Northwestern vs Western Michigan Is the Symbolic Match-Up of the Decade2 min read
Did that title hook you? Of course it did. I went to a Jesuit college so don’t act so surprised. Anyway, I’m not not wrong. This is such an awesome game for Great Lake area college football fans, even if it doesn’t seem like it. I love to see MAC teams lace it up against (arguably not) lower tier Big Ten teams. Call it Rust Belt bias but I am actually so amped for this game. Northwestern had a well above average season last year, despite a heartbreaking ending to it. Western Michigan, in the opposite corner, isn’t some DIII team, they’re a legit team in a rising conference. The last time these 2 teams met, NU won 38-17 back in 2013 but that might as well have been a lifetime ago. NU is a 5 point favorite in this match up, but that’s assuming that they go out and gain an early lead. The Wildcats really, really, realllly struggled with overcoming an early deficit (i.e. Michigan, Tennessee, Iowa). If they come out hot and play not to lose, that’s where will see the Cats excel. An unconventional game plan but that’s just what undersized programs have to do to win against bigger programs and NU is certainly a small fish in a Big Ten sized pond. I think some boxer did the same thing way back when. Justin Jackson RB for Northwestern, however, is no butterfly. This kid is the real deal. Pat Fitzgerald looks to lighten his load (he had the 3rd most carries in FBS, behind Christian McCaffrey and Derrick Henry) with a reinvigorated pass attack. Clayton Thorson QB took over the offense just last year so now that he’s a year wiser, the high speed pass game/scrambling that NU is known for should be making a big comeback.
Pending any injuries, I think that the season opener at home is a double digit lock for the Wildcats. NU 35, WMU 17.The more seasoned offense looks to explode, hopefully giving the defense a chance to show off some. Welcome back, autumn. Welcome back, football. Nice to meet you, National Championship? Doubtful but ya never know.
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