WNUR Predictions: Northwestern at Notre Dame
Cameron Songer (3-2) (@CameronSonger): Notre Dame 42, Northwestern 13. This Northwestern team can bring all the inspiration and fire they can muster to this one, but Notre Dame is a very good football team. Plus the Irish will be motivated after last week’s loss. Player to watch: Matt Harris. Harris had a pick and a forced fumble last week. It would be nice to see him build on that in a road game against a ranked team.
Eric Klaus (0-1) (@EKlaus1): Northwestern 21, Notre Dame 20. Northwestern (only 17 point underdogs this time!) shocks the nation as the Irish once again play down to their competition. Player to watch: Ibraheim Campbell. In order for NU to have a chance in this one they’ll need their secondary to step up against ND’s strong passing attack. As the leader of that group, Campbell needs to have a big game
Ben Goren (3-4) (@BenG412): Notre Dame 31 Northwestern 10. Alas, my optimism has run dry. The offense continues to sputter, and Notre Dame brings a level of offense NU hasn’t seen since Cal. It all makes for a long afternoon for the Wildcats. Player to Watch: Anthony Walker. With Collin Ellis stepping away from football, it means Anthony Walker is the top dog at middle linebacker. He’s going to have his hands full with Everett Golson.
Jason Dorow (1-5) (@jasondorow): Notre Dame 31, Northwestern 14 Northwestern will keep it interesting for a quarter or two, but the Irish are going to pull away in the second half. Player to Watch: Justin Jackson, who gets back on track with another 100-yard outing.
Ryan Fish (4-4) (@RyanMFish): Notre Dame 31, Northwestern 10. Northwestern’s defense bounced back against Michigan last week after the rout in Iowa, but it faces a serious challenge against Everett Golson and the Irish. The offense, on the other hand, looks stagnant. This one could get ugly. Player to watch: Justin Jackson. In one of the few exciting questions remaining for this team… will he be able to get to 1,000 rushing yards by the end of the year?
Ari Ross (3-5) (@aross50): Notre Dame 34-13. Going into South Bend, Northwestern is facing a ranked team that almost toppled No. 1 Florida State and is coming off a crushing loss to No. 6 Arizona State, that effectively knocked the Irish out of the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame’s going to be angry and will easily be the better team on paper come Saturday. If Northwestern plays anything like it has the past weeks, this game will be over before the end of the first half. The offense needs to step it up, as the ‘Cats defense can only hold the Fighting Irish so long. Unless Northwestern plays out of its mind, I just don’t see the ‘Cats coming out of South Bend with a win. Notre Dame gets up big early, and the ‘Cats score most of their points in garbage time. Player to Watch: Matt Alviti, QB, Northwestern. The Athletic Department has been trying hard to keep practice under wrap this week, so my guess is they’re trying out some new plays with Alviti. What they will be, and how will they affect the game is the real question.
Zach Pereles (3-3) (@zach_pereles): Notre Dame 45 Northwestern 7. Northwestern simply isn’t on the level of Notre Dame in any phase of the game. Notre Dame, fresh off a loss, will take their frustration out on the Wildcats. Key Player: Offensive line. It’s not just one player, but this entire group needs to perform much better than they have in the past few games if Northwestern wants to keep it close. Justin Jackson had no room to run against Michigan, and the offense failed because of that.
Austin Miller (0-0) (@austin_james906): Notre Dame: 28 Northwestern: 6. Nothing I saw from northwestern against Michigan and Iowa made me think that NU can compete with a solid team like Notre Dame. The offense will struggle, and the defense will play valiantly but be asked to do way too much. The offense will get a late TD, but (unsurprisingly) miss the extra point. Player to Watch: Trevor Siemian.
Sam Rudnick (0-2) (@luhtammer): Northwestern 14 Notre Dame 31. Notre Dame is coming off a tough loss to Arizona state in a game where Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Everett Golson threw 4 interceptions. Northwestern’s defense has looked solid at times, mostly against inept big ten offenses. Yet, look for a bounce back performance from a star quarterback and continuing struggles from Northwestern offense. Player to Watch: Everett Golson. Golson has 31 TDs this year and is looking to lead Notre Dame to a 10+ win season. If he takes care of the football on Saturday, Notre Dame should come out with a win.
Ian McCafferty (0-5) (@Itmccaf52): 31- 10 Notre Dame. This is not going to be pretty. Northwestern has lost four straight games and this is more of a challenge than any of the previous four. They take on a Notre Dame team ranked 18th in the nation and an offense that averages 34.9 points per game. A good showing from the Wildcat Defense could keep the game close, but the offense just simply does not have enough fire power to keep up with the Fighting Irish. Player to Watch: Everett Golson, QB, Notre Dame. Golson is a much better QB then Devin Gardener, that much is obvious. Golson has 2,757 passing yards and 24 TDs on the season and will look to add to that total on Saturday. Look for Golson to play well against an average Wildcat pass defense.
Michael Stern (2-7) (@michaeljstern23): Notre Dame 30, Northwestern 10. This will be a competitive game into the fourth quarter, but the Irish will pull away thanks to some late Wildcat turnovers. Player to watch: Torii Hunter, Jr., wide receiver, Notre Dame. The free agent outfielder’s son is a backup wideout for the Irish. If the game gets boring, he may see the field.