If you thought Northwestern would leave its Reece Davis motivation back in Evanston, think again.
Northwestern’s run through the Big Ten regular-season was one of the best stories in college football this year. It’s a journey that took them to a conference title game, a Top 15 ranking in the country, and a Citrus Bowl appearance against an SEC powerhouse.
And we came this close to an absolutely iconic bow being tied around an incredible season.
Fans checking in on the pregame festivities ahead of the Citrus Bowl may have noticed something different about the Wildcats end zone painting — most notably that it didn’t say the school’s name or mascot.
So, what’s going on here? It turns out, it was just an elaborate ruse.
Of course, it must be known that this obviously is not what is actually painted in the end zone. Northwestern will have its traditional end zone painting, but this is a fantastic sendoff for what ended up being a masterful motivational tool the Wildcats used as they scrapped their way from underdog to top of their conference.
Northwestern has used the insult as a rallying cry for the season.
This all stems back to a comment from ESPN’s Joey Galloway, who referred to the Wildcats as a “bunch of Rece Davises”, a reference to Galloway’s fellow broadcaster at the network. Following the comments, Northwestern played a brand of inspired football that resulted in an upset of then No.10 Wisconsin.
Since that comment was uttered, the Wildcats used the emotion of the moment to spurn themselves to a Big Ten Championship game appearance and now a bowl game with a 6-2 record and finishing the regular season ranked No. 14.
The Wildcats choose to play a brand of football that centers around discipline and strong will. Moreover, given how they performed with the current schedule and how they gave the Buckeyes a scare for some time, it would be wise to not underestimate what these men are capable of achieving.
Football is a sport where one moment or one statement can drive a team to push forth in hopes of achieving victory. The Northwestern Wildcats found their mantra and hope that it will be what pushes them over Auburn in their final game of the season.