October 15, 2007

Magic Man

EVANSTON - It may seem like heresy now, but two weeks ago Northwestern fans were wondering if C.J. Bacher should continue as the Wildcats' starting quarterback after two consecutive subpar outings.

Now, after a pair of improbable overtime wins in which the redshirt junior threw for 990 yards and nine touchdowns, Bacher stands first in the Big Ten and seventh in the country in passing yards per game (319.6) and total offense per game (329.4), and his position as the No. 1 QB is as solid as Richard M. Daley's as the Mayor of Chicago.

It is without question the best two-game stretch of quarterback play in Northwestern history. In fact, only one quarterback in Big Ten history enjoyed a better pair of back-to-back games - Purdue's Drew Brees, who threw for 1,016 yards against Minnesota and Wisconsin on Oct. 3 and 10, 1998.

Fans may have been doubting Bacher's ability two weeks ago, but Northwestern's players' and coaches' say that their confidence in their quarterback never wavered.

"We have always had confidence in C.J.," said linebacker Malcolm Arrington after Saturday's 49-48 double-overtime victory in which Bacher threw for 470 yards and four scores. "He's our quarterback. He's the starter for a reason. There's no doubt."

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