Wisconsin vs Northwestern prediction and game preview.
Wisconsin vs Northwestern Broadcast
Date: Saturday, November 21
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Wisconsin (2-0) vs Northwestern (4-0) Game Preview
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Why Wisconsin Will Win
It’s only a two-game sample size, but Wisconsin has been totally dominant.
It was like this way early last year, too – and the the Illinois loss happened – but Wisconsin is being Wisconsin. It owns third downs, it’s No. 1 in the nation in fewest penalties per game, it’s No. 1 in run defense, No. 1 in scoring defense, and in the most Wisconsin way of all, it’s No. 1 in time of possession by a mile.
41:51. Again, it’s only a two-game run so far, but the Badgers are holding the ball for close to 42 minutes per game. Considering Northwestern lives on handling the tempo and making games go its way, Wisconsin’s ability to keep things moving is a problem.
More than that, Northwestern is about to have a rough time on the ground – the Badgers have allowed just two decent runs, giving up 178 yards in the first two games. The defense is swarming, but …
Why Northwestern Will Win
The Northwestern lines have been fantastic.
The run defense is a killer – only Nebraska got past 77 yards among the four games on the Wildcat schedule – and the offensive front has given the program a real, live offense again coming off a disastrous 2019.
Yes, Wisconsin controls the clock with gut-punch drives that grind out games, but that suits Northwestern just fine. The Cats have no problems on third downs on either side of the ball, they’re fine with the midrange passes without taking a whole slew of chances and playing the long game.
This team is a master of hanging around, hanging around, hanging around … and then pouncing when it gets the chance. No one knows that better than Wisconsin, especially in Evanston.
What’s Going To Happen
This was supposed to be played in Wrigley Field, but as is, the – most likely – game for the Big Ten West title will be just fine at Ryan Field.
Last year’s Northwestern team was a hot mess, and yet it gave Wisconsin a bigger fight than anyone did in the first six games. And why? Two takeaways.
In 2018, Jack Coan filled in for an injured Alex Hornibrook, wasn’t able to throw, Jonathan Taylor dropped the ball, and Northwestern came up with three takeaways in the win.
In 2017, Northwestern lost, but forced three turnovers. Famously, a fantastic Badger team turned it over five times in a loss to the Cats after giving it away four times in 2014 – both Northwestern wins.
Over the last seven years, Northwestern has forced 20 takeaways – Pat Fitzgerald has found a way to make the team that never screws up to always screw up.
The Badgers will pull this off, but it’s going to be a very tough, very nasty fight against a Northwestern team that’s the absolute real deal. Wisconsin’s defense will have to hold on for dear life on two late Wildcat drives with a shot at the win.
Wisconsin vs Northwestern Prediction, Line
Wisconsin 26, Northwestern 20
Bet on Wisconsin vs Northwestern with BetMGM
Wisconsin -7.5, o/u: 44
ATS Confidence out of 5: 1.5
Must See Rating: 4.5
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