November 3, 2007

Failure to close

Northwestern forged its reputation as the Cardiac Cats by finishing games in the fourth quarter and overtime, but on Saturday, for the second straight week, the Wildcats collapsed in the final period to lose a lead, and then a game.

Iowa outscored Northwestern 14-0 in the fourth quarter to post a come-from-behind 28-17 win at Ryan Field. In that final period, the Wildcats gained 28 yards of total offense, were penalized twice, committed two turnovers and allowed five sacks of quarterback C.J. Bacher.

Numbers like those aren't going to win any kind of game, let alone a Big Ten contest in November.

After the game, coach Pat Fitzgerald and his players had a difficult time explaining the Wildcats' sudden inability to close out games.

"You play sixty minutes for a reason," said Fitzgerald about his team that led for 52:16 against Iowa. "In back-to-back weeks now we have played about fifty minutes and that's not going to get the job done in a Big Ten football game."

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