Northwestern is ranked. Western Michigan just lost to an FCS team. We can't guarantee that the No. 17 Wildcats will beat the Broncos, but it would be kind of a shock if this game was even close.
Which is why it's disturbing we're not more excited about this! Come on, people, this is Northwestern Wildcats football!!!!! We're gonna brush off a blowout? What has happened to us? Have we become so jaded that we don't remember what it was like to go like 50 or 60 years without winning a single football game?
Ehh, I guess so. That's pretty cool, I guess, but I'm still gonna enjoy NU romping.
Let's see the predic picks!
PJ Fleck's charisma aside, it will be no match for the 'Cats. The first team will be strong in the first half and jump out to a 4 TD lead, and then we'll get a chance to see the '15/'16ers do their thing in the second half. Surprises: We're gonna get to know Max Chapman and Malin Jones this week.
Cats 44 - Broncs -13.
Ranking prediction: we get to #14.
I like PJ Fleck. He reminds me of first year Fitz, except with ADHD.
That being said, the Wildcats win this one easily. The Broncos can row like they've never rowed before, but their boat is made of bubblegum and squirrel bones.
NU wins 38 - 7
I don't expect Venric Mark to suit up for this one; no point in risking him against a team like Western Michigan. In his absence, the other five running backs all run for a lot, at least three quarterbacks pass for a lot, and the defense only allows a few significant drives.
Northwestern wins, 48-17
Northwestern's second stringers looked pretty bad against Syracuse when they got into the game. I expect a much improved performance from them, which will be important, seeing as how they'll have at least the entire 4th quarter to showcase themselves against Western Michigan. TDs from Stephen Buckley and Andrew Scanlan in garbage time, INT from Davion Fleming.
NU 48 WMU 13
This is not a prediction, but a request to one Patrick Fitzgerald, head coach of the Northwestern Wildcats:
Fitz, run it the fuck up on this scrub team. No more of that three runs up the middle then punt bullshit you've always done in the past against overmatched teams. You've got a top 20 team with top 20 talent. You've got a team with a real shot to the win the Big Ten, for the first time since you've been at NU. Act like it. Hang 60+ on them.
Northwestern 66, WMU 10
I was starting to think WMU had a slighly okay defense, but it turns out Michigan State is just awful. So I don't really think there's any reason on either side of the ball Northwestern, who should probably play without Venric Mark, should romp.
I think the 30-plus point spread was pretty reasonable. I also think that Northwestern's backups -- Zack Oliver, Malin Jones, random receivers, a sprinkling of defensive walkons -- should play slightly better than WMU's starters, but I also think that WMU might match their backups with Northwestern's, so I don't expect the scoring to stop for any good reason. I think NU gives up a touchdown to their starters and some big drives with backups in.Best of luck to P.J. Fleck in his future endeavors.
Northwestern, 45, WMU, 13