Each week, the WNUR staff will submit their predictions for Saturday’s football game. Over the rest of the quarter, we’ll keep track of each picker’s record.
Austin Miller (@austin_james906): Northwestern: 30 Purdue: 13
Purdue was not good before David Blough went down injured. They are considerably worse now. The ‘Cats will keep rolling against a Boilermaker team that simply can’t keep up.
Player To Watch: Elijah Sindelar, QB Purdue : David Blough wasn’t great. Mr. Sindelar hasn’t been much better based on what we’ve seen this year. Northwestern’s secondary has had some issues in the past few weeks, but I think they’ll be right at home against Sindelar and the inept Boilermakers.
Sam Brief (@sambrief): Northwestern 31, Purdue 14.
Finally, a non-OT game. I think Purdue is bad enough to make that a reality. Congrats to your blood pressure.
Player to watch: Joe Gaziano, DL. Northwestern’s leading sacker will look to make life difficult for Purdue’s backup QB, Elijah Sindelar, who has started just four games for the Boilermakers.
Amit Mallik (@amitkmallik): Northwestern 31, Purdue 20
The ‘Cats grind out a tough conference victory behind a dominant run game and a defense up to the task.
Player to watch: Alonzo Mayo: Purdue lost its starter last week in David Blough and now will have to scrape by with Elijah Sindelar. When Purdue is forced to throw the ball, it will look for simple short routes targeted at Alonzo Mayo, who has played off the line for the majority of the season. Saturday night is an opportunity for Mayo to make some big plays when the ball comes his way.
Will Greer (@WillCGreer95): Northwestern 27, Purdue 19
Northwestern isn’t good enough to win by more than one score. Purdue isn’t bad enough to lose by more than one score. November Big Ten football rules.
Player to watch: Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue: I won’t pretend to know anything about Purdue football, but a couple Google searches tell me: 1) The Boilers give up less than 19 points per game, which is good for 20th best in the nation and 2) Markus Bailey, a sophomore linebacker, leads the team with five sacks. So let’s go with Bailey.
Ben Krieger (@TheBenKrieger): Northwestern 24, Purdue 14
The Wildcats continue to build on the momentum from three straight overtime wins, beating a Purdue team that simply does not have the same level of talent. Justin Jackson finds paydirt to set the Northwestern record for rushing touchdowns, the defense shuts down a middling Purdue offense to secure the win, and the Wildcats improve to 7-3 on the season.
Player to watch: Jeremy Larkin: The redshirt-freshman in the backfield has flashed some serious potential this season and was especially strong last week against Nebraska. In his best game of the year, Larkin turned in 69 yards on 10 carries, including an impressive 24-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter. Even if he does not turn out to the be the x-factor on Saturday, you should still pay attention and enjoy the preview of what Larkin can do to carry on Justin Jackson’s legacy on the gridiron.
Ari Levin: Northwestern 77, Purdue 73, 7OT
Is this where it’s heading at this point? I think so!
Player to Watch: Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern: Fun fact: Jackson is fourth all-time in Big Ten yards from scrimmage. He’s 190 from Archie Griffin in third place, and 305 from Anthony Thompson for second. He should pass both by the end of the season.
Jake Riepma (@Jake_Riepma): Northwestern 31, Purdue 13
Under the lights, Ryan Field, prime-time TV, No. 25 Northwestern riding the four game winning streak, need I say more?!
The ‘Cats make it five in a row, and after three consecutive OT contests, this one’s a little easier on the finger nails as NU cruises to a 31-13 victory behind Bennett Skowronek’s two TD catches.
Kevin Sweeney (@CBB_Central): Northwestern 27, Purdue 24
Jeff Brohm has done a great job making this Purdue team at least interesting this season, though a home loss to Rutgers was a momentum-killer. He’ll have some trick plays up his sleeve to try and produce some offense for a team that will be going with their backup quarterback in Elijah Sindelar. That said, Northwestern finds a way to close the game late, just as they have done throughout this 4 game winning streak, behind a big game from Justin Jackson.
Player to watch: Justin Jackson: With the weather likely to be very chilly, it will be necessary that the Wildcats can establish the running game, and who better to do it with than Jackson, who with a big game could crack into the top 5 total rush yards in Big Ten history.