Prediction Thursday – Purdue

Will that $260 million investment pay dividends??

Tonight’s game (7pm Central) is going to come down to who will be starting under center. The entire crew believes the Cats are going to win in that scenario, but Roger has put in a caveat to his pick where Purdue is the victor if Thorson doesn’t start. Sad!

Here’s to a starting out a tough season with a W Cats fans!

Andy Trent Roger Roche Paul Hack ZVon
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OR

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Slate is clean. Who is going to be the best money line picker this year??

Andy Trent Roger Roche Paul Hack ZVon
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Onto the predictions…

ROCHE

Game Summary: I haven’t read or watched much of anything this off-season. So my knowledge of the upcoming season is based on the thousands of texts in our thread that I didn’t bother to read. I’m excited to see Thornton back on the field after his injury. I wonder if Fitz is going to platoon Ol’ Bigsby and TJ.

Final Score: ‘Cats 27 – Boilers 24

Play of the Game: Something something something big third down stop in the fourth quarter.

Player to Watch: Whichever QB is under center

Warrior to Watch: Roger just got a promotion! How will he celebrate?

Other Game to Watch: Notre Dame – Michigan. Both teams are looking to recapture some 90’s glory to kick off the season.

TRENT

Game Summary: Is Thorson going to play? Will we see TJ Green instead? Fitz is keeping his cards close to his vest and we won’t know for sure until game time on Thursday. However, I’m not sure that’s the key factor in this game.

Purdue lost eight players on defense from last year. We should put up some points regardless of who’s starting. Purdue scored 13 points against our defense in Evanston last year, including a garbage time TD. Sure, Brohm will come with some tricks and gadget plays in the first game of the year. The ‘Cats simply can’t prepare for those and Purdue will score as well. But at the end of the day I trust our D over the Boilermakers’ D. ‘Cats win in a squeaker.

Game Score: ‘Cats 24-21

Play of the Game: Paddy Fisher strip sack.

Player to Watch: Isaiah Bowser. Love this kid. Hopefully he gets some PT.

Warrior to Watch: Andy Day. Vegas baby, Vegas!

Other Game to Watch: FAU – Oklahoma. Lane Kiffin brought some energy to the Owls last year and they can certainly put up some points. So can Oklahoma. This should be a high scoring game and a fun one.

PAUL

I can’t believe we’re doing game summaries on a Wednesday. Just doesn’t feel right. Hopefully NU will get an extra 2:30pm/evening games to make up for it, but that’s going to require some winning.

Game Summary:We’ll have perfect weather in podunk West Lafayette so expect to see some passing from both teams, but this is going to be a trench battle. With Thorson not 100% even if he starts, NU is going to look to keep his reps and hits minimal instead handing the ball to Bowser (great t-shirt content potential here). Tied at 12 going into the half as both teams give up safeties. NU pulls away in the second half with crucial pick by NU defense (more below) to seal the deal. Vegas boys then double their sports winnings at the craps table.

Final Score: NU 25 – PU 19

Play of the Game: NU INT by Paddy Fisher in the end-zone in early Q4 for a touch back

Player to Watch: Flynn Nagel. WRs gotta bring the heat this year. Tomorrow is the time to set the tone.

Warrior to Watch: ZVon. Will he be rocking the one eye after Durkins?

Other Games to Watch: Washington v. Auburn. Atlanta. Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Top 10 match-up. SEC begins their season long downfall.

DAY

Game Summary: There is a general consensus of the Wildcat faithful that the ‘Cats will be good this year, but this schedule is just too hard to handle. I generally like seasons where no one gives us a fighting chance. When there is too much hype (see 2013 for example) we generally fall flat. The real question is… can we start the season off strong. Despite an exciting 10 win campaign in 2017, the ‘Cats started 2-3 including a loss to a Duke team that ended up being not all that stellar. In the last two seasons the ‘Cats are 3-5 in their first 4 games of the season with one of those losses coming against FCS Illinois State. So to me, the biggest question is can we figure it out from the opening kick of 2018?

