We're not too optimistic.
Northwestern will come out somewhat fast, but then Notre Dame will show why it's the better team. A few turnovers later and this one will be over.
Notre Dame 34, Northwestern 10
This is probably the easiest game to predict this season. Notre Dame will bounce back with a strong performance after a tough loss against Arizona State last week, and Northwestern will turn in another subpar effort after losing to Michigan. A punchless NU offense won't get anything going, and Everett Golson will carve up NU's defense.
Notre Dame 31, Northwestern 10
This won't be close as a really good Notre Dame team coming off a disappointing loss will be out for vengeance against Northwestern. Everett Golson is one of the top players in the nation and is easily the best quarterback NU will face all year. He'll light up the Wildcat defense.
Notre Dame 42, Northwestern 17
Some voice in the back of my head is telling me that Northwestern could keep this game close. But that voice is probably crazy. In fact, the offense might not even score a single point. I'll give ‘em three just to be charitable.
Notre Dame 27, Northwestern 3
Here's some expert economics behind my prediction: Every week my Micro professor has a student predict the score of the upcoming Northwestern football game. A correct prediction and you get a bag of candy. High stakes. So, I made sure to volunteer to make the pick this week, since this is obviously the easiest game to predict all season. Like taking candy from a baby.
Notre Dame 27, Northwestern 10
Hopefully, Northwestern and Notre Dame can renew this "rivalry" going forward, but there will be little competition in South Bend this Saturday. The frigid weather will keep the Irish from breaking this one open like Iowa did two weeks ago. Still, the offensive woes will continue for NU while Everett Golson goes to work, and the ‘Cats head home with their bowl chances dwindling.
Notre Dame 34, Northwestern 14
I want to be optimistic. I really do. But Notre Dame is a much better football team than Northwestern is, plain and simple. NU will keep it closer than people are expecting early, but ND's depth will start to wear on the ‘Cats as the game goes on and it will blow open in the second half.
Notre Dame 38, Northwestern 14
I think the Wildcats are going to be coming out swinging knowing that I'll be in attendance. The cold weather will be an equalizer and if it snows that'll make the atmosphere even better. While I don't see Golson having a repeat performance from last week, I think he winds up putting the ball on the ground and a few misfires through the air with the cold weather. If NU can hold them up in the passing game and contain Golson, and the offense can muster up even a half decent performance, I think they can pull this one out as the ND defense isn't made up of "world beaters". It goes without saying, Fitz and the OC will have to pull out all the stops and maybe even see a lot of zone read option out of the offense with Alviti. Cats win it with a heroic, Kain Colter, Nebraska-esque performance out of Matt Alviti.
Northwestern 21 Notre Dame 13
Notre Dame may not be better than Nebraska. But they're good. Significantly better in all three phases. If there is a small ray of hope, it's that Notre Dame doesn't have a good pass defense and is 95th in overall sack rate, though they are a little above average on standard downs. They also surrender a lot of sacks on passing downs and have a negative turnover margin. For Northwestern to pull this off, the lines are going to have to play their best games of the year and they are going to have to have to take advantage of turnovers.
Notre Dame 35, Northwestern 10
It would be too enjoyable for Northwestern to hand Notre Dame their second embarrassing loss in as many weeks, so I'm assuming this game will be as bad as it looks on paper.
Notre Dame 38, Northwestern 10
Two years ago, I was reading in the media how Notre Dame had lapsed into irrelevance and Northwestern was the Chicago-area program on the rise. I haven't paid much attention since then, but I assume that is still true.
Northwestern 17, Notre Dame 15, natch