Major setback for Northwestern at Army

September, 17, 2011
9/17/11
6:50
PM ET
It's all over in West Point, and Northwestern heads home with its first loss of the season.

Army 21, Northwestern 14: You couldn't script a worse formula for the Wildcats, who played right into Army's hand today. The defense couldn't stop Army's unique, one-dimensional, triple-option offense, and a Dan Persa-less offense couldn't attack Army's vulnerable secondary with the pass. Army dominated possession time (39:13), and even after Northwestern showed some life with a game-tying touchdown, its defense had no answer for the Black Knights' rushing attack. While Kain Colter did some nice things in the first two weeks, his inconsistency as a passer showed up today. Although Persa was available for an emergency situation, Northwestern went to freshman Trevor Siemian, who led a quick scoring drive but couldn't lead another in the final minutes. Northwestern's attempt to survive until Persa returned came up short, and it'll be a long two weeks before the Big Ten opener at Illinois. The Wildcats should be a better team with Persa in the fold, but their limitations on defense are obvious. And for all the good things this program has done in recent years, these types of losses reinforce the perception that Northwestern can't get to the next level.

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