Minnesota vs. Northwestern Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Minnesota vs. Northwestern fearless prediction and game preview.
Minnesota (5-5) vs. Northwestern (7-3) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, November 18th
Game Time: 12:00 pm ET
Venue: Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Minnesota is one of the few teams who can really, really mess things up.
The Golden Gophers sputtered and coughed throughout the year, but suddenly, the offense found its groove in a 54-21 win over Nebraska to get back in the hunt for a bowl game.
Beating Northwestern to get a bowl invite would be nice, beating Northwestern this week, and ending a long drought with a win over Wisconsin the week after would be even better.
On the other side, Northwestern went from lousy to amazing, wining five straight including victories over Iowa and Michigan State. While the Big Ten West race is over – Wisconsin is off to Indianapolis – if the Badgers lose their last two games, and Northwestern wins this week and then against Illinois, it’ll at least finished tied for the top of the division race.
One Reason Why Minnesota Will Win
And that’s what the Minnesota offense is supposed to do.
The Gophers aren’t going to come up with a decent passing game with Demry Croft under center – he’s not a pure passer – but he’s a dangerous playmaker who can make things happen on the move.
Against Nebraska, Croft took off for 183 yards and three scores, Rodney Smith ran for 134 yards, and Kobe McCrary ran for three scores as the Gophers averaged over nine yards per carry in the blowout win.
The O line is strong, the team doesn’t make a slew of big mistakes, and the defense is just solid enough to hang around with just about everyone. As long as the Gopher ground game can be close to what it was against the Huskers, Northwestern is in big trouble, but …
One Reason Why Northwestern Will Win
The Northwestern defensive front has been a killer against the run.
Duke took off for 233 yards, and that’s about it for the production. Over the last eight games, the Wildcats have allowed just 100 yards twice – giving up 109 to Wisconsin and 112 against Nebraska.
No one has averaged more than four yards per carry since Nevada did in the opener, and no one has scored a rushing touchdown in the last five games.
Minnesota is probably going to have to find another way to move the ball.
Freshman Paddy Fisher leads a fantastic linebacking corps and a D that’s steady at getting into the backfield. This group doesn’t miss a stop, and it doesn’t give up plays to the second level.
As long as the offense takes advantage of its opportunities, and the defense keeps on playing like it has been over the last few weeks, everything should be fine in the home finale.
What’s Going To Happen
It’s pulling teeth to get Northwestern to win games, but it keeps on yanking.
The offense isn’t good enough to put this away early, and the Minnesota ground game should be productive at times behind the strong O line, but the Wildcat run D is just too good.
It’ll be a low-scoring fight, with Northwestern a bit more balanced and a bit better equipped at home to keep the production rolling.
Minnesota vs. Northwestern Prediction
Northwestern 24, Minnesota 16
Northwestern -7, o/u: 43.5
5: KFC fried chicken-scented bath bomb
1: “short and fat” … 2.5
Must See Rating
5: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
1: Justice League … 3