Northwestern Prediction: What’s Going To Happen
The X factor is Clayton Thorson’s knee. Let’s assume he’ll be at least at 85% and can go without too much of an issue – even then, this year will be a fight to go bowling.
On the plus side, most of the big games are in Evanston. However, Michigan, Wisconsin, Notre Dame and Duke are all going to be good.
The offense has to be even more efficient, better and controlling the ball, and far stronger at not turning it over. The defense has to keep taking the ball away and has to stiffen up against the run.
Both sides will be good enough to get the Wildcats to six wins without a problem, but to push for another ten-win campaign and have any hopes of finally winning the West are too much.
The division is better, and the Wildcats still have too many concerns to do that again.
Guessing The Preseason Regular Season Win Total Will Be Set At … 6
Purdue might be fired up in the home opener, but it’s going to have a problem against the geared up Northwestern D. Even so, figure the Wildcats lose to either the Boilermakers or a sneaky-good Duke team before getting a week off.
They’ll lose to Michigan and Michigan State at home, but they’ll split the home dates against Notre Dame and Wisconsin. The big problem will be that Nebraska, Minnesota, Rutgers and Illinois have all improved, and going to Iowa won’t be a breeze.
Northwestern will be good enough to get to seven wins – unless Thorson struggles or is hurt.