Northwestern's 21-17 win over Iowa ensures the Wildcats third consecutive 7-win season. In 2008, Pat Fitzgerald's team won nine games. A year ago, the Wildcats won eight games and lost to Auburn on the dead last play of the game in the Outback Bowl.
Yet, outside of Colin Cowherd's "Fitz might be the single best coach in college football," @CoachFitz51probably doesn't get as much credit as he should.
Following Northwestern's win on Saturday, Fitzgerald said, "I could not be more proud or pleased of our senior class. They will now be tied with last year's class as the winningest class in program history during the modern era. What a special day for them. They've earned it and they deserve it. We lift up this game to them and to all the seniors that have been here before us. It's been a long road for us to build a consistent winner, and to get to number seven gets us into postseason play, so we move forward from there.”
Iowa finished 2 of 14 on third-down opportunities. Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa finished 32 of 43 passing including a number of drops. In reference to our “Come on, Fitz. Great Player, But ‘War Daddy?”article…Persa was much closer to “War Daddy” status than Iowa’s Adrian Clayborn, who was completely gassed in the fourth quarter and finished with 2 tackles and 1 sack (-2).
Kirk Ferentz gave credit to Northwestern by saying, "If you look at the last two games going backwards, we turned it over and they didn't. Today, they just outplayed us. It was a good game, both teams played hard, and they're a good football team. I said that earlier in the week. If you look at [Northwestern's] seasons from the past two years, they've had two good football teams. They've played extremely well against us, they played well against Missouri in a bowl game, they played well last year against Auburn."
"They're well coached and they've got good players who make the plays you need to make. Two 7-3 teams today, and they were the better team today, that's for sure."
Unfortunately, Persa ruptured his Achilles and is now out for the year.