Western Illinois at Northwestern Free College Football Picks & Odds
by Josh Schonwald - 9/17/2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Ryan Field in Evanston
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Northwestern has been the epitome of the lackluster Big Ten this season, starting off the year with two outright losses in games they were favored to win by a TD or more. The Wildcats will seemingly get on board in the win column this week against the Leathernecks, but Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and the legions of fans no nothing is guaranteed in this topsy-turvy start to the season.
WIU has experience playing big name programs, losing a 37-3 battle in Madison two weeks ago to the Badgers. The loss to UW was sandwiched in between victories over Valparaiso 45-6 and Drake 38-13. Western Illinois knows that a victory over a top in-state school could be a benchmark for a successful 2014 season. The Leatherneck defense was able to stop Wisconsin's stud running back Melvin Gordon, holding him to 38 yards on 17 carries but stacking the box opened up room for the Badger passing game to eclipse 289 yards and 3 TD. WIU will likely employ a similar strategy against Northwestern, forcing Wildcat QB Trevor Siemian to beat them.
Northwestern will have 2 weeks to get right after the bye week followed a 23-15 loss to Northern Illinois. The Wildcat defense has shown an inability to stop the run or pass, allowing over 400 yards to the opposition in both games. The normally strong point of the Wildcat rushing attack has also faltered, ranking 115th in the country after averaging just 90 yards per game.
The game against WIU Saturday represents one last chance for the Wildcats to get into the win column before entering a tough Big Ten schedule that features games against Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Michigan as well as a late season tilt against Notre Dame mixed in.
Western Illinois Leathernecks Betting Trends
Western Illinois Leathernecks are Against the Spread
Western Illinois Leathernecks are against the Over/Under
Northwestern Wildcats Betting Trends
Northwestern Wildcats are 0-2-0 Against the Spread
Northwestern Wildcats are 0-2-0 against the Over/Under
Injuries to Watch
Western Illinois Leathernecks
No injuries to report at this time
09/17/14 WR Tony Jones Lower Body expected to miss Saturday vs. Western Illinois
09/15/14 DL C.J. Robbins Suspension expected to miss Saturday vs. Western Illinois
09/14/14 CB Dwight White Undisclosed "?" Saturday vs. Western Illinois
09/14/14 WR Mike McHugh Undisclosed "?" Saturday vs. Western Illinois
09/14/14 QB Trevor Siemian Leg injured last game, "?" Saturday vs. Western Illinois
08/27/14 DL Sean McEvilly Foot out for season
08/13/14 WR Christian Jones Knee out for season
Josh's Pick: Take Northwestern
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