WNUR’s Predictions for Northwestern versus Iowa
The WNUR Sports staff weighs in with their predictions for this Saturday’s football game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Minnesota Golden Gophers. If you want in on the action, simply leave your prediction in the comments below, or you can tweet them @WNURSports.Zach Kisfalusi (@zKisfalusi): Northwestern keeps rolling down the mountain backwards as Iowa runs over the ‘Cats defense. Iowa 31 – Northwestern 14. Player to Watch: Mark Weisman.
Jim Sannes (@JimSannes): Northwestern, 23-21. Mark Weisman may have 120 yards and three touchdowns in this game. But, with the return of Kain Colter, the ‘Cats offense is able to return to competency and get its first Big Ten win of the season. Player to Watch: Stephen Buckley.
Tralon Williams (@itsyaboytray): Northwestern has the makings of a team that is lost with a broken spirit. Hopes of the rose bowl are long gone and the team now has to motivate itself with the possibility of a bowl game. Iowa is on an upward trend having played OSU tough and beating Minnesota earlier in the season. NU’s inability to stop the run leads them to a winless October. Iowa – 27 NU – 21. PTW: Mark Weisman. He has to be dreaming about this game after the performances of Carlos Hyde, Melvin Gordon, James White and David Cobb against this defense.
Cameron Songer (@CameronSonger): 28-20, Iowa. The Hawkeyes thrashed Minnesota in Minneapolis. Minnesota beat Northwestern in Evanston. Even without the transitive property working against them, it would take a small miracle for the ‘Cats to beat anybody the way they’ve played the last two weeks. Player to Watch: Iowa wide receiver Damond Powell. He only has 8 catches on the year, but leads the Hawkeyes in receiving yards thanks to an absurd 30.1 yards per catch. He’ll have one soul-crushing long play that will help decide the game.
Greg Mroz (@GregDMroz): Iowa 31-21. Northwestern hasn’t proven that they can stop the run in conference play, and if Sean McEvilly doesn’t play, it’s going to be another long day for the defense. Player to Watch: Marc Weisman.
Jeffrey Eisenband (@JeffEisenband): NU 34-27. Kain Colter returns to form and puts the team on his back. Longer offensive possessions give the defense more time to rest. Northwestern records three takeaways in a jumpstart victory. Player to Watch: Kain Colter.
Ben Goren: Iowa 17, Northwestern 14. I’ll say the obvious and say that Mark Weisman is going to have a nice afternoon. This team needs to win a B1G game before I pick them to win a road game against a surprisingly decent Iowa team.
Nick Scoliard: Northwestern 24 Iowa 17. I could easily see the ‘Cats lose this game, but with Kain Colter back on the field, the ‘Cats should eke out their first conference win. Player to Watch: Iowa RB Mark Weisman. Weisman is a power back, and could easily rip through the ‘Cats defense like Hyde and Gordon did.
Kevin Harris (@KevinGoesCats): 23-17, Northwestern. This is one of NU’s easiest games left on the schedule theoretically, meaning the ‘Cats need to stop their three-game skid and pull out a “W” if they want to be bowl eligible. With Kain Colter back and hopefully a group motivated to win at least one game in October and salvage the season, I think the ‘Cats overcome this road test. Look for NU to establish the running game more and use Colter more than Siemian. Player to Watch: Stephen Buckley – had a great breakout week against Minnesota and with Mark out he figures to see more playing time on Saturday.
Michael Stern (michaeljstern23): Northwestern wins 17-16. As the Wildcats get healthy, their offense will get slightly better – better enough to edge Iowa. Northwestern’s defense will hold down the Hawkeyes in the red zone and force field goals. Player to Watch: Jake Duzey, tight end, Iowa. The Hawkeyes love tight ends, and Duzey caught 6 balls for 138 yards and a touchdown last week against Ohio State. Stop the tight ends, and the Wildcats can stop Iowa’s offense.
Jason Dorow (@jasondorow): Northwestern, 27-24. The Wildcat defense has had a tough time against Big Ten running backs. They will need to contain Iowa’s two-headed monster of Mark Weisman and Damon Bullock to have a chance in this one. The Northwestern offense will rebound and put up enough points to win in Kinnick Stadium. Player to Watch: Trevor Siemian. After a couple of poor offensive showings, Siemian will need to reinvigorate the wildcat attack and cut out the turnovers to get NU’s first Big Ten victory.
Ari Ross (@aross50): Iowa 24-20. This is another game Northwestern can win if they play at the same level they played versus Ohio State. Iowa is a mediocre team with a pretty good defense, but was able to hang with Ohio State for three quarters. If Northwestern’s offense can get going and the defense can force turnovers, Northwestern can win this game. If not, it’ll be similar to the Minnesota game, a low scoring affair with the team winning the turnover battle also winning the game. Being on the road, it’ll be tough for Northwestern to come out with a win the way they’ve been playing recently. Player to Watch: Kain Colter. With Colter back the NU offense will be more dynamic, and if he plays well, Northwestern will be in good position to win.
Ryan Fish (@TheFishTweets): Northwestern 24, Iowa 23. If Northwestern plays the way they did the past two weeks, there is no way they win this game. However, the internal optimist in me says that if Colter can come back and spark some offense, and the defense bends but doesn’t break, the ‘Cats can win a thriller in Iowa City. This is the week Fitz’s team shows what they really got. Player to Watch: Mark Weisman.
Axel Boada (@axelboada): Northwestern, 24-23. Injuries on both sides of the ball continue to plague the ‘Cats but they will pull through by the slimmest of margins. This is a must-win game for Northwestern in order to stay competitive in the conference after dropping three straight games. Player to Watch: Treyvon Green. The junior needs to bounce back from a poor 34-yard performance last week against Minnesota, especially since Venric Mark has been ruled out Saturday.
Jasper Scherer (@jaspsch): Northwestern 27, Iowa 24. Iowa will run all over the Wildcats’ dreadful run defense, but Northwestern has Kain Colter back for this game. Even if he isn’t 100% on Saturday, the ‘Cats offense is leaps and bounds better with the two quarterback system. Player to Watch: Colter. He rushed for 166 yards and three touchdowns against Iowa last year. He’ll need to be effective for Northwestern to win this game.
Brendan Connelly (@bconnadebenz): Iowa 27, Northwestern 20. Every time I’ve picked Northwestern, they’ve lost, so I’m going Iowa in this one. Without Venric Mark and with a possibly limited Kain Colter, Northwestern’s offense just can’t achieve full efficiency with Trevor Siemian as the sole quarterback. The rushing defensive woes for Northwestern also don’t end against Mark Weisman. Player to Watch: Kain Colter. It’s simple, if NU wins this game, and avoids falling to .500 and 0-4 in Big Ten play, it’s because Colter plays/if he is healthy.