2012 Northwestern Offseason: Wildcats Look To Shore Up Their Secondary

CHESTNUT HILL, MA - SEPTEMBER 03: The Northwestern Wildcats cheerleaders celebrate the win over the Northwestern Wildcats on September 3, 2011 at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.The Northwestern Wildcats defeated the Boston College Eagles 24-17. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Northwestern Wildcats football team hopes to find a winning record in 2012 after finishing the 2011 college football season with a 6-7 record.

The Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald enters his seventh season with the NWU football team, hoping to finally cross the 10-win threshold.

The Wildcats made it the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas in 2011, but lost to the Texas A&M Aggies, 33-22. They finished the season 6-7, and 3-5 in the Big Ten Conference.

According to Stewart Mandel of SI.com, if the Wildcats want to improve in 2012, they well need to show serious progress in the secondary:

Northwestern: Can the 'Cats shore up their secondary?

Northwestern's pass-happy offense is exciting to watch, but its defense could not contain opposing passers last year... Now, Pat Fitzgerald must find replacements for [S Brian Peters], [CB Jordan Mabin] and [CB Jeravin Matthews] (rising sophomore Daniel Jones started for an injured Mabin in the bowl game) while hoping [S Ibraheim Campbell], who finished as NU's leading tackler, makes significant strides this spring. It would also help the defensive backs quite a bit of if their teammates up front could generate a more formidable pass rush.

The Wildcats get started on their 2012 season September 1st, taking on the Syracuse Orange.

For more on this story, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For more news from around the Big 10 Conference, be sure to visit Off Tackle Empire. For more from around college football recruiting, visit SB Nation's recruiting hub.

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