Latest Team Rankings
Free Rivals Alerts
|ShopMobileRadio RSSRivals.com Yahoo! Sports|
|College Teams||High Schools|
October 7, 2013
On (to) Wisconsin
Northwestern better get over its narrow home loss to Ohio State because it is destined for another bruising matchup this weekend against Wisconsin.
The Cats, who were listed as 10-and-a-half point underdogs on Monday, must travel to Madison to play a Badger team that averages 300.6 rushing yards-per-game, good for sixth in the nation, and gives up only 14.6 points-per-game. Essentially, this one is going to be a slugfest.
Head coach Pat Fitzgerald was impressed with his team's effort on Saturday against Ohio State and thinks his team, especially the young players, will be even better this weekend. In order to improve the run defense, which gave up 248 yards to the Buckeyes, Fitzgerald gave some pretty simple keys.
"Get off blocks," Fitzgerald said. "Tackle."
Fitzgerald noted that the Badgers would use lots of formation variation in order to try to free up running room for their running backs.
Fitzgerald called Borland one of the most relentless players he's seen this year, adding that he enjoys seeing the young man play football. Through good fundamentals and solid tackling, Borland is one of the best linebackers in the conference.
"That's the way you're supposed to play the position," he said.
The trip to Camp Randall will also mark the most difficult road environment in which the Cats have played this season. Fitzgerald said they will pump in lots of artificial crowd noise during practice this week and that they've "got a routine that we go about."
In all, these factors won't make it easy to pull out the first conference win of the season. Fitzgerald, however, is optimistic about his team's ability to go out and compete.
"We're gaining on where we want to be," Fitzgerald said. "I thought we played our best football game of the year, and we can be better."