OffTackleEmpire starts the offseason by reviewing each team's previous year. Today we're going to start with the 2015 edition of the Northwestern Wildcats.
Northwestern doubled the win total of the 2014 season by going 10-3!
What went right:
Northwestern started off the season with a decisive victory over the Rose Bowl champion Stanford Cardinal. They weren't jet lagged or anything, we just flat out beat them.
The team managed a shutout of the Vile Gopher Menace, broke the pattern of the home team winning in the Northwestern/Wisconsin series in a perfectly refereed game, beat Nebraska, Purdue, and reclaimed the Land of Lincoln Trophy from Interim Illinois University.
Justin Jackson (the Ball Carrier®) was the bell cow of the NU offense, and Anthony Walker Jr and Matthew Harris led the impressive lockdown NU defense.
What went wrong:
Northwestern struggled against Ball State, got blown out by Iowa, Michigan, and Tennessee in the bowl game.
Redshirt Freshman QB Clayton Thorson played like a rookie and it showed, and the wide receivers were basically a non-factor in the offense when they weren't dropping passes.
Jack Mitchell and Hunter Niswander weren't kicking to the level that Jeff Budzien used to.
Thoughts for next year
I can't really quibble with a ten win season since they're quite rare in Evanson. I'd like to see some more imaginative playcalling from Mick McCall, and better performance from Clayton Thorson and his wide receivers.
Also, I'd like to see our offensive and defensive line spend the entire offseason in the weight room so they don't get pushed around like they did in our three losses.
Also, HAT HAT HAT HAT