Prediction Friday – EIU

Due to trying to be a doctor, Roche was unable to get his prediction in by the deadline. Therefore we only have six warriors’ takes on tomorrow’s game for you today…but first let’s take a look at overall prediction records thus far.

Andy Trent Roger Roche Paul Hack ZVon
0-1
1-0
1-0
0-1
0-1
0-1
0-1

A big round of applause for roommates Trent and Roger. The water over on Grace must be lucky. And now this week’s predictions…

Andy Trent Roger Roche Paul Hack ZVon
nulogo nulogo nulogo   nulogo nulogo nulogo

ZVon

What do we have on our hands here?  A surprising start to a season in which most seasoned experts expected less than stellar results.  It’s really nice because being 1-0 vs. 0-1 is a two game swing.  It gives us hope, dreams, aspirations, etc.  The Stanford game may have been one of those nobody-believes-in-us wins but I’m hoping it inspired the Cats to say, ‘hello, world’ and get them geared up to keep surprising people.

Game Summary:  This has to be all Cats, right?  EIU got trounced last week by Western Illinois (a 33-5 loss) and frankly, we should be able to run all over them.  I see Thorson getting some more confidence during the game in the passing category, and after a tough week of practice for the Cats as Fitz was not happy after watching the last game, the Cats come out hunting.  We start often, and we start early.  Thorson gets another on the ground and Vitale makes his way into the zone.

JJ goes for 150+ and 2 TDs, highlighted by a 50+ yarder on the opening Cats drive of the latter half.  This one turns into a rout early.  Defense or special teams also pops in one for 6.

Score: 35 – 7

Players to Watch: Anthony “Cakes” Walker – this dude is a BEAST.  He gets 10+ tackles and a fumble recovery.  Love to see that.

Warrior to Watch: Paul Huettner – this guy knows how to get some things done – some call it scheming, others call it craftiness.  The craftiness pays off this week when we need to jerry-rig some fix for the van/grill and Paul gets it done.

Roger

Whale, whale, whale…. The ‘Cats are 1-0! My season prediction looks like hell, but, if you recall, my fantasy land game prediction from last week was spot on! We’ve now got hiiiiiiigh hopes. Some would say they are so high at the moment that Paul will be eating apple pie in the West Lot tomorrow afternoon. Maybe, but let’s not screw this one up because we could have ourselves another nerd showdown next week.

Game Summary: The ‘Cats need to impose their physical and athletic superiority in this one and I suspect they will. Having said that, we don’t have Ohio State’s offense, so I’m not expecting any real snoozers this season.

I think the ‘Cats will play this one fairly vanilla and pound the shit out of the ball with a great deal of success. At the same time, there’s an outside chance we open up the playbook a bit to let Thorson air it out and gain some confidence in the passing game. While that might happen, don’t look for anything other than your standard dink and dunk ‘Cats passing attack. True aerial shit would shock me here.

I see JJ and Vault going to town in the first half (with a little bit of Thorson on the ground as well). I’ll be looking for 200 yards rushing on the ground by the half. Then, it’s Auston Anderson time! We’ll finally get a chance to see what this kid is all about and ‘Cats fans are going to like it.

The key to the game offensively is to hold on to the ball and not let Mick get too cute with the play calling. Defensively, let’s go to town! EIU has a QB with some wheels, but anyone that saw NU’s defense last week knows this isn’t your father’s NU defense. We’ve got some speed on the edge. I expect the D line to have a field day with the EIU O line. We’ll be pressuring the shit out of Jalen Whitlow all day long (look for some heat from Anthony Walker and even the secondary). This will force him into some stupid passes and hopefully a few picks by our secondary.

‘Cats win! We all head home to watch the B1G try to redeem themselves against Oregon.

Score: 30 – 6

Player to Watch: Auston Anderson. Will he see the field and finally get some reps? (Runner Up: Dan Vitale. Does he still have hands?)

Play of the Game: Justin Jackson breaks off a Braxton Miller-like 50+ yarder late in the first quarter. People begin to wonder if this guy is poised to be the best ‘Cats back ever before he’s done playing.

Warrior to Watch: “One Eyed” Z Von. He was getting after it pretty hard last week.  By game time, Z Von was squinting to keep his balance (though he did knock over the table of food my mid-first quarter). What kind of work will he do this week given his game time arrival? Will he be able to get after it as hard with little time to prepare? Time will tell….

