We don't yet know whether 2012 was a breakthrough, a peak, or neither for Northwestern. But we do know that the Wildcats were fun to watch and should be again in 2013.
Northwestern's top cornerback will once again sit out, as Nick VanHoose is officially out for the Wildcats against Michigan State.
The Wildcats are led by QB slash WR Kain Colter, who doesn't have to shoulder all of the offense now that Venric Mark has emerged at running back.
This game was the anti-Syracuse: the defense played well, and the offense moved the ball effortlessly over most of the field while struggling in the red zone. Major credit is due to Jeff Budzien...
Ifeadi Odenigbo is a stud linebacker recruit while Hunter Bates is a safety who has kicked around the program for four years and is looking to earn playing time as a senior.
Jimmy Hall is a safety who could start this season after converting from wide receiver after his freshman campaign.
With all-everything Kain Colter back, NW's offense should be ok, and even pretty good if USC transfer Kyle Prater is declared eligible. But it might be all for naught if more playmakers don't...