Bowl Season

Big Ten vs. Big 12 Dallas
Cotton Bowl
Jan. 1
We recently got an interview with Lake the Posts ( Here's how it went...

BS:Northwestern started out 5-0 and finished regular season play at 7-5. Other than the obvious (the schedule) what has changed in the second half?

Lake the Posts:So many reasons where do you start? The 'Cats 2010 edition will be known for staking leads they couldn't hold.  The Michigan State 17-0 lead and Penn State 21-0 lead are really the ones.  Before Dan Persa went down we were like clockwork almost always coming out of the gates strong. We were a terrible third quarter team in the second half of the season and most of the blame goes on the "D" just breaking down on basics - tackling, trusting their assignments etc...Fitz counted 27 missed tackles in the Penn State game. The team didn't really know how to close the deal until we did so against Iowa and just as we seemed set for our typical November domination (Fitz was 9-3 historically in November going in to November). Then Persa's Achilles heel blew out on the game-winning Iowa TD and down went our season. 
BS:Dan Persa, a first team all Big Tener, is done for the season. Does Evan Watkins have the ability to lead the Wildcats to a victory in the bowl game? Also, comment on this year's offense including leading receiver Jeremy Ebert.

Lake the Posts
: Of course! I'm actually very excited to see what Watkins can do with a full-month of prep as QB1.  Despite the Wisconsin debacle, he showed some signs of very positive progress. The guy can throw frozen ropes and I'm confident he'll be a key asset in the bowl game.  Candidly, if we play Texas Tech, the worst passing D in the nation, it should suit him well.  This year's offense should have opposing coaches downright frightened to play us next year.  Our O-line, which we anticipated to be stellar, was sub-par in my opinion.  However, every single player is back on the line and our WRs are fantastic, deep and the most athletic we've ever had.  The real enigma is RB.  It has been Wildcat RB roulette back there and just as Mike Trumpy was starting to establish himself, he goes out injured for the year.  I really would love to see freshman Adonis Smith get a ton of snaps in the bowl game as he's shown flashes of great things in limited time.  Ebert is just the typical, clutch, NU receiver, whom we seem to just plug in year after year (Peterman, Markshausen etc...).  Watch out though, as our freshman class which got so much PT this season is going to be killer in 2011. The obvious is having Persa back for 2011. Coming off of a 1st team All Big Ten QB selection by the coaches - besting the likes of Robinson, Prior and Tolzein, NU fans are psyched as we have our first legit Heisman contender since 2001 when Damien Anderson was coming off of his incredible year. The buzz will be back big time next year. 
BS:The defense has really struggled the last 2 games, especialy against the run. What do they have to do to help the Wildcats stay in the game? Also, overall comments on the defense.

Lake the Posts:
Tackle. Period.  The front 7 has been manhandled in the past two games. It hasn't been anything special. Guys just not wrapping up, and trusting themselves.  The most concerning part was I saw guys who seemed like they were giving up on plays which is something I've never seen on a Fitz-coached team. We've had little to no pass rush during that time as well, which is frustrating.  We've got to find the "want" and the hunger like we saw in the Iowa game. 
BS:Last one, if you had to pick one player who will break out in the bowl game, who would it be?

Lake the Posts
: If break out means someone who hasn't had that huge game having a huge game, I'm going to go with two picks.  First would be WR Rashad Lawrence. He's been amazing all year, but doesn't get many balls thrown his way. He is a gamebreaker and could have a huge night. Second would be Drake Dunsmore. The oft-injured tough guy superback made a big name for himself last year on January 1 and I look for him to have that breakout game we've all been waiting for this season.

Thanks a lot to Lake the Posts for fine insight. Check them out a, a blog for all thing Northwestern...

Seth Jungman,  of, was nice enough to answer some questions about the Red Raiders.

BS: In the first year under Tommy Tuberville, the Red Raiders went 7-5 and made a bowl game. How would you rate his first year and in what ways has the style changed under the new coach?

Seth Jungman: It depends who you ask, but if you're asking me, I think that Tuberville has done an okay job.  There is certainly quite a bit of room for improvement, in particular on defense, but I think considering everything that happened over the course of the last 12 months at Texas Tech, it's been okay.  As far as style is concerned, the biggest change came on defense where the now-departed James Willis tried to implement multiple look 3-4 defense and in retrospect, he just didn't have the personnel to play that type of defense with press-coverage by the cornerbacks.  As far as the offense is concerned, there are plenty of people that do not like the changes that were made, but Texas Tech is still a "spread" offense, but is running the ball about 40% of the time rather than 30% of the time.  It's still a relatively pass-heavy offense, although there are fans that don't believe that, it's still very much the case.

BS: The offense was again a force in the passing game. How good has QB Taylor Potts been and who are his top weapons?

Seth Jungman: Personally, I think Potts has improved quite a bit over the course of the year.  Last year he had a TD:INT ratio of 22:13, while this year, he's gotten much better at not turning the ball over and has a TD:INT ratio of 31:8.  Potts' biggest targets is a former high school teammate, WR Lyle Leong (17 touchdowns on the year) and IR Detron Lewis (leads the team with 79 receptions).  Of course there are 8 players with 28 or more receptions on the team and last year's leading receiver, WR Alexander Torres, was injured for a big part of the year and could have a break-out performance at any time.

BS: The defense struggled, giving up over 30 points a game. What is the key to stopping the Northwestern offense and who are the unit's top players?

Seth Jungman: The defense struggled, largely in part because of the awful pass defense.  The first of the year, the defense was able to get to the quarterback and force some turnovers, but as the season wore on, the quarterback pressures decreased and opposing QB's and WR's found time to complete significant yards on the relatively inexperienced Texas Tech cornerbacks.  I'm not at all confident that the defense is going to be able to turn things around as at this point in the year, you are what you are.  If anything, I'm hoping that the injury to Northwestern's QB Dan Persa holds back the offense more than anything else.

BS: If you could choose one player to have a breakout performance in the bowl game, who would it be?

Seth Jungman: Detron Lewis originally started out as an outside receiver this year and was moved inside the later part of the year.  He's been significantly better since moving inside and he's taken advantage of the opportunity.  I think with Lewis being inside, he can take advantage of his physical size (6-0/205) with nickel cornerbacks and because he's not the fastest guy on the field, he's not being asked to beat cornerbacks on the outside.  I think Lewis, a senior, has the potential to be a really good guy to break out this game.

Thanks a lot to Seth Jungman. Check him out at

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