Our weekly predictions roll along as our staff selects a projected winner between the Badgers and the Wildcats in this seemingly lopsided matchup. Wisconsin may be more than three-touchdown favorites but Northwestern.....is missing its number one wide receiver (they also are very good at covering as road dogs in the Pat Fitzgerald era, though). Without further ado, the picks:
Noah Coffman: Wisconsin 26, Northwestern 3
The ‘Cats are going to cover, ok? Don’t ask me to explain how, they just will.
That said, Jonathan Taylor will control the ball on the ground and Northwestern just doesn’t have enough offense right now to overcome nearly anything from an opposing team, especially not the best back in the country.
Note: I originally had this prediction at 26-13 before we learned of Bennett Skowronek’s absence.
Avery Zimmerman: Wisconsin 41, Northwestern 14
Wisconsin is better than NU in every single phase of the game (maybe special teams is a toss up). It’s going to be hard for the ‘Cats to get any traction in this one.
Jacob Brown: Wisconsin 52, Northwestern 6
This is going to be an ugly game (unless you’re a Wisconsin fan.) Jonathan Taylor is going to crush NU on the ground, and Jack Coan will light up a struggling NU secondary. It won’t be much better on the offensive side for NU, as McCall will continue to misuse HJ and make questionable play calls in crucial situations, and the ‘Cats will only be able to muster two field goals against an excellent UW defense.
Colin Kruse: Wisconsin 45, Northwestern 17
I would love for the ‘Cats to win this game. I’ll pray to every deity up there that they make it a contest, but, ultimately, Bucky is going to be too good. Jonathan Taylor is a legitimate Heisman threat; Jack Coan struggled last season in Evanston but has improved significantly since then. The Badgers will exploit NU’s struggles with tackling and pass defense, and HJ will once again struggle against a very good defense.
Lia Assimakopoulos: Wisconsin 45, Northwestern 10
Joe Weinberg: Wisconsin 38, Northwestern 17
I have no original takes for this one. Wisconsin is the better team, and it isn’t close.
Claire Kuwana: Wisconsin 38, Northwestern 10
There is just no scenario in my mind in which Northwestern comes out on top of this matchup. To echo everyone else, the combination of Jonathan Taylor and Jack Coan on offense for the Badgers is bound to result in some missed tackles from the Wildcats. For some reason, may it be an attempt at school spirit or false optimism, I am still hopeful that HJ will pull out at least one touchdown on Saturday. Wisconsin’s defense is going to be tough to crack, especially when we aren’t making the right play calls, so anything more than a touchdown and a field goal is probably too much to ask for.
Eli Karp: Wisconsin 27, Northwestern 13
Well this scoreline basically looks like a win compared to the others. I have no real reasoning for why I think Northwestern will keep it closer than expected, but I think they will. It’s a bad matchup for a team needing a turnaround. They’ll play better, but I don’t think the score will truly indicate that.
William Karmin: Wisconsin 27, Northwestern 17
Northwestern is best when their backs are against the wall — unfortunately, though, I think Wisconsin is just too good of a team to allow NU to be victorious in Madison. I anticipate Northwestern hanging around and I will not be surprised if this is a one possession game heading into the fourth quarter.
Ultimately, Jonathan Taylor will be too much to handle for the Wildcats down the stretch, but I expect a bounce-back performance from the men in purple. If there is one thing we’ve learned about this team in Fitz’s tenure, it’s that we should expect the unexpected.
Matt Albert: Wisconsin 24, Northwestern 7
This game gives me deja vu from the 2017 Northwestern-Penn State game: the ‘Cats may be able to limit one of the two parts of the Wisconsin offense but will struggle to maintain strong defenses against both at once. This game gets ugly quick, and more frustration ensues. But at least Northwestern’s uniform combo will win!
2019 Inside NU Prediction Standings:
Noah Coffman: 2-1
Joe Weinberg: 2-1
Avery Zimmerman: 2-1
Caleb Friedman: 1-0
Lucio Vainesman: 1-0
Matt Albert: 1-1
Eli Karp: 1-2
Lia Assimakopoulos: 1-2
Colin Kruse: 1-2
William Karmin: 1-2
Graham Brennan: 0-1