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Northwestern 2020: Offense Preview

Northwestern’s offense hit rock bottom last year. Let’s hope there’s light at the end of the tunnel....Please?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 26 Iowa at Northwestern
Let’s hope for a healthy Isaiah Bowser
Photo by Daniel Bartel/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Welcome back, friends! Last year about in July I had the luxury of not having to bother writing until August due to Northwestern’s 2018 B1G West division title and Holiday Bowl win over the Utah Utes. Everything was going to go well! We had a five-star transfer quarterback from Clemson in Hunter Johnson ready to helm an offense that returned Isaiah Bowser toting the rock and a good cast of wide receivers.

Despite the fact Mick McCall was still calling the plays....

Well, we’d overlook that and at least be able to go bowling again amirite?




Good god, everything went to shit last year. Let’s unpack the carnage and go over who’s gonna be back this season, provided the team is gonna take the field this fall.


Hunter Johnson had a miserable season last fall, that’s undisputed. Initially it looked like he injured his knee, but actually his mother had breast cancer and that and her recovery undestandably weighed on him. Fitz pulled him out because there are some things more important that football. The next guy in, TJ Green got injured for the season during the Stanford game. We then plumbed further in the depth chart and got Aidan Smith to start. We also saw fifth stringer Andrew Marty get some reps...

This year, Hunter Johnson is going to fight for his job against grad transfer Peyton Ramsey from Indiana. All the other guys who got reps last year are back, including Jason Whittaker and Zac Krause. Northwestern welcomes 6’4 pro-style QB Carl Richardson as well.

Running Back

I really wanted to see a powerful season from Isiah Bowser, but unfortunately he got injured at the Stanford game. We used John Moten IV, Drake Anderson, Evan Hull and non-running backs Kyric McGowan, CoCo Azema, and Raymond Niro III.

Only John Moten IV isn’t returning this year. I’m hoping Bowser is healthy and productive this year so I can tweet out Nintendo memes during games again.

Wide Receivers

Bennett Skowronek got injured three games in, and that sucked because he was our leading receiver. To add insult to injury, he transferred to that hive of scum and villainy in South Bend !! Riley Lees had to be our go-to receiver last fall

Riley Lees, Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman, Kyric McGowan are returing starters. We return Jace James, Malik Washington, JJ Jefferson, Berkeley Holman, Raymond Niro, Will Lansbury and Bradon Heald.

I’m optimistic OC Mike Bajakian can get some good production out of these guys.

Tight Ends

Last year Charlie Mangieri, Trey Pugh, Trent Goens, Alex Oelsner and Thomas Gordon weren’t that productive

This year, Trent Goens is the only key loss, and hopefully these guys will be better under Mike Bajakian’s tutelage.

Offensive Line

The Trench Cats were the only part of the offense that didn’t suck last year.

We return starters (and all but one senior) Rashawn Slater, with Sam Gerak, Nik Urban, and Gunnar Vogel.

Rashawn Slater is the best of the bunch and he’s a preseason All-American and he’ll be drafted very early next fall.

We’ve been recruiting very well at this position, and we have an excellent position coach too. I’m really excited to see what these guys can do.


How’re the ‘Cats gonna be on offense next season?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Much better
    (4 votes)
  • 56%
    somewhat better
    (36 votes)
  • 17%
    the same
    (11 votes)
  • 0%
    somewhat worse
    (0 votes)
  • 20%
    still shitty
    (13 votes)
64 votes total Vote Now