After a terrible week for our media members, most of whom picked Vanderbilt, NU is the consensus pick in week three. Check out all of the picks below.
Kevin Trahan, Inside Northwestern: Northwestern 34, Boston College 17 — A lot of Northwestern media members seem to see this as an inevitable letdown game for the Wildcats. I don’t see it. Yes, the Eagles have a decent offense, but they’ve also put their points up against Miami and Maine. The defense was atrocious against Miami, and while it was solid against Maine, that’s not much of an accomplishment. The NU defense will play well again and Kain Colter will have a big game en route to an easy win.
Chris Johnson, Inside Northwestern: Northwestern 34, Boston College 29 — This is the classic trap game set-up. Many media members are overlooking the Eagles, who have put up 75 points in two games. Sure, Miami and Maine are not strong defensive teams, but quarterback Chase Rettig and receiver Alex Amidon is one of the more promising qb-wr tandems in the ACC. If NU’s week 1 defense resurfaces, this will degenerate into a shootout. If the Wildcats take this game lightly, they’re begging to be upset. BC is more than capable of pulling off the victory in Evanston.
Philip Rossman-Reich, Lake The Posts: Northwestern 28, Boston College 20 — This one has all the makings of the typical Northwestern out-of-conference game that the team just flubs. It seems to happen year after year no matter what. NU’s only 4-0 non-conference run in my lifetime was in 2008. By all measures, this could very easily be a rare-Wildcat double-digit win. It won’t be. Chase Rettig is a capable quarterback. But like when the Eagles had problems with the Hurricanes’ ground attack, Venric Mark and Kain Colter ignite the offense and help get the offense back on track. The defense shows that its performance against Vanderbilt was not a total aberration.
Chris Emma, PurpleWildcats.com: Northwestern 38, Boston College 13 — I played the role of Debbie Downer last week and predicted bad things for the Wildcats. Little did I know, Mike Hankwitz's defense stepped it up. This week, I see good things for the 'Cats. The NU offense AND defense combine forces, for a change, and beat down Boston College. I see Northwestern earning a 38-13 win on Saturday. Bank on it, I'm never wrong! ... except for last week.
Jonathan Hodges, Hail To Purple: Northwestern 35, Boston College 31 — I don't expect NU's defensive stand to continue against a BC team that has shown it can air it out. But, the Wildcats should be able to move the ball with relative ease and has the ability to put points on the board in bunches, so expect a higher scoring game and an NU victory as Fitz keeps his team focused through yet another non-conference challenge for the 'Cats.
Danny Moran, NBN Sports: Northwestern 27, Boston College 24 — Fitz was highly critical of his team after their 2-0 start so they will avoid this loss, even though they have a history of dropping a head-scratching game. Venric Mark has a big game but BC keeps him out of the endzone. Northwestern takes a 13-point fourth quarter lead as Trevor Siemian continues to shine in relief. BC will make late run as Rettig reestablishes his chemistry with Alex Amidon. Let’s face it, it will never be easy for the Wildcats. But they’re last onside kick will get picked up by Northwestern and they will move to 3-0.
Jon Davis, Northwestern Highlights: Northwestern 31, Boston College 20 — Northwestern will limit BC’s rushing game, give up some, but not a lot, of yardage through the air, have a good 3rd down defense conversion rate, and win the turnover battle. The Wildcat offense will use up a lot of the clock with an effective ground game, setting up some big plays through the air. Colter will silence many of his critics.
Josh Walfish, The Daily Northwestern: Northwestern 34, Boston College 20 — The Wildcats’ defense will have a lot of confidence after its performance against Vanderbilt and that will carry over against the Eagles. Kain Colter throws two touchdown passes and runs for another, while Trevor Siemian has no need for a fourth-quarter comeback and instead only gets two drives. Venric Mark will run for more than 100 yards and will score on a long option run. Jeff Budzien hits a pair of 35-yard field goals and Chase Rettig gets sacked three times.
Colin Becht, The Daily Northwestern: Northwestern 35, Boston College 30 — Pat Fitzgerald has done his best this week to ensure the Wildcats don’t get too high on themselves after their 2-0 start. If Northwestern’s defense relapses, Chase Rettig is poised to pick the secondary apart. Rettig threw for 441 yards against Miami, so he is perfectly capable of exploiting vulnerabilities in the defensive backs. Nick VanHoose’s positive injury report -- Fitzgerald is hopeful he’ll play -- is a great sign for NU, as the Cats will need him. NU’s defensive line is the reason why the Cats will win the game as they bring the same tenacity they showed against Vanderbilt into this game. Boston College surrendered two sacks against Maine, so the Eagles’ offensive line can be beat. Venric Mark racks up 100 yards again, and Kain Colter has his most complete game of the season with four total touchdowns.
Nick Medline, PurpleWildcats.com: Northwestern 35, Boston College 14 — The Eagles have struggled ever since recently retired athletic director Gene DeFilippo made the questionable decision to fire then-head coach Jeff Jagodzinski after the 2008 season — just one year removed from a No. 2 national ranking. So what if “Jags” ignored warnings from his boss and interviewed for the New York Jets gig? Isn’t that just commonplace? DeFilippo, though, dismissed him and gave the job to Frank Spaziani (who is not a great head coach). Then, the program began its gradual decline, which reached a new low when the Eagles went 4-8 last year. Meanwhile, Jagodzinski was fired from the United Football League in 2010 and has yet to re-enter the coaching ranks. This is the definition of a lose-lose situation for a program that is now accustomed to losing. Northwestern, the better team, wins easily at home.
Rohan Nadkarni, The Daily Northwestern: Northwestern 21, Boston College 16 — The Cats hold on in a close game, avoiding a letdown after the strong performance against Vanderbilt. Siemian continues to play well whenever called on and the defense should make some key stops.
Jay Sharman, Lake The Posts: Northwestern 34, Boston College 27 — Personally, I loved Fitz's "we're not good" and calling out units after last week's win. You know it, I know it. The fan mentality during this tenure has been "which non-conference game will we lose THIS year that we shouldn't?" Most of us pegged Vandy as the most likely loss of the four, but now that we won I've heard the two words "house money" more this week than I can remember. The burning question for 'Cats fans is how much will Kain be under center and how much will Trevor be under center? Really, that's two questions. Here's a third. Chase Rettig has been putting up bigtime passing numbers and seems to be much improved, but will he be able to do the same against our secondary this week? You can bet that unlike Vanderbilt, BC will not get away from a pass-pass-pass mentality and the honus will be on our D-line to have a repeat performance from last week. Can Venric continue to be Venric? Will the WRs play with fire after getting called out? Can Tyler Scott and Dean Lowry continue to step it up? Will Chi Chi bring it again this week? Will VanHoose be up to the challenge and healthy? So many questions. I'm calling a get-behind-early, claw back game. That feeling confident thing you've got going on right now? Lose it. Here comes another dogfight. You don't need any statistical reminders from me on our far from perfect Septembers. A light reminder that Army was week three last year. Get ready fans, we'll need you.