Northwestern is bowl-bound after closing Ryan Field with a bang
David Braun is the new 'Cats boss. And he will have a new home — several new homes, in the short-term — after closing down Ryan Field with a win.
EVANSTON, Ill. — Somewhere amid the carnival that was this building’s unofficial send-off, a mouthguard got left behind. So once Northwestern had beaten Purdue and kissed Ryan Field goodbye, presumably forever, a Wildcats fan picked the loose mouthguard up with his hands, stopped near midfield and captured the messy memento with a photo.
Hey, this is still the Big Ten West, after all. And this is still a 97-year-old glorified high school stadium, one that went out Saturday in a blaze of glory.
Gritty over pretty, and all that.
The ‘Cats are going bowling, thanks to a 23-15 win over the Boilermakers, a game that doubled as an unofficial endorsement of the David Braun Era, which officially got underway with a mid-week introduction of Braun as the full-time head coach but had been brewing for weeks before that.
The purple-clad students rushed the field in a manner that appeared choreographed to the outside eye. They crowded their new coach during his postgame BTN interview, chanting his name as he fought through the emotions of this week, this season and this journey.
No one was leaving anytime soon, not that there was much of an edict from anyone in a position of authority to push them off the field.
What were they going to threaten them with, anyway? Ban them? This building is coming down soon.