It’s the game we’ve all been waiting for, i.e. the game that is kind of cool because it’s happening at Wrigley but also kind of sucks because this team is not good. Regardless, here are another round of predictions from the INU staff on Northwestern’s penultimate game of the season.
Daniel Olinger: Purdue 27, Northwestern 13
It would be incredibly on brand for Purdue to have not one, but two upset victories over opponents ranked inside the top three nationally, start 6-3 and have a legit shot at winning the West, only to finish 6-6 because they got upset by horrible Northwestern and Indiana teams. Alas, the only thing more powerful than that beautiful narrative is the poor play of this ‘Cats’ offense. Northwestern simply cannot move the ball in any way, shape or form that threatens a Big Ten defense. Pat Fitzgerald and co. hang around for a bit, but ultimately fall to 3-8 in their return to Wrigley.
Ben Chasen: Purdue 31, Northwestern 10
David Bell puts up a massive day, Northwestern turns the ball over three or more times and none of this matters because my attention has fully turned towards field hockey.
Mac Stone: Purdue 34, Northwestern 7
Really, really hoping that the experience of being in Wrigley distracts me from how bad the ‘Cats are until at least halftime. This game won’t be close in the slightest. Aidan O’Connell has a very good shot at throwing for 350+ yards if the Boilermakers keep their foot on the gas, and I expect David Bell to pull in at least half of those yards. Purdue by a mile.
Jacob Brown: Purdue 31, Northwestern 3
Purdue is good, Northwestern isn’t. But, Wrigley is kinda cool, so go ‘Cats?
John Olsen: Purdue 42, Northwestern 10
After watching Graham Mertz, of all people, carve up this defense a week ago, I shudder at the thought of what the Aidan O’Connell-to-David Bell connection will do this Saturday. I’m also terrified of what Purdue’s pass rush, which features projected first round draft pick George Karlaftis, will do to a hobbled Northwestern offensive line. The Boilermakers are a much better team than the ‘Cats, and a dominant performance from Purdue will push NU’s record at the (not-so)-friendly confines to 0-2.
Bradley Locker: Purdue 45, Northwestern 10
The fewest points that Purdue has scored this season is 13, while Northwestern hasn’t mustered 13 since before Halloween. David Bell vs. one of the most inconsistent secondaries I’ve ever seen doesn’t bode particularly well for NU, and neither does a quarterback situation with as much resolve as the Cubs’ trajectory. I envision the ‘Cats getting on the board thanks to a garbage-time Evan Hull touchdown, avoiding total misery in the Friendly Confines. Hey, at least Jim O’Neil’s defense might hold a Big Ten West team under 180 rushing yards for the first time all year! While we’re at it, the Cubs might want to try out Brandon Joseph in the outfield — he has the hops for it.
Ignacio Dowling: Purdue 37, Northwestern 14
Purdue has stars on both sides of the ball, and Northwestern doesn’t. It’s as simple as that. The Boilermakers are also coming off a 59-31 loss at Ohio State, which doesn’t help either. While talented teams like Michigan have overlooked the ‘Cats and allowed them to hang around for a few quarters, Purdue won’t let that happen. One can only imagine the magic Aidan O’Connell and David Bell will work against the NU secondary. Just as Steph Curry’s brilliance turned Nets fans against their own team in a blowout earlier this week, Bell might single-handedly keep Northwestern students at Wrigley through the fourth quarter.
William Karmin: Purdue 24, Northwestern 10
Should've played this game at Guaranteed Rate.
Jacob Brown: 9-1
Bradley Locker, Andrew Katz: 8-2
Mac Stone, Daniel Olinger: 7-3
Ben Chasen, John Olsen: 6-4
Will Karmin: 5-4
Gavin Dorsey: 4-2
Myles Gilbert: 3-2
Michael Barthelemy: 2-0
Meredith Revsine: 1-0
Eli Karp, Liam Hubbard: 2-1
Didi Jin: 2-3
Colin Kruse, Lia Assimakopoulos: 1-2
Sarah Effress, Brian Paget, Nik Mehrotra, Isaac Diaz, Sydney Supple, Jackson Gordwin: 0-1