The Northwestern Wildcats had Ohio State right where they wanted them. NU had the nation’s third-ranked team on the ropes in the 4th quarter up 23-13. The biggest win of the Fitzgerald era was right within their grasp.
It was a chance for a program defining win- ending the Buckeyes 17 winning game streak, the longest in the nation.
What happened instead was history repeating; as once again OSU had their way with the Northwestern Wildcats, winning 40-30. And once again NU (it's NU not NW) blew a 4th quarter lead versus a name brand Big Ten opponent. Although that final score is rather misleading, as the last touchdown by Ohio State was scored with time expiring.
It happened three times to the Northwestern Wildcats in 2012: Nebraska at home, Michigan and Penn State on the road. This time it was Ohio State’s turn. Another marquee league program, another blown opportunity for the Northwestern Wildcats to enrich their football history. They have a recent history of letting these opportunities get away.
The Cats really played a hell of a game though. "It was a heavyweight fight out there" -- Kain Colter.
Colter finished 12-12 passing for 98 yards, one touchdown passing, and one touchdown receiving.
The Ohio State Buckeyes didn’t score an offensive touchdown until 3:54 left in the third quarter. Consider that they came in 6th in the nation, and first in the Big Ten averaging 48.2 ppg, it says something. Ohio St. also OWNED and I mean OWNED the series with Northwestern, having won 28 of the last 29 meetings. And the last four NU losses in the series produced final scores reading: 45-10, 58-7, 54-10, 48-7. This one was obviously much much closer, but the Scarlet and Grey domination continues.
"That's a pretty darn good football team we just played, and we put up 500 yards of total offense," Fitzgerald said postgame. The Buckeyes came in allowing just 84.5 yards per game on the ground.
"I think the score's a little misleading for our defense," said Fitz.
I agree, it was 34-30 in the closing seconds, and then OSU got that last TD for a backdoor cover.
Northwestern saw their 7 game win streak snapped; which was tied for 4th longest in the nation.
Listen to me every Tuesday at 10:30 AM CDT talking Illini and Northwestern Wildcats on 1620 The Zone
Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan and 1620 The Zone, he also writes for Chicago Now. Follow him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) and Facebook,subscribe to his RSS feed here
Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.