Northwestern vs. Minnesota fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, November 17
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
Northwestern (6-4) vs. Minnesota (5-5) Game Preview
One Reason Why Northwestern Will Win
Northwestern’s defense is terrific against the run, and Minnesota is iffy at best at throwing.
When the D needed to come through, it stuffed Iowa last week for just 64 yards. It held Notre Dame in check, and it hasn’t given up over 180 yards to anyone but Nebraska – the Cats won – and in the opener against Purdue.
The Northwestern defensive front doesn’t get into the backfield, but it does generate just enough pressure to help on third downs – the Cats are great at getting off the field when they need to.
Minnesota is great at not getting flagged – Northwestern leads the Big Ten with the fewest penalties.
Minnesota likes to turn games into slugfests – Northwestern just won a Big Ten West title by doing that better than anyone in the division. From all indications, there’s no relaxing or enjoying the accomplishment of going off to the title game in a few weeks – at least not yet. The Cats are going to keep on pushing and keep the intensity up.
One Reason Why Minnesota Will Win
What was THAT?!
All of a sudden, Minnesota went all Alabama on defense in the stunning 41-10 win over Purdue.
The pass rush was great, and the secondary was suffocating – it didn’t allow any big plays or a whole lot of yards after the catch. A week after getting destroyed by the Illinois running game, the defensive front stuffed the Boilermaker run defense cold.
Northwestern doesn’t have a running game.
Offensively, freshman Mohamed Ibrahim has turned into the team’s new star, running for 157 yards and two scores against Ohio State earlier this year, and rolling on Purdue for 155 yards last week.
But against Northwestern, more than anything else …
What’s Going To Happen
Minnesota really, really needs this, and Northwestern doesn’t.
Lost in its run to the Big Ten West title – and doing it with two games left to play – is that Northwestern isn’t all that great. There’s a razor-thin margin with this team, and no, that edge just won’t be there against a Gopher team pushing for bowl eligibility in its final home game of the year.
The energy level will be there from the start as the jacked up Gophers pull off a second straight great good win. Clayton Thorson will make it tight late by bombing away, and then the Minnesota running game will take over to survive.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Minnesota 31, Northwestern 27
Line: Minnesota -1, o/u: 47.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1
Must See Rating: 3
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