Check out the Wisconsin vs. Northwestern fearless prediction and game preview.
Wisconsin (6-2) vs. Northwestern (4-4) Game Preview
Date: Saturday, Nov. 5
Game Time: 12:00 pm
Venue: Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Northwestern has been a thorn in the Wisconsin side over the last two years.
The Badgers turned it over five times in last year’s 13-7 loss – despite badly outplaying the Wildcats – and gave it away four times in 2014 in another game they should’ve had.
In 2010, Wisconsin slipped by Northwestern 70-23 thanks to seven takeaways. The two didn’t play again until 2013. In the last three meetings, the Badgers are a ridiculous -11 in turnover margin. This year’s Bucky team can’t misfire on its opportunities and get away with them against these Wildcats.
Northwestern has played really, really well over the last month, going on a three-game winning streak before pushing Ohio State in Columbus.
The team isn’t getting hit with bad penalties, it’s moving the chains just fine, the special teams have been strong, and it’s not turning the ball over in bunches. However, what it’s not doing is scoring enough when it gets its chances in the red zone.
Wisconsin knows a little something about that.
The Badgers couldn’t put away Ohio State, struggled to get through the Iowa game, and gave Nebraska every opportunity to stay alive. Over the last three games, missed kicks and failed drives have been a major problem for a team that doesn’t explode offensively.
The two defenses have been terrific, and now the improved Wildcat run defense has to stop a boosted Wisconsin running game that found the fire again after sputtering over the first half of the season.
But the defense is banged up with the linebacking corps losing Jack Cichy for the season and with T.J. Watt’s shoulder among other issues for a group that keeps on producing, but it losing bodies left and right. That’ll be a problem against an efficient Northwestern offense that’s starting to roll thanks to QB Clayton Thorson.
Can the 1-2 punch of Thorson and RB Justin Jackson be enough to get past a Badger team that might be this win away from rolling through the rest of the Big Ten schedule?
Wisconsin won’t have the big turnover problems this time around, but issues with the kicking game will prove costly. Northwestern will hang around for a full four quarters, but unlike the last two seasons, it won’t find a way to pull it off. It won’t be pretty, but the Badgers will survive and advance.
Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Prediction
Final Score: Wisconsin 21, Northwestern 17
Line: Wisconsin -7, o/u: 41
ATS Confidence: 5: Kluber – 1: Lackey … 3
Must See Rating: 5: November 8th – 1: Inferno … 4