Nebraska vs. Northwestern Prediction, Game Preview

    Nebraska vs. Northwestern prediction and game preview. The Cornhuskers will look to even their record at 4-4 as they host the Wildcats in Lincoln.

    October 20, 2015

    All of a sudden, Nebraska (3-4), with one win over a mediocre Minnesota team, looks like it might have things turned around, while Northwestern (5-2) is suddenly in big trouble after getting destroyed by Michigan and Iowa by a combined score of 78-10. This is a pecking-order game that should push the winner up into another level of the West. Check out the Nebraska vs. Northwestern prediction and game preview.

    Nebraska vs. Northwestern Game Preview


    Date: Saturday, Oct. 24
    Game Time: 12:00 pm
    Venue: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
    Network: ESPN2

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    Why You Need To Care

    Northwestern used to be really good. It still owns a win over a Stanford team that’s probably going to win the Pac-12 title, and it’s the only team to beat Duke so far, but all of a sudden, the toughness and physical play of the first five weeks seems like it was a long time ago. The offense was a disaster against Michigan, and it got steamrolled over by Iowa, but one win over Nebraska could change things back up. With three of the final four games at home – or at least close to it, playing Illinois at Soldier Field – there’s still plenty of time to come up with a great record, but beating the Huskers would be special after rough losses to them the last two seasons.

    Nebraska finally started to look the part. With four tough losses on the resume that all could’ve easily have gone the other way, it’s been a rough season that hasn’t been anywhere near as strong as it might have been had the Huskers pulled out just one of those games. But 3-4 is 3-4, and with Purdue up next, there’s still a chance to be a player. Win the next few games, and then, all of a sudden, the visit from Michigan State really matters. With the Spartans coming to Lincoln, along with Iowa, there are plenty of shots to be interesting.

    Why Northwestern Will Win

    If there was ever any hope for the Northwestern passing game to get going, this would be it. Nebraska is a decent rushing team, but it’s not going to get physical like Michigan and Iowa did up front. That’s not the big issue for the Wildcats – they should be able to handle the Husker ground game. The key will be to at least give it a shot at getting the ball down the field against a defense giving up over 300 passing yards in every game but the loss to Illinois, who threw for 251. If Minnesota is throwing for 301 yards, your secondary is having problems. The Northwestern passing game has been way too erratic, but it has to at least give it a try after being bottled up too much against the Wolverines and Hawkeyes. However …

    Why Nebraska Will Win

    Really, Northwestern can’t throw. It hasn’t been a hard thing to figure out – stop the Northwestern running game, and nothing else will work. Somehow, the Cats and QB Clayton Thorson were on fire against Minnesota, but the passing attack was miserable against both Michigan and Iowa once Justin Jackson was bottled up. They got behind in both games, and didn’t have the ability to come back. Granted, the stats look good because everyone is throwing, but everyone is throwing on Nebraska because they can’t run. Maliek Collins and the Husker defensive front are giving up just 3.2 yards per carry and have yet to allow more than 147 yards. However …

    Player Who Matters

    Nebraska has allowed over 100 yards in just four of the seven games this year – BYU, Miami, Illinois and Wisconsin. The Huskers lost all four games. On the flip side, Northwestern ran for over 100 yards in five games this year – all five of the wins – and ran for 38 against Michigan and 51 against Iowa. So now it’s about Justin Jackson and if he can get any room to move. A 20-plus carry back over each of the first five games, he only ran 22 times over the last two weeks as the Wildcats abandoned the run because they had to. Last year, he ran for 128 yards and two scores in the loss – he needs to do that again.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Nebraska has found it. The run defense will swarm around Jackson, Thorson won’t be effective enough, and the Huskers will come up with a nice win. The Northwestern offensive woes will continue.

    Nebraska vs. Northwestern Prediction

    Final Score: Nebraska 23, Northwestern 16, Line: Nebraska -7.5, o/u: 51.5

    Must See Rating: 5: Bridge of Spies – 1: Rock The Kasbah … 3.5

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