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2011 Northwestern Wildcats Gambling Odds | Predictions

2011-2012 Football Previews – Big 10 Conference – Northwestern Wildcats

The Northwestern Wildcats were 7-3 last year when quarterback Dan Persa went down with a season-ending Achilles injury.

Big Ten Conference 2011-2012 Football Previews: Northwestern Wildcats
Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
2010 Record: 7-6
Northwestern Gambling Odds from JustBet to win BCS: +15,000 (Part of Field)
Northwestern Odds from JustBet to win Big Ten Legends Division: +470
Northwestern Odds from JustBet to win Big Ten Conference Championship: +1,000
Northwestern Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2011 Schedule –>

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The Wildcats lost all three of their games without Persa under center, and they finished 7-6. Persa has undergone some major rehabilitation programs in the offseason, but he appears to be ready to go once again.

Pat Fitzgerald was a great linebacker for Northwestern, and he has done a very good job coaching this team as well.

Fitzgerald seems to have a way of getting the most out of his team every year. The Wildcats don’t bring in the highly touted recruits that many other Big Ten schools do, but they play with an impressive competitive edge on a weekly basis.

Can Northwestern surprise people again in 2011?

Team Strengths:

Dan Persa may be the best quarterback in the Big Ten. Persa threw 15 touchdowns and just four interceptions last season, while also completing a stellar 73.5 percent of his pass attempts. He is the type of guy who keeps a play alive with his feet.

Persa is a great decision maker on the field, and as long as he stays healthy he has the ability to be one of the brightest stars in the conference.

Persa has plenty of talented receivers to choose from when he airs it out. Jeremy Ebert isn’t the fastest receiver you’ll ever see, but he runs great routes and he is perfect for Northwestern’s spread offense. Tight End Drake Dunsmore is a highly regarded NFL prospect, and I expect him to improve on last year’s 40 catches. Demetrius Fields is another high quality wide receiver for Persa to look to in 2011.

Northwestern returns four of their top five pass catchers, and this should be a real area of strength.

The Wildcats secondary has the experience necessary to take a big step forward in 2011. Jordan Mabin is an impressive corner, and Brian Peters is a top-notch safety. The Wildcats are deeper in the secondary than they are at other defensive positions, and I think this needs to be the strength of the defense.

Team Weaknesses:

Overall, it is the Northwestern defense that must take a big step forward this year if the Wildcats wish to compete in the Big Ten Legends Division. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

The defensive line returns three out of four starters, but this group must play better. Northwestern allowed 156 yards per game on the ground last year. After Persa went down at the end of last year, the defense needed to step up to help the team win and they did exactly the opposite.

Opponents scored a ridiculous 163 points on Northwestern in the final three games of the season!

The linebacker spot is a real area of concern for the Wildcats. Nate Williams and Quentin Davie are both gone, and they were the leaders of this group last season. The Wildcats are severely lacking in depth at this position, and they are sure to be starting some very inexperienced linebackers.

The offensive line was a real weak spot in 2010. The line hasn’t been good at run blocking for the last few years, but they also allowed opponents to pressure Persa constantly.

It’s no secret that the Wildcats badly need Persa to stay healthy, so the offensive line needs to do a better job protecting him.

2011-2012 Northwestern Football Prediction: 8-5

The Wildcats certainly have some question marks, but if Dan Persa is healthy I expect them to be a real factor in the Legends Division. The non-conference schedule includes trips to Boston College and Army. Inside the conference, Northwestern will avoid both Ohio State and Wisconsin.

The games at Illinois and Iowa in October will be a good barometer for this team.

I think Northwestern will get to another bowl game and finish the season a little stronger than they did last year.

2011 Northwestern Wildcats Schedule

9/3/11 12:00 PM ET @BCOLL
9/10/11 12:00 PM ET EILL
9/17/11 3:30 PM ET @ARMY
10/1/11 12:00 PM ET @ILL
10/8/11 7:00 PM ET MICH
10/15/11 7:00 PM ET @IOWA
10/22/11 7:00 PM ET PENST
10/29/11 12:00 PM ET @IND
11/5/11 12:00 PM ET @NEB
11/12/11 12:00 PM ET RICE
11/19/11 12:00 PM ET MINN
11/26/11 12:00 PM ET MCHST

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About Kyle Hunter

Kyle Hunter sports picks – A degree in finance and a great ability to follow important trends and statistics set him apart from the rest. Totals are Kyle's specialty, so look for a lot of totals picks from NBA, NCAAF, & the NFL. Check out his plays today.


Comments

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    What do you say Northwestern fans. Will your team get to 8 wins in 2011? Weigh in, we’d love to hear from you!

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