2011 Northwestern Wildcats Football
Northwestern Wildcats @ Indiana Hoosiers Football Recap
Northwestern 59, Indiana 38
Throughout the 2011 college football season, the Northwestern Wildcats have struggled to attain game-long consistency on the offensive side of the ball. Strong first halves have typically dissolved into nonexistent second halves. A solid 30 minutes of work is pretty much what the Wildcats have been able to deliver on gamedays this year; that’s certainly better than nothing, but it’s a far cry from the 60 minutes that good teams manage to bring to the ballyard. Northwestern has established a reputation for being petrified and putrid in the second halves of games, failing to finish what it started.
The simple fact that the Wildcats went wild from start to finish this past Saturday is not an indication of their resurgence; it is instead a ringing indictment of the state of the Indiana Hoosier football program.
When you allow 59 points to NU the way Indiana did on a sad afternoon at Memorial Stadium, it’s clear that a program has to be remade. IU’s first-year coach, Kevin Wilson, has an enormous amount of work to do after Northwestern snapped a five-game losing streak at his expense. The Wildcats spent the entirety of this contest hammering the Hoosiers in a wild shootout Bloomington, Indiana. Northwestern (3-5) needs three wins in its final four games to become bowl eligible – it’s not as though the Wildcats are turning the corner in any way, shape or form. The story of this game is the complete defensive collapse of an Indiana squad that, at 1-8, has still not beaten an FBS team this season.
Just how brutally bad was this outing for Indiana’s defense? Northwestern put up 616 yards of offense, and scored on nine of its first 10 possessions. Quarterback Dan Persa completed 16 of 20 passes for 261 yards and three touchdowns. Backup quarterback Kain Colter had another big day as an all-purpose threat, throwing two touchdown passes on three attempts, and catching six passes for 115 yards. Tight end Drake Dunsmore caught seven passes for 112 yards and four touchdowns, and became Northwestern’s career record holder for receiving yards by a tight end. Jacob Schmidt carried 15 times for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
True freshman Tre Roberson made his second career start at quarterback for Indiana. Roberson threw for 169 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown. Stephen Houston ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns for the Hoosiers. However, those solid stats mean little in the face of an opponent’s rampage. The Wildcats led 38-21 at halftime and continued to light up the scoreboard over the course of the second half.
Northwestern could have broken their own record for points in a Big Ten game, set when they scored 61 against Illinois in 2000. But the Wildcats ran the ball on 17 straight plays on their final drive against a helpless IU defense in order to avoid running up the score.
The Hoosiers had 488 total yards. Such a gaudy number never felt so empty… that’s the case when a toothless defense allows 59 points… and those 59 points feel more like 81.
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