We’ve sat through our share of disappointing games, anti-climactic finishes, and the past couple of years – 4th quarter collapses. Saturday wasn’t like that all. The Fighting Illini overcame an 18-point second half lead by Northwestern, losing the turnover battle 3-0, and being penalized eight times to beat Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats. Only don’t tell Coach Pat. There he was in the post-game telling the press how disappointed he was to lose because “our young guys just made too many mistakes. Not to downplay Illinois’ performance or anything.” Yeah right. Northwestern played about as well as they could, and Jason Ford’s fumble with three minutes to go seemed to gift-wrap the game for them Fortunately Scheelhaase and A.J. Jenkins had other ideas. Still, Fitzgerald’s consistent douchebaggery is a big reason the Orange & Blue seem to have re-engaged in this rivalry after many years of seeming not to care.
That’s three straight games won in the final minutes. That’s a team taking full advantage of five home games to start the season. That’s a team that doesn’t quit and finds ways to make plays, and seems capable of adjusting to the opponents tactics as the game progresses. These traits have been rare during the Zook era, as has this kind of winning streak. And yes, after the Indiana game it’s going to get tougher, but we will definitely take a 5 & 0 start every time.
Five points in the Pentagram. These are for you, Coach Pat… Continue reading