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    [2021] Northwestern Wildcats Season Preview

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    Kickoff for the 2021 CFBHC season has commenced with the first slate of games taking place over the weekend. With the season now ready to kick into high gear, the Northwestern Wildcats will be looking to rebound from a dreadful first season under head coach, robcarlson77. The Wildcats struggled mightily throughout the season, limping to a 1-11 overall record and 1-8 record in conference play.


    The Big Ten is arguably one of the toughest conferences in the nation, but in speaking with robcarlson77, he felt the team's performance was simply unacceptable and was quick to take the blame for their performance. “We simply didn’t perform up to the standards we have set for ourselves” said robcarlson77. “And that starts with me and my staff. We knew it would likely be a tough year for us, but we felt there were enough pieces in place for us to enjoy more success than we did. Outside of a few games, we weren’t really competitive and that just can’t happen. This is Big Ten football, it’s never going to be easy.” There’s no denying the fact that the team's performance was a let down, but from an outsider's perspective, Northwestern is a school that does not have a long history of success on the gridiron. A coach's job is to win games, but sometimes that doesn’t happen overnight and patience from the administration and fanbase is necessary.


    After adjusting some things on offense, the Wildcats looked like a more competent team over their last three games and the staff hopes to continue this trend. There are some quality players on the offensive side of the ball as Quarterback E.J. McGuire and Wide Receiver Cory Carradine are both a year older and more experienced. McGuire will be entering his third year as the starter and Carradine will be looking to build of a solid true freshman campaign that saw him catch 40 passes for 572 yards and two touchdowns. At times, McGuire has showcased his tremendous skillset, but the Wildcats will look for more consistent play out of the Junior.


    Entering the mix at running back will be redshirt freshman Makai Denson. The Wildcats will hope that Denson can take some of the pressure off McGuire’s hands. With talent at the skill positions, the key for success on the offensive side of the ball will be above average play from an average offensive line and remaining healthy. The Wildcats are a team that lacks depth at many positions so staying health will be integral to a successful season.


    On the defensive side, the Wildcats return a good, but not great group of players. However, there is enough talent for the defense to get some stops, though they will likely struggle with teams in the top tier of the Big Ten. The defense is led by Sophomore Linebacker, Bryan Pettit and Junior Free Safety, Mark Oliver. When asked about the defense, robcarlson77 had a positive outlook for this season. “Overall, I thought our defense gave us a chance to win several games last season, we just really struggled to take advantage of the stops and were not able to put points on the scoreboard.” The Wildcats only scored 20 or more points three times last year, and were held to 10 points or fewer six times. That simply cannot happen if there is any hope for Northwestern to improve their record.


    Season Outlook:

    The Wildcats have some winnable non-conference games against as they take on Utah State, Houston and BYU, but coming off of a one win season, Northwestern can’t take any opponent for granted. In conference play, the Wildcats will likely struggle once again. The team avoids Penn State in the crossover games, but drew tough games against Michigan and Michigan State. The Wildcats will only go as far as E.J. McGuire can take them. The Junior signal caller has a ton of talent and enough support for them to produce more than they did last season. In terms of wins, this team is likely to only win a maximum of 3 or 4 games. Anything more would be a great turnaround and should be cause for excitement among the Wildcat faithful.

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