Trent

Game Summary: This should be a walk in the park for the ‘Cats, and we don’t say that very often. We found out last week that we’re at least a factor in the B1G West, and we’re playing an FCS team this week – a bad FCS team as it turns out. They lost 33-5 last week to Western Illinois – I mean really, 5 points?

The key to this game is to not sustain any injuries. I love you Justin Jackson, but I want to see very little of you on Saturday. This is our opportunity to get our new guys some PT in a low pressure situation, and see what they can do. I’m expecting a rotation at running back, and some Auston Anderson action. I think Clayton will probably play the whole game to get those additional reps, so hoping they open it up a bit to let him air it out. Would also like to see some other wide receivers step up – I don’t expect Christian Jones to play much at all, and Miles Shuler is questionable. With Cam Dickerson out, let’s use this game to find out who our third best WR is.

Game Score: Cats roll, 30-7

Player to Watch: Justin Jackson – how many carries will he get on Saturday, after an insane 28 last week? If Fitz keeps him in past the third quarter, I won’t be happy.

Play of the Game: Thorson hits Vitale down the seam for his first career TD pass.

Warrior to Watch: Roger Rankin. Will he leave at halftime of the blowout, causing the whole crowd to chant “Where is Rog-Ah?” like they did at the Pats game last night?

Day

Game Summary: The ‘Cats are hungry to fix issues that plagued the offense last week. Unlike years past, Northwestern is hungry to prove that they can be consistent and that we’re a legitimate contender this season. They go up big in the first half and never look back lead by another strong showing by Justin Jackson (200+ yards), and another turnover-less game for Thorson who posts 2 TD passes as well as one on the ground.

The defense handles its business and the ‘Cats again prevent their opponent from reaching the endzone.

Score: NU 42 – EIU 6

Player to Watch: Clayton Thorson – does he learn from his mistakes in week one and take advantage of a much weaker defensive unit?

Play of the Game: Dan Vitale finally comes to life with a 60+ yard TD.

Warrior to Watch: Roger Rankin – with his parents gone will the true Roger show his wild side?

Grayhack:

Game Summary: To be honest, I thought we were playing Ball State. As my good friend Akon says “It don’t matter no.” I know nothing about EIU other than Johnny “Eight Pitch, The People’s Champ” Jurcovic went there. While it hurts me to say this, but Johnny’s Eiu Panthers will be crushed. The monstrous Northwestern D line will have its way with the EIU defenders. Justin Jackson will run for 200 plus. I won’t be watching live, as I’ll be at a Nascar race supporting My DRIVAH, DALE Junyah.

Score: 38 – 10 Cats

Player to Watch: Clayton Thorson can he show marked improvement from week one to two.

Play of the Game: Christian Jones scores a 70 yard touchdown on a bomb from Thorson.

Warrior to Watch: Trent Stafford – Because fuck Roger #amiright

Huettner:

Game Summary: After a huge win against the trees, it’s good to have at least one game where you can put your feet up, crack a cold busch light, and watch the entire game from the West Lot without a care in the world. The Panthers haven’t sent a player to the NFL since Tony Romo (huge miss Rusty) and he’s terrible [Editor’s/Paul’s note: Garoppolo doesn’t count]. Surprisingly EIU has put out THREE head NFL coaches (Childress, Shanahan, Payton). Good on you panthers. Unfortunately they don’t produce any talent on the field and the Cats will run away with this one.

The defense does another tremendous job in this one with two takeaways (1 INT, 1 fumble) and holds the panthers to 2 field goals in a repeat of last Saturday. The Fucksaw Thorson is dialed in and throws 3 TDs with a highlight 67 yarder to Christian Jones. JJ picks up the final tuddy on a short run. Look for the O-line to continue to show signs of weakness and let’s pray to god the center has been hiking balls day and night since Saturday so we don’t have another pitiful performance over the ball.

Score: 31 – 6 Cats

Player to Watch: JJ – He’s going to be running all over these fools tomorrow.

Play of the Game: Christian Jones scores a 67 yard touchdown on a bomb from Thorson. (Rusty has a great call but is 3 yards off)

Warrior to Watch: Blake Yocom – Blake’s bringing up 3 friends tomorrow to cheer on the ‘Cats. Let’s hope the red, white, and blue confetti cannon makes an appearance.

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