It’s gameday eve yet again, and the Warriors (along with our special guest predictor Abe Schwadron of TDDaily.com) are ready to bring you our predictions for the ‘Cats 2013 home opener. So without further ado, here they are!
Game Prediction: I see Kain playing this weekend. I think Trevor will get most of the snaps, but I think he will be out there near 100%. I do not think Ricky Football will play. I think he rests his “lower body injury” another week before coming back to play.
Syracuse had a rough go of things offensively last week against PSU, and I think the trend will continue against a (hostile?) crowd in Evanston. Dwight White will step in and improve on last week’s game (mostly because Drew Allen is a step down from Jared Goff). Siemian and Treyvon Green pick up where they left off last week. Number 22 adds a red-zone rushing TD early in the game after a long Trevor-to-Christian Jones strike. Trevor adds another through the air to Drake Dunsmore..er..Dan Vitale. 14-0 early. Syracuse adds a FG after a decent drive and some secondary lapses. The ‘Cats respond with a Kain-led drive that ends with him diving onto the pylon. 21-3 at half.
The Orange come out strong in the second half and cut the lead to 21-10. That is as close as it will get. An opportunistic secondary grabs a pair of INT’s later in the half, and NU picks up some easy points on some short drives. Syracuse scores a pair of late TDs to get us a little sweaty, but this one is over [relatively] early.
Score: NU 38 – Syracuse 24
Game Highlight: Smothering first half defense, led by Tyler Scott’s two sacks
Player to Watch: Treyvon Green (He will eclipse the century mark yet again)
Game Prediction: I see this game following the storyline of last week, with a tad less drama. The ‘Cats strike first this game, on a pass from Trevor Seimian. Yes, that’s right, Trevor gets the start this week. Kain has his helmet on and is available, and inevitably gets some snaps – say 10-15 – but T-Bone plays most of the game.
Syracuse challenges rookie Dwight White early but can’t convert on key 3rd downs and settles for a pair of field goals. NU heads into the locker room up 17-6. Northwestern’s offense stalls early in the 3rd, and ‘Cuse finds the endzone for the first time and thus raises the average blood pressure in Evanston significantly. The ‘Cats respond, however, with a huge run play from Colter which sets up a Trevon Green TD (yes, that means Ricky Football isn’t playing much Saturday either, if at all).
The ‘Cats hold off the Orange’s late game attacks with a timely interception and are able to find the endzone one more time to put it away.
Score: NU 34 – Syracuse 19
Game Highlight: Ifeadi Odenigbo (yes, I spelled that correctly without looking it up) doubles his sack total from week 1 (2 this game)
Player to Watch: Christian Jones
Game Prediction: Is this the last hurdle between the big showdown? Possibly. I only say that because Western Michigan looked like complete ass last week so I’m not terribly worried about them at the moment. Having said that, I’m sure I will be next week. Of note, there are a few other hurdles between us, an undefeated Ohio State and College Gameday. First and foremost, Ohio State could very easily lose at Cal or at Wisconsin. They didn’t look like a world beater last year (despite their 12-0 record) and they had the same issues last Saturday against mighty Buffalo.
Also, we have this looming on the schedule October 5th (which came out of nowhere with Washington’s ass kicking of Boise State this past weekend):
At least tickets are available for $7.
Game Summary: This could be more interesting than we think. Syracuse has far more film to work off of than we do. This might sound ridiculous, but Syracuse played us last year and well… we didn’t play them. They have a new staff and new quarterback and we don’t. So, in short, we have 1 game of film to work with and they have a lot more. Nonetheless, I think Northwestern’s offensive firepower will be too much for the Orange this weekend. Colter will make his way back on to the field and have an immediate impact PASSING rather than running. For the second week in a row, I don’t expect a whole lot out of Venric Mark. He’s clearly banged up and it has become increasingly more obvious over the past year that he is far less dynamic with Siemian than he is with Colter.
The Cats will jump out to a quick lead behind the Siemian to Vitale combo. I expect this to be working all day. Syracuse’s secondary was weak last year and I would imagine it will be weak once again. I do expect Syracuse to remain in the game until the middle of the 3rd when we start to pull away. We must not be deceived by their lack of offensive firepower last weekend. Penn State (for as much shit as we give them) is a pretty good football team with an excellent defense. ‘Cuse will pick on Dwight White and will have success until we adjust with some additional safety help.
Ultimately, I see the ‘Cats pulling away late in the 3rd and prevailing by pounding the ball in the 4th.
Score: NU 37 – Syracuse 21
Game Highlight: Siemian to Dan “Dicky V” Vitale for a 73 yard touchdown (Note: he may carry two defenders for the last 40 yards)
Player to Watch: Ibraheim Campbell
Game Prediction: The ‘Cats get off to a great start in front of a raucous home crowd. Siemian takes them the length of the field with some dinks and dunks, and then Kain enters in the red zone and punches it in. After that, I see a lot of three and outs for both teams. I think this will be a low scoring game. Cats get two FGs from #Budzien4Groza and lead 13-3 at half. ‘Cuse never really gets going in the second half and gives up two more FGs to Jeffy B before a Trevor to Vitale 12 yd TD strike. A late ‘Cuse TD provides the final margin of 26-10.
Score: NU 26 – Syracuse 10
Game Highlight: Treyvon Green rushes for a 55 yarder in the 3rd quarter
Player to Watch: #ColinEllis4Heisman (but seriously, look at the Heisman watch on ESPN)
Abe (Online Editor at TDDaily):
Game Prediction: Who’s healthy? At full strength, this is cake for Northwestern. If Kain Colter and Venric Mark are on the field and feeling spry, everybody gon’ eat. If they’re sideline swaggin’ instead, it’ll be a dogfight. Syracuse, for whatever reason, gives NU problems. I was in the Carrier Dome back in ’09 when Mike Williams caught 11 passes for 209 yards and the Orange won by 3. Cats couldn’t stop anything that today, nor could they stop much last year in a 42-41 NU win at the Dome. I was there for that one, too, but I was drunk.
Score: NU 34 – Syracuse 24
Game Highlight: Chi Chi Ariguzo gets a pick and a fumble return, because he sniffs out the ball like a bloodhound. After both plays he does the Manziel Get Money dance, then gets a 5th-place Heisman vote from an anonymous ESPN.com blogger
Player to Watch: Mike Trumpy aka Trump Thunder aka Magic Mike aka Slight Work aka Mike in Brazil aka Trump Towers aka Trumplestiltskin aka Hawaii Mike
Thanks again to Abe for giving us a prediction for this week. Apparently he gets our whole nickname thing… Did I mention he’s a proud Medill alum? #ProseBowl2013
Guest: 0-0-1 (No pick last week)