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"Headed for Indiana, Stabbin Women like the Phantom" - NaS

Nasty Nas in your area.

Listening to Illmatic is probably the closest thing I have to a religious experience, and "The World is Yours" is an almost perfect song, so, dear Nas: sorry I had to sully my favorite thing with a preview post about a truly awful football game. The other thing I enjoy sipping almost as much as, uh, purple, is Dom P. And that's only when I'm watching Gandhi. Pretend when he says "stabbing women" he means "stabbing Indiana Hoosiers' football players."

(If any of you ever want to hack into my computer, one of the lyrics to "The World is Yours is my computer password. Won't get you into anything else I have, though, so don't try.)

I hope you guys like my pre-jump hip-hop discussions as much as the post-jump football analyses but I highly doubt it.

When we got the ball: Last week I said NU needed a rushing attack to win, and, well, we came damn close because we had two running backs combine for 94 yards on 20 carries. What ended up letting us down was - despite a freakin' phenomenal performance - Dan Persa's worst outing of the year. (What I mean is, he was awesome, but at this point, we expect/need awesomer.) If the o-line doesn't give up eight sacks - they won't, INDIANA ONLY HAS EIGHT SACKS ON THE YEAR SO FAR THATS HOW MANY NU GAVE UP LAST WEEK UNDERSTAND THIS FACT - NU will have a much better chance of winning. We seem to have found a semlbance of a running game, so, let's keep that going.

Semi-under the radar player to watch: Adonis Smith. It's hard to call Adonis Smith an under the radar player - everybody pretty much noticed that he was awesome last week - but he is third on the depth chart, after all. However, I foresee him getting a buttload of carries this week and making them count - his first career touchdown will come this week. I called it, just like I call things that don't happen every week. (by the way, this could've been called "RUNNING BACK WHO ISN'T JACOB SCHMIDT.")

When they got the ball: Am I worried about Ben Chappell, the seventh-best passer in the nation in terms of yards-per-attempt, going up against our pass defense? Yes. That's all I have to say. Luckily, they have no running game whatsoever, so, there's that.

Semi-under the radar player to watch: Quentin Davie. He's had a quiet few weeks of not terrorizing quarterbacks. NU will need to pressure the hell out of Ben Chappell - since he can't move and only gets flustered when he has to move - so I think a good gameplan would feature Davie and Brian Peters alternately getting after him until he starts messing up. He's going to get his yards through the air - we'll have to force him into mistakes.

Spread: NU -3.5. Or as Darren Rovell called it this morning, a consensus cover.

My pick vs. the spread: NU. Gotta be. NU should beat Indiana, and NU should beat them by considerably more than 3.5 points.

My pick five months ago and a jokey five-word summary: NU, and "loo-loo-loo-losers". Get it? Because they go "hoo-hoo-hoo-Hoosiers." I AM HILARIOUS.

And my pick now...

Northwestern, 42, Indiana, 28. NU should score early and often. This is going to be a shootout. No doubt. I can't think of any way that either team will be able to stop either other team. However, I do think that NU should have a slightly easier chance because we suck less.

Come on, Cats. Don't put a damper on everybody's Halloween parties.