The Wildcats travel to Lincoln for a Big Ten West showdown between two underperforming teams. Can NU snag its second win of the season? Here’s what our writers think:
Noah Coffman: Nebraska 24, Northwestern 23
Especially if Isaiah Bowser and Rashawn Slater, or just one of the two, are unable to play, this will be an offensively challenged Northwestern team (though the run game should be able to get it going a bit), even against a Nebraska defense that is missing arguably its best lineman. At the same time, Adrian Martinez has plenty of success against the Wildcats last year, though a struggling offensive line should allow the NU front to create some havoc plays.
As always, this one will come down to the wire. Even though I think Northwestern’s special teams have an advantage, the Cornhusker offense should just be able to outplay that of the Wildcats down the stretch. This one could definitely go either way, but I’m leaning towards a heartbreaking loss sending Northwestern to 1-4, with postseason play suddenly in doubt.
Colin Kruse: Nebraska 21, Northwestern 16
Both squads are looking for statement wins and will be playing with urgency and desperation. Nebraska’s Khalil Davis, an integral member of the Huskers’ defensive line, will be suspended after a personal foul in last week’s loss to Ohio State, a setback for Scott Frost’s defense.
However, Northwestern’s offensive inefficiency and ineptitude will ultimately be the saving grace for the Huskers. HJ rolling left with Lincoln’s vaunted Sea of Red going wild? The ‘Cats won’t escape with a victory. Not a chance. I really hope I end up being wrong. At least Fitz and company can sleep soundly at night knowing that they are the real NU.
Jacob Brown: Northwestern 24, Nebraska 10
I’m fully prepared to look like an idiot, but I think NU dominates this game. Drake Anderson has a huge game, finally gettting to play against a Big 10 defense that isn’t MSU or UW. McCall’s poor playcalling holds NU’s passing game to atrocious numbers again, but the Wildcat defense stops Adrian Martinez and the Huskers from moving the ball on offense, and Northwestern is able to capitalize on some good field position to come out of Nebraska with a W.
Avery Zimmerman: Northwestern 17, Nebraska 14
The Wildcats have a propensity to turn the season around in an instant, especially in October. They do that in Lincoln this weekend and establish a competent offense while the defense continues to hold strong.
Lia Assimakopoulos: Northwestern 20, Nebraska 17
Eli Karp: Northwestern 21, Nebraska 20
Northwestern saves its season by winning the special teams battle. Nebraska’s placekickers have struggled, while NU has looked solid in that phase. A missed field goal is the difference.
William Karmin: Nebraska 20, Northwestern 17
Like every Northwestern-Nebraska game, this one will come down to the wire. Unfortunately, Northwestern will not have Clayton Thorson to lead the game-winning drive tomorrow. NU will give Nebraska a tough game, but ultimately fall short in the end.
Joe Weinberg: Nebraska 27, Northwestern 23
Matthew Albert: Northwestern 17, Nebraska 10
Upside Down Lil Red is the perfect mascot for the annual tradition of Nebraska fans reaching peak excitement immediately before peak embarrassment pic.twitter.com/i7M8Vqg43S— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) September 29, 2019
Peak Nebraska is getting even worse. Northwestern bounces back to 2-3 by confidently coming into one of the toughest environments in the Big Ten and still returning home with a victory.
2019 Inside NU Prediction Standings:
Noah Coffman: 3-1
Joe Weinberg: 3-1
Avery Zimmerman: 3-1
Matt Albert: 2-1
Caleb Friedman: 1-0
Lucio Vainesman: 1-0
Jacob Brown: 1-0
Claire Kuwana: 1-0
Eli Karp: 2-2
Lia Assimakopoulos: 2-2
Colin Kruse: 2-2
William Karmin: 2-2
Graham Brennan: 0-1