Northwestern won their first bowl game in 64 years when they knocked off the SEC’s Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. Pat Fitzgerald won his first bowl in five tries in getting the Wildcats first postseason win since 1949 Rose Bowl against California.
The ‘Cats went 10-3 and 5-3 in the Big Ten Conference and were a couple close wins from potentially taking the Legends Division, as they lost a couple games with big fourth quarter leads. Northwestern returns 15 starters from last year, eight on offense and seven on defense.
Fitzgerald used senior Kain Colter and junior Trevor Siemian at quarterback depending on the situation or hot hand last year. Colter threw for 1,312 yards with six touchdown passes to three interceptions, Siemian passed for 872 with eight TD’s to four INTs.
Senior Venric Mark led the team running for 1,416 yards and 12 TD’s providing explosive plays when he touched the ball. Colter nearly rushed for a thousand yards on the ground with 894 and 12 scores. Receiving wise the team returns nine of their top 10 receivers so whoever is under center will have options.
On defense senior linebacker Damien Proby who led the team with 112 tackles returns to help anchor a defense that struggled at times. Junior strong safety Ibraheim Campbell leads the secondary which will be tested by divisional foes this fall.
Northwestern opens the season in Berkeley against Cal on August 31 with kickoff at 7:30 pm on ESPN2.
Wildcats 2013 schedule: Aug. 31 @California, Sept. 7 v. Syracuse, Sept. 14 v. Western Michigan, Sept. 21 v. Maine, Oct. 5 v. Ohio State*, Oct. 12 @Wisconsin*, Oct. 19 Minnesota*, Oct. 26 @Iowa*, Nov. 2 @Nebraska*, Nov. 16 v. Michigan*, Nov. 23 v. Michigan State*, Nov. 30 @Illinois*
* = B1G Game
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