awb20121020_1940_fbc_nebraska_at_northwestern

500 Words on Northwestern

Best guess at a record when the Wildcats face Nebraska:

The best guess would be 6-2, with Northwestern losing to only Ohio State and Wisconsin prior to facing Nebraska. It could easily be 7-1, depending on that Wisconsin game which the Wildcats could win, but 6-2 seems more probable right now.

The one player you simply must know:

We’re going to cheat this time because there cannot be one player to watch without the other. Those two players are quarterbacks Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian. Colter finished 2012 with 872 passing yards, 894 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. Siemian finished 2012 with 1,312 passing yards and 6 touchdowns. Needless to say, alone each put up good numbers, but together their numbers are impressive.

Both players have experience on the field and will wreak havoc to defenses that are unsure of themselves. The two will be fundamental to the overall success of the Wildcats 2013 season.

How’s the match-up for Nebraska?:

This match-up isn’t an easy one for Nebraska. Northwestern has been a pain in the Huskers’ side for the last two seasons. With Pat Fitzgerald overhauling Northwestern’s football culture one season at a time, the Wildcats have been a force to be reckoned with.

Northwestern returns a total of 17 starters, with seven of those on offense, eight on defense and two on special teams. If there is one strength Northwestern possesses in 2013, it is returning talent.

However, if there is a weak spot to be had for Northwestern, which there hardly is, it would be the offensive line, only because it returns the least amount of starters. The interesting matchup here will be that Northwestern allowed the least amount of sacks in the Big Ten in 2012. Nebraska, on the other hand, had the second-most sacks in the Big Ten in 2012. Interesting matchup, no? Bo Pelini has every right to focus some time here, as Nebraska could make a difference by putting pressure on Northwestern’s quarterbacks, something they are not used to.

Final verdict:

Northwestern will only be the second FBS team Nebraska will face that ended 2012 with a winning record when the Wildcats arrive in Lincoln (the other is UCLA). An advantage is that the Huskers get Northwestern at home, which should not be similar to the last time the Wildcats were at Memorial Stadium. This time, Nebraska knows what to expect from Fitzgerald and his team. The Wildcats won 10 games in 2012, making them a contender for a portion of the season to win the Legends Division and making them as much of a contender once again in 2013.

This game will be a test for the Huskers who have struggled again Northwestern. The Wildcats will bring everything they have, led by a slew of veteran starters. Northwestern will focus heavily on wearing down the Husker defense, so Martinez and the offense will have to stay ahead. That will be the key to securing a narrow win.

Prediction:

Nebraska 34 Northwestern 31.