November 19, 2007

The envelope, please...

Northwestern's 2007 season died a painful death on Saturday with a loss to rival Illinois, ending the Wildcats' season at 6-6. Without a bowl game to look forward to, WildcatReport begins to look back on the year and doles out awards to some of the worthy Wildcats.

Below are WildcatReport's choices for Most Valuable Player, Rookie of the Year, Comeback Player of the Year and Coach of the Year.

MVP: C.J. Bacher

There's really no question that Bacher meant more to the Wildcats than any other player because as he went, so went the Wildcats in 2007. When he was on, the Wildcats generally won, and when he had an off game, Northwestern usually came out on the short end of the final score.

Bacher was prolific this season, finishing first in the Big Ten in passing and total offense, and setting a new single-season Northwestern passing mark by throwing for 3,656 yards, breaking Brett Basanez's record of 3,622 yards set in 2005. He threw 19 touchdown passes on the year - tied for third-most in school history (Zak Kustok in 2000) - and in a testament to Northwestern's up-and-down season, he also tossed 19 interceptions - tied with Minnesota's Adam Weber for most in the Big Ten.

Honorable Mention: Eric Peterman. When Northwestern needed a play to extend a drive, they looked to No. 10, the human first down. Peterman led the Cats in receiving with 66 catches for 744 yards, he was their best punt returner and he even made seven tackles on special teams. How good is this guy? The Wildcats decided to snap the ball directly to him a couple times this year to cut out the middle man and get the ball directly into his hands.

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