I think we can. ‘Cats win in a close one. The defense is the difference with a multi-sack effort from Joe Gaziano and a winning the turnover battle.

Final Score: ‘Cats 28 – Purdont 21

Play of the Game: Clayton breaks off a huge run off of a broken play, takes a hit, coaches yell at him. Still exciting. ‘Cats score on the next play on a Larkin run.

Player to Watch: Obviously whoever is under center, but let’s also see how Larkin does in his first go as the #1 back. He quietly averaged 6.0 YPC last season.

Warrior to Watch: Another obvious pick, Trent. See you in Vegas tomorrow buddy.

Other Games to Watch: I’ll take the battle of the OSUs. Can Ohio State overcome the controversy and beat Oregon State in Week 1?

ROGER

Game Summary: I can’t remember the last time a game was so entirely dependent on something already known (will Thorson play?), but not known to the masses.

For the record, I think Thorson is either playing the vast majority of the game or not playing at all. I don’t really understand why they would platoon him. He’s either capable of playing or not. It seems binary to me… even with short yardage sneak situations.

If Thorson plays, I actually think the offense will be better than it was when he was fully healthy. We won’t see nearly as much option bullshit. That’s good because it doesn’t work particularly well with Thorson. He’s fast as a downhill runner, but he isn’t shifty at all. Mick will be forced to limit his called runs/run options with Thorson.

If Thorson doesn’t play, well, you’re kidding yourself if you think NU’s offense will be able to do anything. If Thorson doesn’t play then TJ Green will be our quarterback. He has never thrown a pass. I don’t care how bad Purdue’s defense is/was/will be. TJ Green is unlikely to light up the Purdue secondary and they know that just as well as you and I know that. They’ll stack the box. It will be impossible to run. The whole game will be painful because…..

Purdue will be able to score some points. I expect our front seven to be pretty good though I’m a bit worried about the loss of Tyler Lancaster. Our secondary is inexperienced and they will make a few mistakes. Also, Purdue has a deadly set of NFL caliber tight ends that will challenge our secondary. I expect plenty of action with Paddy and company in coverage which could open up the game for Purdue if our front 4 isn’t capable of shutting down the Purdue running game.

So…… yea. Thorson? or no Thorson?

Final Score w/ Thorson: NU 31 – PU 21
Final Score w/out Thorson: PU 41 – NU 17

Play of the Game w/ Thorson: Thorson QB sneak TD on the first drive. If he’s cleared to play, then he’s cleared to get tackled and he should be in on short yardage situations.
Play of the Game w/o Thorson: TJ Green throws pass to himself (deflection off the head of an offensive lineman)

Player to Watch: Uh…. Thorson

Warrior to Watch: ADay and Bag. They’ll be in Vegas. I wonder what kind of action we’ll see with the line in the 10 minutes leading up to kickoff.

Other Game to Watch: We’ll go with Washington vs. Auburn. A lot of people have Washington in the Playoff. That seems absurd to me. I think we will see why on Saturday. As an aside, I’m always excited about the start of the college football season, but most of the “can’t miss” matchups tend to end up as duds in Week 1. Let’s hope that’s not the case this year.

ZVON

Game Summary: I love the ‘Cats. They have to win this one – would be pretty classic NU to lose tho.

Final Score: ‘Cats 17 – Purdue 13

Play of the Game: Clayton Thorson takes the first snap of the season for the ‘Cats.

Player to Watch:  Paddy – what a name!

Warrior to Watch: Grayhack – rumor has it that this guy may have to play hurt.

Other Game to Watch: All the games! It’s opening weekend.

HACK

Game Summary: The Cats are better at every position than Purdue. This game won’t be close. Roll Cats.

Final Score: Northwestern 38- Purdue 17

Play of the Game: Larkin 75 yard touchdown on the 2nd play from scrimmage

Players to Watch: The O line: Are they for real?

Warrior to Watch: Trent, will he be the new owner of a casino by the end of the weekend?

Other Game to Watch Notre Dame VS Michigan : The All-Overrated Bowl

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