Not great, huh? After Nebraska it kinda, sorta felt like we might have a workable approach on offense. Yeah, we didn't pass the ball much, but the Hydra of Croft, Smith, Kobe and Brooks could generate enough rushing yards to mitigate the flaccidity of our abilities to put the ball in the air.
Not so much. I'm not going to spend a ton of time breaking down what happened against Northwestern, because it can be summed up with any of "ignominious defeat of the highest order," "straight up trash panda" or "I'd rather drink gasoline and stick a flaming sword in my belly, so my insides shoot out my back like I was a Roman candle." It was one of the worst games I've ever watched in every facet.
Things will get better under Fleck - I've never been more certain of that. But games like Saturday go full Metroid and suck the lifeforce out of your insides. Oh, and we get to run directly into the wood chipper of Wisconsin this Saturday, to probably watch them go 12-0, move one step closer to the CFP and win the Axe for the 25th consecutive time since their program came into existence in 1992.
I wasn't expecting we'd beat Northwestern, since they've been on a pretty good run the last month, Tyler Johnson was hurt and, well, this has not totally been the year for our favorite squad. But getting mashed into a fine paste by the Nerds wasn't exactly high on the consideration set either. You go into historic Evanston and walk out having lost 28-24, you take a little momentum with you and, as fans, you can feel like there's a glimmer of hope against Bucky. Losing like we did, though, with zero positives to take away, and it's pretty hard to have much enthusiasm for the brazen bull we'll get to experience this weekend. Moo.
Anyway, it took most of the year, but it feels like I've finally reached the emotional bottom for the 2017 season. I'd appropriately set expectations at the start of the year, reset them a little after the losses to Maryland and Purdue and felt like I was in a good place; after Saturday, I am so totally not ready for the existential pain this Saturday will bring.
I'm just going to try and enjoy Gopher hoopyjumps this week, wince from Friday noon until Sunday at 6 PM and be happy to get back to recruiting season again.