November 11, 2007

Sutton gets the ball, Wildcats get the win

The question from the intrepid reporter in the post-game press conference came with tongue firmly planted in cheek, but it still delivered a potent message.

"What was that thing in your arms in the fourth quarter?" the writer asked Northwestern tailback Tyrell Sutton.

"The ball," Sutton quickly replied with a big laugh.

Yes, it had been a while since Sutton got so much action in the fourth quarter, and it had also been a while since players were able to laugh with the media after the game. After two straight losses in which they lost their lead, and the game, in the last quarter, the Wildcats finally came through in crunch time, scoring a touchdown with 44 seconds left to beat Indiana, 31-28, on Saturday.

For Northwestern fans weary of watching fourth-quarter leads disappear, Saturday's game marked a return of the Cardiac Cats, the team that would pull games out in the fourth quarter, and overtime if necessary, with regularity.

Northwestern's game-winning score came on a 3-yard pass from C.J. Bacher to Ross Lane, but the Cats' comeback was fueled by its ground game this time around. Sutton carried the ball nine times for 33 yards in the fateful final period, and 16 of the Cats' final 23 plays were runs. On its final 73-yard drive that clinched the game, Northwestern ran the ball on 9 of 12 plays, and five of those plays involved Sutton.

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