Jumbo Heroes (4-6):
Man, I’m not doing well here. Not at all. The more I watch this Purdue team the less I know about them and the less I feel like I can accurately predict what they will do from week to week. The Purdue defense has been inconsistent. The Purdue offense has been inconsistent. The Purdue special teams has been inconsistent. The good thing about this game is though that Purdue is facing a Northwestern team who has been consistent....ly bad. They haven’t won a game on North American soil since beating Rutgers on October 16, 2021. That’s not a great situation for sure.
The Northwestern offense has been basically non-existent in the conference season. The Northwestern defense has also struggled during conference season. Put that together and it’s enough to give me hope that the team of AOC, Mockobee, Durham, and Jones can put up enough points to make this one not as interesting as recent games for Purdue. I believe in this team even if my predictions don’t always reflect that. I think Purdue can do this. Then after Purdue wins we all should switch into our best Minnesota Golden Gopher gear and root for them to defeat Iowa.
I’m 0/2 on predictions so far. That’s not good, but Northwestern is worse this year. The even year magic must only be in Ireland for the fighting Fitzgeralds. Purdue should come out knowing what’s at stake and play with intensity. Also, row the damn boat this week.
Northwestern is not a good football team. That’s about the only thing you can say about a 1-9 football team that lost to FCS Southern Illinois, Miami (OH), and Duke in the non-conference. They lack true playmakers at the positions of consequence like defensive end, outside linebacker, running back, wide receiver, and quarterback. They haven’t had any real blowout losses this year except Wisconsin and Minnesota but that is likely because those two teams want to run the ball and Northwestern is terrible against the run (200 yards per game). Purdue is going to have to establish the run with Mockobee and Downing with winds gusting between 15-25mph but they likely combine for at least 40 carries and 160 or more yards. Purdue has only scored less than 20 points once this year (loss to Iowa) and are averaging right at 30 points per game. This is likely the second or third worst defense Purdue will face this season (Indiana’s is bad bad) and statistically looks like Florida Atlantic’s. Purdue wins and holds Northwestern’s feature player Evan Hull to less than 125 total yards (his average per game). Purdue grabs two turnovers and Charlie Jones finds pay dirt twice more.
Northwestern is not a good football team, and they’re not the sort of team that should bother Purdue. They’re ranked 100th in total offense, 70th in passing and 105th in rushing. Northwestern isn’t good at what they are good at. Their defense isn’t much better, at 82nd overall.
The only way Northwestern wins this game is if Purdue helps them. It’s going to take 3+ turnovers for the Wildcats to be in the game. In their last game against Minnesota they allowed Mo Ibrahim to rumble for 182 yards and 3 touchdowns on 36 carries. I don’t think Purdue’s newly minted star running back Devin Mocabee will get 36 carries, but he should cross the 100 yard threshold yet again.
I think Purdue gets up early in this one and coasts to the the finish.
Purdue - 42
Northwestern - 10