Northwestern Preview: They're Just Northwestern

Anyone want to take odds on how long Stanzi stays in this game before another one of jNWU's anonymous thugs "accidentally" injures him for the game? I'm saying 6 minutes left, third quarter. But there's no way Stanzi finishes this game. They have to pull garbage like this. They're just Northwestern.

News, Notes, and News

Two-deeps are here. Important things here are that Adam Robinson is back, Adam Gettis probably isn't, and Mike Daniels has outperformed Broderick Binns this season to the point that Binns is no longer listed as a starter. Binns will likely see plenty of playing time still, mind you, but Daniels should likely see more. This isn't altogether a bad thing, anyway; Binns' strength has always been mostly limited to pass rush, and there's little merit in putting Ballard out on the edge on a 3rd and long. That disruption isn't there on rushing plays, though--not nearly as much as it is with Daniels. This move is an easy one.

Analysis

Northwestern has blown significant leads in all three of its losses this season, and that's likely because of its thorough lack of a rushing game to help preserve a lead and shorten a game. The offense is almost entirely Dan Persa, and the rest is extraordinary effort by Jeremy Ebert and Drake Dunsmore. The offensive line's not much, but Northwestern will scheme its way around that, as it has for the last 10 years. Do not expect six sacks and a broken quarterback this week.

Meanwhile, the one-two punch of Adam Robinson and Marcus Coker should put a dent in the Northwestern rushing defense, which allows a middle-of-the-pack 141 rushing yards (Iowa, meanwhile, allows 85--best for 5th in the nation--and will likely allow even less on Saturday). Will it be enough to get Northwestern's back seven leaning forward enough that Stanzi can get the play-action game going? Probably... at least until Stanzi gets "accidentally" shanked by Corey Wootton (who shouldn't even be on the field to begin with, on account of no eligibility, but who still has such a bloodlust for Stanzi that nobody could really put a stop to the assault once Wootton got it in his head).

Northwestern will likely move the ball rather well between the 20s, to the point that a mere three and out should elicit great cheers from the vastly Iowa-partisan crowd. Iowa's linebackers should struggle to cover at times, but the threesome of James Morris, Jeremiha Hunter, and Jeff Tarpinian is experienced enough that Northwestern will at least have to work for its first downs.

Prediction

If Northwestern plays a clean game, Iowa will win by 10-14. If Northwestern plays a clean game. Ha. Hahahahaha. Northwestern wins 31-27 after every single Iowa starter exits with stab wounds or charges of soliciting money. No, just kidding. Iowa rolls, 27-13, Northwestern is just Northwestern, and things start coming back to normal.

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