, and is in the College Football Hall of Fame.
As a head coach he's usually found high on the list of the various Coach of the Year Awards. Fitz believes in "Expect Victory," and will work with his players to get that.
10. CJ and Mike - QB's C.J. Bacher`, and Mike Kafka both have something to prove.
CJ needs to have that one great passing game that caps off a 2,218 yard season.
Kafka needs improve on his passing, while remaining the other running threat out of the backfield.
If Mizzoo packs the box to stop the run, CJ can pick them apart. If the spread out to counter the pass, Kafka and Sutton will run all afternoon. NU has out passed and out rushed their 12 opponents this year by a tight margin. Expect that to continue tonight.
I'd love to see Smitty get his third Pick 6 to ice the game, but most Cat fans just expect NU to score a bunch to win.
- da Coach
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