Northwestern probably wishes there was a “CNTL, ALT, DELETE” function on this football game. Is there any way we can start over? Perhaps they wish this could be granted for their entire season. With all the trouble the Wildcats have had this year, their matchup with #1 Ohio State would have to serve as their bowl game. With the top ranked team in the nation, all the national attention, and equal amount of fans from both sides, the atmosphere emoted a bowl-like feel. Actually, it felt more like Chicagoland’s personal Ohio Stadium. The gross amount of Buckeye fans drowned out the flecks of purple. The fair-weather nature of the Wildcats fans was purely embarrassing.
The Wildcats started off with a few good plays on their opening drive and then fumbled the ball away to Ohio State. It wouldn’t be long before the Buckeyes would exchange the fumble recovery for a touchdown. Ohio State quarterback and leading Heisman candidate, Troy Smith, used all the ammo in his holster and often the Wildcats handed him a few extra shells.
Their desire to “RESTART” this game came in the form of three turnovers in their first three drives. In fact, Northwestern turned over the ball five times and in each case, the Buckeyes cashed in touchdowns shortly after. Troy Smith’s accuracy was so impressive – he could hit a traffic cone from one hundred yards away. Ohio State blasted to hefty lead early and kept the Wildcats at bay even through the second half. The 54-10 final proved their number one status.
This outcome didn’t shock anyone. The nation accepted this game as a tune up for next week’s tussle with the second ranked Michigan Wolverines. Northwestern was just another tackling dummy to plow over. The Wildcats couldn’t possible comprehend the national acclaim the Buckeyes receive on a weekly basis. The closest Northwestern will ever be to number one is getting their butts kicked by a top ranked team. The Wildcats have a long way to go before they rise to respectability again. Losing to division I-AA teams (New Hampshire), having only 30% of the sold out stadium filled with their fans, and running out of hot dogs by the third quarter are just a few problems the Wildcats need to troubleshoot in the following years.
Presently, it is Ohio State’s turn to shine. They passed their test in Evanston and their hated rival, a Big Ten Championship, and a national championship are just ahead. While the Wildcats are searching for the “ESC” button, Ohio State is filing to “SAVE.”