Northwestern vs. Rutgers fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 20
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: HighPoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ
Northwestern (3-3) vs. Rutgers (1-6) Game Preview
One Reason Why Northwestern Will Win
Well look at who’s leading the Big Ten West?
It might have been a bit of a shaky run, and it took an epic comeback to get by a winless Nebraska team, but it’s all right there for the Wildcats. Win this, beat Wisconsin the following week, and …
First, just hit the three-foot putt.
Rutgers has gone from awful to a whole other level of misery, getting destroyed last week by Maryland with a passing game that completed a grand total of two passes for 17 yards and eight scores … and five picks.
The Northwestern offense is still having issues trying to find a running game with running back Jeremy Larkin done, but this week, it’s not going to take a whole lot to put this game away.
Rutgers has the least-efficient passing game in the country, has the second-worst offense, and is dead last in turnover margin. As long as Clayton Thorson can lead the way to a few early scoring drives, the defense should be able to take care of the rest.
No. 1 in the nation in fewest penalties, and with a passing game that kicked it in when it had to over the last few games, the Wildcats aren’t going to screw up enough for Rutgers to pull this off.
One Reason Why Rutgers Will Win
No, really. Northwestern’s running game really, really, really isn’t there anymore.
It got progressively worse over the first five games, and then it bumped back up again against Nebraska – running for just 32 yards.
Even with Larkin, the ground game just didn’t work, and now it’s totally gone, averaging one yard per carry over the last three games.
As bad as Rutgers has been, it’s been losing because it can’t handle decent ground games. Illinois – who hasn’t been able to do much of anything on anyone – and Maryland each finished with under 90 passing yards. That was by choice, though, with a ground attack that was working too well.
Northwestern isn’t going to walk in and blow up for 50 points. If Rutgers can get to Thorson, and if they can force him to hurry his throws a bit and not get into a rhythm, this has the potential to be a tight battle into the fourth as long as the RU O doesn’t start screwing up and turning it over.
What’s Going To Happen
Northwestern will get another big game out of Thorson, it’ll get nothing out of the ground attack, and it’ll be another typical game for a team that’s just starting to kick in the second half season push.
The Rutgers offense will actual throw a little bit again, but it won’t be nearly enough to keep up the pace after Thorson and NU go on two early scoring drives.
There won’t be any need for any late heroics this week.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Northwestern 34, Rutgers 17
Line: Northwestern -20.5, o/u: 49
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 2
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