Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Prediction, Game Preview

    Wisconsin vs. Northwestern prediction and game preview. Both the Badgers and Wildcats look to improve to 9-2 as they battle in Madison.

    November 17, 2015


    Wisconsin (8-2) hasn’t been getting any respect from the CFP committee, but that could change with a win over No. 20 Northwestern (8-2). The winner of this game will be the No. 2 team in the West – at worst – and if Iowa starts to crash, then things could get really interesting for the winner in Camp Randall. Check out the Wisconsin vs. Northwestern prediction and game preview.

    Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, Nov. 21
    Game Time: 3:30 pm
    Venue: Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI

    Network: BTN

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    Why You Need To Care

    Northwestern might not look all that impressive, and it might not past any sort of eye test, but it won three straight since the loss to Iowa and has put itself in a position for a fantastic year. As is, this has already been a great season with a good bowl game assured, but beating Wisconsin on the road would mean – or at least would deserve – a big jump up in the rankings and into the top 15.

    The same goes for Wisconsin, who had the week off, but didn’t get any more love from the CFP with a No. 25 slot for the second week in a row. There’s a reason for that – the Badgers haven’t beaten anyone who’s any good. Their best victory was either over Nebraska or Illinois on the road, but the truly ugly part about the slate is the lack of wins over anybody who’s even close to being above-average. Unless there are a few upsets, no one UW has beaten will end up playing in a bowl game, – beating Northwestern would be the best win of the year by far.

    Why Northwestern Will Win

    The defense really has been that good. The secondary hasn’t had to deal with a slew of high-octane bombers, but that doesn’t keep everyone from trying. This is a bend-but-not-break D that might have allowed over 800 passing yards over the last three games, but it won all three allowing just one touchdown in each came and making up for it with a pick in each one. On the year, NU has given up five touchdown passes while picking off nine passes, which means teams have to try running the ball. That’s not working. NU has allowed more than 200 yards on the ground just twice this year – it’s 8-0 when allowing fewer, 0-2 when giving up more. Wisconsin has run for over 200 yards just two times against Hawaii and Rutgers.

    Why Wisconsin Will Win

    Absolutely no one is running on the Wisconsin defense – at least no one other than Alabama in the opener – and Northwestern can’t do anything else. Nebraska ran for 196 yards and two scores, but that was the one aberration outside of the loss to the Crimson Tide – and now the Badgers have had two weeks off to rest. This is an active and aggressive defensive front that doesn’t get shoved around, and that means NU has to throw to win. The Wildcats have only hit the 50% passing mark once in the last five games, and even that was a 16-of-32 day against Penn State.

    Player Who Matters

    So now who’s the Northwestern quarterback? Clayton Thorson got hurt against Penn State, and he gave it a shot against Purdue but struggled. Zack Oliver saw time for the second game in a row, and he was even worse. At least Thorson ran for 48 yards, but the offense didn’t move with either one under center. The Badgers will be all over RB Justin Jackson – the quarterback play has to be far better.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    RB Corey Clement isn’t expected to play for the Badgers, so it’s all on Joel Stave to pull this off. Last year, the Badgers gagged away a sure win against the Wildcats with three Stave interceptions, and now he’s going to make amends. This will be a defensive struggle, but the rested Badgers will win this at home with a good second half.

    Wisconsin vs. Northwestern Prediction

    Final Score: Wisconsin 27, Northwestern 13, Line: Wisconsin -11, o/u: 40

    Must See Rating: 5: The Night Before – 1: Donny! … 4

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