In 2009, Northwestern has made a living stumbling to victories versus lesser opponents. Perhaps I am the only one noticing, but the Wildcats also appear to being trending toward seasons where they lose to a team that they have no business losing to and defeating a team that they have no business defeating. Well, the ‘Cats have already notched their loss against paltry Syracuse. However, the unsuspecting victory had not yet been categorized. Enter #14 Wisconsin to Ryan Field with a target on their back.
A cold late November evening helps to renew this rivalry that had been on hiatus for three years. Both teams needed a victory to elevate their bowl status, and the Badgers were about to face a jazzed Wildcat squad. It’s hard to believe, but Wisconsin had not taken out the Wildcats at Ryan Field since 1999 when the Cardinal and White were headed to a second straight Rose Bowl. The losing streak would not end tonight. A dose of trickery by Northwestern and missed opportunities for Wisconsin lofted the Wildcats into a New Year’s Day bowl and the Badgers in a less desirable post season position. The chilliness was not reserved for the temperature in the air, but also in the offense on Wisconsin’s final three drives. With the score at 33-31 and several opportunities, the Badgers squandered the last one with an interception that left the red shirted fans dropping jaws and purple shirted ones storming the field. Northwestern got its shocking victory of the year just under the buzzer…now it’s on to their other trend…losing bowl games.