2011 Northwestern Wildcats Football

 
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Northwestern Wildcats @ Boston College Eagles Football Recap

Northwestern 24, Boston College 17

 

Northwestern merchandiseIt’s true that the Northwestern Wildcats didn’t face a particularly overwhelming or imposing opponent in their first game of the 2011 college football season. It’s accurate to say that the Boston College Golden Eagles lack offensive weapons and do not strike fear into other major college programs. Yet, winning an Opening Day road game against another power-conference team with a backup quarterback is never anything to sneeze at. One of the Big Ten’s overachieving programs just notched a particularly satisfying conquest right out of the gate, building momentum that could increase over the coming weeks and months.
 
Backup Kain Colter threw for 197 yards and ran for 71 more with a touchdown on Saturday to lead Northwestern to a 24-17 victory over Boston College in the curtain-raiser for both schools.
 
Colter completed 17 of 24 passes and Northwestern won for the first time since Dan Persa ruptured his Achilles tendon last Nov. 13. Persa, who had been touted as a Heisman Trophy contender by the school, was a late scratch.

 

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Andre Williams, who replaced the injured Montel Harris, ran 22 times for 114 yards and two touchdowns for the Golden Eagles, who were not able to make the kind of progress that head coach Frank Spaziani envisioned for his ballclub during the offseason and through the progression of August training camp. Luke Kuechly had 19 tackles, two for a loss, and an interception for BC, but that bit of individual brilliance wasn’t able to mask the profound limitations that still exist in the Eagles’ passing game, which just isn’t robust or diversified enough to threaten opposing secondaries… at least ones that are competent, Northwestern’s being a good example. The Wildcats are well schooled by coach Pat Fitzgerald, so much so that the Evanston, Illinois program now expects to make a bowl game each and every season. This high-value win against an ACC school will go a long way toward giving NU get another postseason ticket.
 
Both teams had their struggles in the red zone throughout the day – the Eagles missed multiple field goals while Northwestern failed on a fourth down inside the BC 10. All these missed chances loomed large when BC brought the ball to the Northwestern 19 with 18 seconds left before a false start moved the Eagles back and took 10 seconds off the clock. Boston College Chase Rettig was sacked by Northwestern’s Vince Browne on the final play, sealing a sweet win for a team that entered the gridiron in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, without its best and most prolific player.

By Matt Zemek
DFN Sports Senior Staff Writer

 

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