Pat Fitzgerald may not be the greatest coach in college football, but he effectively pulled off a sneaky tactic this past week leading up to the Northwestern Wildcats' 24-17 win over the Boston College Eagles Saturday in Chestnut Hill.
Fitzgerald, the Wildcats' head coach, kept quiet about which quarterback he would start on Saturday up until the final few hours prior to the game. Dan Persa, the senior quarterback and Heisman hopeful, has been working his way back from an Achilles injury suffered late in the 2010 season, and his status was unknown for the game until Saturday.
On the other hand, sophomore backup QB Kain Colter flew under the radar for most of the week, as the majority of fans and media members assumed that Persa would be ready and would play. As it turns out, he wasn't, and he didn't.
Instead, Colter emerged onto the scene, throwing for 197 yards on 17-of-24 passing and rushing for 71 yards and a score on 23 carries in the Wildcats wins, leaving us to wonder if Fitzgerald pulled a fast one.
This tactic isn't new or innovative, but it really works. But leaving the media in suspense about Persa's condition while saying enough to make most think that he would play Saturday, Fitzgerald threw a wrench in the Eagles' preparation and gaining an advantage by playing an unknown commodity in Colter.
Eagles' junior linebacker Luke Kuechly admitted after the game that BC didn't really know much about Colter, which was clear based on the outcome of the game.
Colter proved that he is a worthy successor to Persa, and Fitzgerald proved his solid acumen.
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