Northwestern is the “West Division” champion and went to the Big 10 conference championship game in December with Clayton Thorson as Quarterback. Thorson left for the NFL and the Wildcats offensive will now be commanded by Hunter Johnson (transferred from Clemson) of what many say is the best QB that has come in the history of the University. TJ Green is the veteran Quarterback that will be ready when called.
The offense does not have big stars, fortunately RB Isaiah Bower returns, a land battlehorse, which had an average of 108 yards per game in the last 8 games of the regular season. Drake Anderson (son of Damien Anderson, legendary runner at Northwestern) will occasionally come in waiting to remind us of his father’s glory. The receiver group is strong, with Bennett Skowronek and Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, both veterans and experienced in the conference.
The offensive line opens 3 new starters, but center Jared Thomas with 5 years of experience will be the one that takes the group to promised lands.
The defense will give stability and confidence to this team, DE Joe Gaziano is the “pass rusher”. With high expectations. Veteran Samdup Miller (27 games) will be the perfect match for Gaziano on the other side of the ball. Linebackers Blake Gallagher, and Paddy Fisher (one of the best in the B1G ten ) with the most tackles in the last season they make the best group of the 2019 team.
The secondary had a bad run last year, many were hurt, this year seems everyone is free of injuries , coupled with experience can compete against teams as Ohio State who have a lot of speed, the safety JR Pace is an indisputable starter.
The Wildcats season will be difficult, starting with Stanford the first game, then Michigan State, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Ohio State and Iowa, within the first 7 games of the season. If they start slow and losing 3 games in September I don’t think they can straighten the campaign as in past seasons.
Northwestern is projected to finish in 7th place within the Big10 conference. They don’t play fast and they don’t have Big plays in the top 10 on Saturday night. However the Wildcats are fine coached. Pat Fitzgerald is a teacher, motivates and gets his boys to the fullest.