Northwestern Wildcats Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Northwestern Wildcats Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

College Football Features

Northwestern Wildcats Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

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Northwestern Wildcats: Keys To The Season, Top Game, Top Transfer, Fun Stats

Northwestern Wildcats: Key To The 2022 Offense

The passing game can’t be completely miserable.

Again – and this can’t be stressed enough – Northwestern’s offense isn’t all that great even in the best of times.

There usually isn’t any sort of explosiveness, but when everything is right, it’s an opportunistic attack that gets the job done, controls the game, and it dominates the tempo.

It’s about when the passing game works as much as how much it cranks up. When it’s as bad as it was last year, the whole machine shuts down.

Last year’s offense gave up 14 interceptions, threw just 13 touchdown passes, and completed a mere 57% of its passes with 5.8 yards per throw.

The quarterbacks don’t have to be Bryce Young, but they have to push past 60%, average more than six yards per pass, and keep the interceptions to a bare minimum. That’s all it needs to do.

Northwestern Wildcats: Key To The 2022 Defense

The run defense can’t be completely miserable.

It should’ve worked. Last year’s defense was loaded with veterans from the 2020 version, especially on the front seven. Instead of being a brick wall, it had the resistance of a warm bowl of oatmeal.

Northwestern had the worst run defense in the Big Ten and ranked 119th in the country. For a team that relies on controlling the pace and the clock, getting moved on at will was devastating.

The D allowed more than 200 rushing yards a whopping seven times, gave up more than 300 to Michigan State and Minnesota, and got obliterated by Nebraska for 427 and seven touchdowns.

Pat Fitzgerald’s defense went from 2015 to 2019 without allowing more than four yards per carry. Without longtime defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz, last year’s bunch allowed 5.33 yards per pop and 31 touchdowns.

That’s why …

Northwestern Wildcats: Key Player To The 2022 Season

DT Taishan Holmes, Sr.
This is also Key Transfer: Part One.

Let’s be honest here among friends. Your defensive tackle situation probably isn’t in great shape if you’re relying on a key part of a run defense that was even worse than the Big Ten’s worst run D.

However, the 6-3, 315-pound Holmes is big, strong, and takes up lots of space. He made 17 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss in seven games at UMass, and now he needs to be a key part of the run defense as he holds up on the nose.

He’s not alone to try fixing the glitch. There’s also …

Northwestern Wildcats: Key Transfer

DT Ryan Johnson, Sr.
Key Transfer: Part Two.

Northwestern really needs to fix the interior of the defensive line.

Out of the four main tackles from last year, three are done and Te-rah Edwards took his talents to the University of Illinois.

There’s Holmes, Indiana State transfer Henric Barndt, and the 6-4, 274-pound Johnson, a transfer from Stanford who made 32 tackles in his 15 games or work over four years.

Non one’s expecting sensational out of this bunch. Just hold up.

Northwestern Key Game To The 2022 Season

Nebraska, Aug. 27
It’s in Dublin, Ireland, and it might just make-or-break the season for both teams.

Nebraska desperately needs a hot start, and Northwestern needs to shake off the yuck from 2021 – including the 56-7 disaster against the Huskers – with a win.

Take down the Huskers, and with a week off and then Duke, Southern Illinois, and Miami University to follow – all at home – it’s possible to come up with more wins before October 1st than the team had all of last year.

Northwestern Wildcats: 2021 Fun Stats

– First Half Scoring: Opponents 208 – Northwestern 97
– Field Goals: Opponents 17-of-23 – Northwestern 6-of-13
– Penalties: Opponents 72 for 614 yards – Northwestern 57 for 508 yards

Offense, Defense Breakdown
Season Prediction, What Will Happen
Northwestern Top 10 Players
Northwestern Schedule & Analysis

Northwestern Wildcats Season Prediction, What Will Happen NEXT

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