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Northwestern vs. Purdue predictions

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If we're right, it looks like it will be a nail-biter.

Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Well after we were mostly wrong last week ...

Kevin Trahan

I know this should be close, but I think Northwestern gets its running game going and the defense puts up its second best statistical performance of the year.

Northwestern 31, Purdue 14

Chris Johnson

I have no idea how this team is going to play the final two weeks of the season. Maybe the momentum from the Notre Dame win could translate into a strong performance against Purdue. But at the same time, NU could get conservative and lose a close game to an improved Boilermakers squad. I'll take NU, but I don't feel confident about it. A Kyle Prater touchdown catch will give the Wildcats the edge late.

Northwestern 24, Purdue 21

Josh Rosenblat

I think last week's win over Notre Dame will be a big spark for Northwestern's season. Trevor Siemian and Kyle Prater looked really effective in the passing game and I expect them to take advantage of Purdue's secondary on Saturday.

Northwestern 27, Purdue 17

Henry Bushnell

I feel pretty strongly that last week was a lot more of a fluke than people realize. Notre Dame played an incredibly flawed game, and I think Northwestern took advantage of the Irish's over-aggressiveness on defense. This Saturday should be a battle, but I think Siemian and Mitchell come back down to earth and the Wildcats, who put a lot into last weekend, have a classic letdown game.

Purdue 19, Northwestern 14

Kevin Dukovic

Aside from some drops and a couple bad throws by Trevor Siemian, Northwestern's offense was the best it's been all season in South Bend. I expect the Cats to have continued success against a soft Purdue secondary on Saturday. Justin Jackson eclipses the century mark, Tony Jones redeems himself with big day and Northwestern wins a close one to keep its postseason aspirations alive.

Northwestern 30, Purdue 27

Jason Dorow

After last week's big upset, you may be expecting a let-down this weekend. It's not going to happen. The offense won't look as good as they did last week, but Siemian puts together another solid game, and the ‘Cats slide by Purdue with a ten-point victory.

Northwestern 27, Purdue 17

Danny Rapaport

High potential for a let-down game here after last week's emotional victory. But Northwestern can smell a bowl game now, and Purdue is still in rebuilding mode. Kyle Prater catches an early touchdown and it'll be Justin Jackson time in the second half. ‘Cats take this one and take another step in the Bowl Game direction.

Northwestern 24, Purdue 13

Nate Williams

Trevor Siemian is poised for his best game yet. However, I don't think it will happen. He's surely saving his best ball for end of the season but I think the weather ends up being too much of a factor and a lot of the same drops we saw last week get compounded. Fitz ‘n Co. rest on their laurels and become uber conservative with no uptempo and little spread but let Justin Jackson run loose behind a seemingly improved OL and I think he breaks the 200 yard mark for the first time this year. I didn't buy the "Fitz Speak" about embracing the suck and I'm not buying the Fitz Speak about having to play too many immature guys (which is a terrible excuse for a coach to make, at the end of the day, you recruited em). Any who, Cats maturate into a winning team but offensive game plan, or there lack of, creates a close game. I still wouldn't be surprised to see a Purdue sneak a win out here off a late turnover or poor game management.

Northwestern 27, Purdue 26

Jon Davis

The off week came at a good time for Purdue. They had pretty poor offensive showings against Wisconsin and Nebraska and needed a chance to regroup. NU will be without one tackle, but hopefully that is all. For Purdue to win this game, they'll likely need to rely on the ground game that has been struggling as of late. Over the course of the season, though, they've been good and have been rather explosive with big run plays. NU's rush defense has been as good as Purdue's rush offense, so it'll be interesting to see what happens. Purdue actually has a pretty good pass defense, but they haven't done well on the ground. They also don't get that many sacks. If NU can limit Purdue's big plays and force them to convert third downs, I think NU wins this by at least one touchdown. Look for the offensive line to play well once again and for Siemian's relatively good health to be on display. This seems to be a toss up game, though, so let's hope it goes better than the other toss up game (Iowa).

Northwestern 24, Purdue 23

Mountain Tiger

Expect another close, sloppy game, but more like Michigan than Notre Dame.

Northwestern 27, Purdue 24

Herman Wang

The last few weeks, I'd been embracing the suck so much that I began thinking winning was for losers. But then, the Notre Dame game reminded me that winning is actually for winners. And we are totally winners.

Northwestern 31, Purdue 14