Northwestern's not tryina go XXXXX and oh anymore, which is a bummer, but some people still think they are good at playing football, or at the very least better at playing football than people from Minnesota. Are we those people? Let's find out!
I really wish both teams were still undefeated, mostly because, ya know we would be 6-0, but also the uproar in the media of Northwestern and Minnesota both being unbeaten at the midway point of the season. It was also cool being slightly nationally relevant, but we are 5-1 still; can't have it all I guess. Anyway, since both teams played Syracuse and Minnesota won by seven while NU grabbed a one point victory, Minnesota should clearly win by 6, but luckily for us games aren't decided as such. I think Fitz changes up the game plan getting his two most explosive players more involved and Venric Mark and Kain Colter duplicate the performance that Iowa RB, Mark Weisman, displayed against the suspect Gopher run defense last week.
Final Score: Northwestern 28, Minnesota 23
Iowa managed 7 yards per rush against this defense two weeks ago. I'm not a greedy man, so I will settle for 6 from Northwestern. The Minnesota offense looks like it is ill-suited to move the ball with the kinds of quick passes that hurt Northwestern against Syracuse and Penn State, so I feel pretty good about this game.
Final Score: Northwestern, 34-17.
So, our Wildcats got a bit rattled playing their first road game in a hostile environment in more than a month. It won't happen again. I feel pretty confident that Minnesota's defense won't be able to make the types of plays that Penn State did in throttling our offense. That should give Siemian and Colter some more breathing room. And hopefully our receivers have been cured of the dropsies, which have kind of been a problem all season. I'm also looking for our defense to bounce back after being on the field for two-thirds of the game last week. For the first few days of this week, I didn't want to think about NU football. I'm still peeved about last Saturday. But it's gameday eve again, and I'm finally ready to flush it.
Final Score: Northwestern, 35-21
I think this game will come down to 3 key matchups, the first of which is Kain Colter against...yeah I can't even pretend I can name one defensive player for Minnesota.
Final Score: Minnesota 28-27
I really don't think the Gophers have what it takes defensively to stop Northwestern's offense. Pat Fitzgerald knows there are about a dozen right ways to use Kain Colter, and that he didn't pick any of them Saturday against Penn State. I think he'll be a little multifaceted, but this game will remind us of the Indiana matchup more then PSU. For me, the question is whether Northwestern can stop the dink-and-dunk that killed them against Penn State. My hope is that Max Shortell's arm isn't accurate enough to make it work, and that Northwestern gets a couple of picks along the way. Northwestern should win by more than a touchdown if they can right the ship defensively.
Final Score: Northwestern, 35-24