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Northwestern vs Nebraska Predictions

Chris Wahl – Writer, Husker Hype @husker_hype

The win against Purdue last Saturday was much needed for the Huskers. As they head home to Lincoln they face a pesky Northwestern team that is playing some of its best football of the season. Northwestern is coming off wins over Iowa and a very talented Michigan State team and will certainly be a challenge for the Big Red.

Led by senior running back Justin Jackson, the Northwestern offense is more than capable of putting points on the board. With 644 yards rushing and 7 touchdowns, Jackson is an under-appreciated running back in the Big Ten and will test the Blackshirts run defense all game.  With a dinged up linebacking corps, the Huskers will once again have to rely on their young depth to step up and make plays. Shutting down Northwestern’s ground game is an unquestionable key if the Huskers want to walk away with a win today.

I believe we saw firsthand what Tanner Lee is truly capable of the last few with the final drive against the Boilermakers being the punctuation mark. Lee was poised, calm, cool, and accurate on the drive that flashed a little bit of tempo for the first time this season. Although the offensive line turned in another lackluster performance there were still rays of hope mixed in there as true freshman Jaylin Bradley was running with a purpose and tight end Tyler Hoppes had his first 100-yard receiving game.

I see the Wildcats as the 2nd most challenging game remaining on the Huskers schedule right now. The Huskers will have to be effective on first down and eliminate frequently being in 3rd and long situations. The defense will need to shut down the running game and continue to limit big plays through the air in order to win.

It’s another close one in Lincoln but the Huskers find a way to win.

Prediction: Huskers 27-23

Offensive MVP: Tanner Lee

Defensive MVP: Chris Jones

 

Derrick Stafford – Husker Cuz Cast Podcast @cuzcastderrick

Welcome to the battle of the NU’s coming to a Memorial Stadium near you! This weekends game marks the 4th battle in Lincoln between Northwestern and Nebraska with the Wildcats holding the edge 2-1. The only win for the Big Red was on a wild Hail Mary thrown by Ron Kellogg III that was eventually pulled down by Jordan Westerkamp on a tipped ball.

Similar to last week, the stats match up pretty evenly for both teams. Nebraska managed to pull out a victory last week over Purdue after throwing the ball 40 plus times and capping the game with a score in the closing minute of the game. Riley is now 1-10 in those games where the offense throws 40+ times.

To put it mildly, the run game has been ineffective and if Nebraska cannot get the run game going for this game I find it hard to believe the Huskers will win this game, facing a better team than last weeks Purdue. Northwestern is coming off a thrilling triple OT win against a much improved Michigan State team.

Look for Northwestern to come in pretty hyped after that victory, as they continue to improve week after week in typical Wildcat fashion and look to finish their season strong.

Prediction: Northwestern 30-24

Offensive MVP: J.D. Spielman

Defensive MVP: Carlos Davis

 

Adam Sutton – Writer, Husker Hype @AdamSuttonGBR

If you told me I’d be glued to my seat during a Nebraska-Purdue game, and that it’d come down to the last pass, I would’ve predicted a Husker loss. That’s just how things have felt these past few years – like Nebraska can’t get out of their own way.

Insert Northwestern, a team notorious for playing Big Red to the whistle even when the talent on the field leans in Nebraska’s favor. The Purple Nerds know their strengths and execute them well. In order for Nebraska to walk away from this with another win, and possibly give Riley some (false) hope of retaining his job, they’ll need to get the run game back on track. Jaylin Bradley might have shown he’s the all-around back they lost when Tre Bryant went out for the year.

There’s a very real chance that NW limps into this matchup absolutely exhausted by their two previous OT wins (one of them going into a triple overtime). Much like I stated earlier, however, that’s just not Nebraska’s luck. Expect a somewhat high scoring back and forth game that could simply end by a missed two-point conversion… but this time in Riley’s favor.

Prediction: Nebraska 31 -29

Offensive MVP: J.D. Spielman

Defensive MVP: Chris Jones

 

Justin Fielder – Husker Cuz Cast Podcast, @cuzcastjustin

Tanner Lee is coming off his best game as a Husker where he successfully led a come from behind rally over Purdue as he passed for 431 yards and tacked a 64% completion rate on top of that.

Lee will get another chance to shine as the Northwestern passing defense ranks 119th in the country. Wide receivers Stanley Morgan Jr and J.D. Spielman are set for big games here considering the Huskers struggles running the ball. Perhaps we will see true freshman running back Jaylin Bradley try and revive the Huskers running game this week again after he provided a big spark for the offense late in the Purdue game.

Northwestern comes to Lincoln off an overtime wins against Iowa and a triple-overtime win against a talented Michigan State and I think their luck is about to run out.  As long as Husker fans don’t quit on this team at home I think Nebraska gets the win.

Prediction: Huskers 23-20

Offensive MVP: Tanner Lee

Defensive MVP: Ben Stille

 

Tyler Shafer – Husker Cuz Cast Podcast, @ShafeMania

The Huskers will attempt to build momentum from last weeks come-from-behind victory on the road against Purdue. They will face a Northwestern team that appears to be peaking at just the right time as they’ve beaten the Iowa Hawkeyes and Michigan State in their last two games. The Wildcats held both of their opponents under 100 rushing yards in those contests which both stretched well into overtime.

Meanwhile, the Huskers continue to struggle rushing the ball averaging just 42 yards on the ground in their last two games. There is light for the Huskers offense though. Quarterback Tanner Lee has played great football over the last month averaging 330 yards and a single interception and will go up against the countries 119th ranked pass defense in Northwestern. They say that you should “run to open up the pass” but I think we may see the Huskers pass to open up the run this week instead.

This has the making to be a classic Saturday afternoon game at Memorial Stadium. So fans, be loud and help the team shut down the Wildcats!! At the end of the day, the Blackshirts will need to do their best to shut down Northwestern’s Justin Jackson as he pushes to become the all-time leading rusher at the school and with their injuries and struggle against the run I don’t see the Huskers getting it done.

Prediction: Northwestern 31-27

Offensive MVP: Stanley Morgan Jr

Defensive MVP: Mick Stoltenberg

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