The staff majority was right in picking Northwestern to dominate Illinois last week, and for the brave souls who chose NU to take down the mighty Buckeyes, they hope for similar luck this weekend in Indy. While some are incredibly optimistic about Saturday’s matchup, others believe No. 4 Ohio State poses too much of a challenge for the Wildcats.
Lia Assimakopoulos: Northwestern 28, Ohio State 27
Anything can happen in 2020.
Eli Karp: Ohio State 37, Northwestern 23
Talk to me after we get Ohio State’s availability report to see if I can be persuaded to flip.
Rodger (@rodger): Ohio State 35, Northwestern, 16
OSU is better in every conceivable way than Northwestern. We’re 1-32 against Ohio State in our last 33 games, and the “1” came before I was in high school, and I’m 30. Their quarterback is a god, ours is one of the top two quarterbacks at Indiana last year. They gain more than 7 yards per play; we gain fewer than 5. They have 7 of 12 first-team all-Big Ten players on offense; we have no first-teamers, no second-teamers, and two third-teamers. Our strength is our passing defense; but their best cornerback is better than any of our defenders. We have a total of one player who chose Northwestern over an offer from Ohio State, Earnest Brown IV. You could argue Northwestern has the better kicker, but why believe results? We should just accept that Ohio State is better than us and pray for mercy. I have no hope, except for the fact that Northwester is 6-0 in the six games I’ve picked them to lose this year. Go Cats.
Noah Coffman: Northwestern 42, Ohio State 13
Peyton Ramsey throws for three scores and adds another on the ground, Cam Porter gets in the end zone twice, and the Wildcats dominate the overmatched Buckeyes, turning Justin Fields over thrice en route to a title game romp.
Daniel Olinger: Ohio State 42, Northwestern 24
I’ve said it all week, the 2020 Buckeyes are not as good as the 2019 Buckeyes. The dominance doesn’t come up as easily, the secondary has struggled severely with some deep passing attacks and the running backs leave a bit to be desired. But they still have Justin Fields, Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Those three aren’t just good players, they’re freaking supernovas waiting to explode on your defense. The Bajakian offense will keep Northwestern in this game and reaching 24 points should be expected, but containing the OSU offense is just too tough of a task.
Colin Kruse: Northwestern 31, Ohio State 28
Mac Stone: Ohio State 38, Northwestern 17
Not gonna happen. Northwestern hasn’t faced an offense like Ohio State all year, and Justin Fields is an unbelievable talent. Will the ‘Cats learn to effectively QB spy? One can only hope.
Jacob Brown: Ohio State 45, Northwestern 6
Ohio State just has too much talent for the ‘Cats to overcome. A bad loss leaves Fitz hungry for a Big Ten Championship, and the game could play a role in his decision to turn down the Bears job to stay with NU.
Ben Chasen: Northwestern 27, Ohio State 24
Much like how every time Rodger has picked against Northwestern they have won, every time I have picked the Wildcats, they’ve emerged victorious. Simply put, I’m too superstitious to prioritize probably being right over a potential upset win for NU. Thus, Go ‘Cats.
Meredith Revsine: Ohio State 24, Northwestern 14
I don’t think this game will be a blowout, but I also don’t think OSU will make enough mistakes for the ‘Cats to have a chance at an upset. Expect some big stops by the NU defense and a touchdown for Cam Porter. While it’s likely Ohio State’s dominant offense will earn them some early scores, I think this Northwestern team has the grit to keep it close all the way into the fourth quarter.
Sarah Effress: Ohio State 28, Northwestern 17
Like Meredith said, I have faith this game won’t be a blowout — that is if the NU defense can contain Justin Fields. The ‘Cats secondary is certainly capable of managing the Buckeye receiving corps, but containing runs from the pocket has been a struggle all season. Nonetheless, I hope to see NU put up a fight.
William Karmin: Northwestern 24, Ohio State 21
We witnessed it in 2018...And while both Ohio State and Northwestern have implemented new schemes along with new players, both programs’ identities remain primarily intact since 2018. Northwestern cannot and will not win this game in a shootout. To win this game, the ‘Cats will need to play a beautiful brand of Northwestern football — four yards and a cloud of dust rushing the football, bending not breaking defensively and individual execution at critical junctures. I think Fitz, Hank, Coach Bajakian and the rest of the staff will get it done. If Florida is still ranked seventh by the CFP committee...why can’t NU go to the playoff with a victory over OSU!?!
Didi Jin: Northwestern 24, Ohio State 23
How can you watch this video and not pick the ‘Cats?
Matthew Albert: Northwestern 31, Ohio State 24
Ready to run through a brick wall after that hype video came out on Twitter. Northwestern defense takes over and forces three turnovers that leave the offense in a position to score. Time to shock the world.
Liam Warin: Ohio State 28, Northwestern 14
After seeing the Justin Jackson hype video, I cannot in good faith choose anything less than a two-score game. That being said, Ohio State is possibly the most talented team in the country and wants to show the nation why it deserves to be in the playoff. Justin Fields will eventually figure out the Wildcats’ defense (all he has to do is run), and Northwestern’s passing offense is not dynamic enough with chunk plays to overpower a talented OSU team. Though this game will be closer than most think, Ohio State will come out on top.
Josh Miller: Ohio State 41, Northwestern 27
This game has the makings of a shootout, which won’t bode well for the Wildcats. Northwestern’s stout defense will struggle to hold down Justin Fields & co. but still put together an impressive competitive effort, proving to naysayers that they deserved a spot in the championship game after an excellent season.
Among those who’ve picked all games
6-1: Eli Karp, Didi Jin, Liam Warin
5-2: Lia Assimakopoulos, Dan Olinger, Mac Stone, Colin Kruse
Among those who’ve picked six games
6-0: Ben Chasen, William Karmin, Sarah Effress
4-2: Josh Miller
1-5: Jacob Brown
Among those who’ve picked four games or fewer
2-0: Andrew Katz
1-0: Noah Jones, Meredith Revsine, Matthew Albert
2-1: Jack Izzo
1-1: Noah Coffman
1-2: Michael Barthelemy