After a majority of or writers picked Northwestern to beat Minnesota last week, our predictions were more split this week. Check out all of our Northwestern vs. Nebraska blogger predictions.
Kevin Trahan, Inside Northwestern: Northwestern 38, Nebraska 34 – I really don't know which way to go here, but considering how unreliable the Nebraska defense has been, I'll go with Northwestern – crazy I'm trusting the NU defense right? Expect big games from Venric Mark and Kain Colter against a bad Nebraska rush defense. The Huskers' running back duo of Ameer Abdullah and Rex Burkhead will be effective on the ground, as will quarterback Taylor Martinez, but in the end, NU's superior rush defense will help the Wildcats escape with a victory.
Chris Johnson, Inside Northwestern: Nebraska 38, Northwestern 35 — Upset buzz looms large over Evanston this weekend. I think Northwestern can pull it off, I really do; but I don’t think they will. Nebraska is suddenly an offensive juggernaut, strong in both the running and passing games. Say all you want about T-Magic’s throwing motion: he’s a dynamic weapon with the will and means to gut NU’s sometimes-but-not-so-much-lately porous defense. I’ll be surprised if this is isn’t a shootout. More shocking (though not all that much more) would be if NU pulled off the upset; to accomplish as much, Kain Colter will need to rekindle the virtuoso effort he turned in during the second half in Lincoln last year.
Phil Rossman-Reich, Lake the Posts: Nebraska 28, Northwestern 24 — Northwestern and Nebraska are going to be able to score in this game. This will be a running shootout. But I think Taylor Martinez is the difference. He makes a couple of big passes late, runs the read option with a lot of effectiveness and NU faces some long drives like it did against Minnesota. Ultimately, the Wildcats settle for a field goal when they need a touchdown and that is the difference.
Danny Moran, NBN Sports: Northwestern 45, Nebraska 44 — With two explosive run games and two penetrable defenses, this sets up to be one of the most exciting games of the year. I expect the Nebraska backfield (Taylor Martinez, Rex Burkhead and Ameer Abdullah) to push its way through the Wildcat front seven based on their performance against a mobile MarQueis Gray at Minnesota last week. But Northwestern has their own three-headed backfield (Colter, Mark and Trumpy) and the Cornhuskers are 10th in the conference in rushing defense. Northwestern takes this one by a point and vaults back into the Top 25.
Chris Emma, PurpleWildcats.com: Nebraska 24, Northwestern 20 - Naptime will carry into the first half for Northwestern while a hungry Husker team searches for blood. The Wildcats will fall behind early, score a fourth-quarter touchdown and spark a comeback, but a late drive will fall short of the endzone. Nebraska will redeem itself for last season, topping the Wildcats at Ryan Field. At least NU’s jerseys are cool.
Dan Ryan, The Daily Northwestern: Northwestern 38 Nebraska 24 - I told my friend the other day that NU was going to win this game by 2 touchdowns. Other than gut feeling, I don’t have any particular reason for saying that.
Jonathan Hodges, Hail To Purple: Nebraska 47, Northwestern 38 — Northwestern will be able to move the ball and put up a good amount of points against a Nebraska defense that continues to struggle against the run, and the special teams will allow the 'Cats to keep this one close. Unfortunately, Nebraska's offense is running very well, NU's defense is vulnerable, and Martinez is throwing the ball well. The Huskers will unfortunately move the ball well all day long while the NU offense will have a hiccup or two which will leave it behind. Expect a lot of running and a lot of points in what should be yet another exciting contest.
Colin Becht, The Daily Northwestern: Nebraska 34, Northwestern 27 — Nebraska is vulnerable to the run, especially on the road where the Cornhuskers have given up 357 rushing yards per game this year. Unfortunately for Northwestern, it is ill-prepared to handle the physical running style of Rex Burkhead, and Taylor Martinez could cause some problems with his feet. Unlike last week, Northwestern’s defense doesn’t hold in the clutch, and Rex Burkhead pummels through for a late touchdown to give the Nebraska the win.
Nick Medline, PurpleWildcats.com: Northwestern 42, Nebraska 28 – Two things: 1) Nebraska has no answer for Kain Colter, who I expect to see 75 percent of snaps. Also watch for some early pass attempts, which could catch the Huskers off guard as they stack the box. 2) This group of NU linebackers is something special. David Nwabuisi said the unit gave safety Ibraheim Campbell “grief” after he led the team in tackles last season. This year, the linebackers have the potential to slow down anyone. The defense will do just enough to keep NU in the Big Ten title picture.
Callie Counsellor, Inside Northwestern: Northwestern 38, Nebraska 35 — Kain Colter will tear Nebraska’s vulnerable run defense apart, provided Coach Fitz gives him enough snaps. An improved Taylor Martinez will certainly get his yards on the somewhat suspect Northwestern secondary, but a late turnover from the Nebraska QB will launch the Cats back into the thick of the Big Ten title race.