Big Ten Battle: Northwestern at Purdue — Odds, Preview, Predictions

Trevor Siemian is putting the caps on a great collegiate career, with 2000-plus yards in each of his junior and senior seasons.
Trevor Siemian is putting the caps on a great collegiate career, with 2000-plus yards in each of his junior and senior seasons.

Time: Sat, 11 AM CST
Spread: EVEN

The Purdue Boilermakers have dropped four straight to fall to 3-7 in Big Ten play this year. This week may offer a chance for redemption for Purdue, entering the game at EVEN odds against a 4-6 Northwestern team.

Purdue has had little go right for itself this year. The team is averaging a negative 6.3 point differential, while getting just 159.7 yards via the rush and 187.5 in the air.

In Purdue’s defense, its last three contests have come against ranked Big Ten foes, and the Boilermakers will have a chance to end the season on a positive note, with woeful Indiana slated for next week.

Sophomore QB Austin Appleby has taken over at QB. Appleby is a big 6’5” 229, and he’s been decent thus far in limited time. Appleby has thrown for 1,075 yards at a 52.4 percent clip with eight TDs and six INTs in his five starts this season. His best game came in his first start against Illinois, when he threw for 202 yards and rushed for an additional 62 yards.

Appleby had 25 rushing yards or more in three of four games, before managing just six yards last contest against Wisconsin.

Northwestern has been tough defensively this year, but has been unable to get much going on offense. The Wildcats hold opponents to 24.1 points per game, but are generating just 20.5 points per game itself. NW gets just 125.2 yards per game via the rush, while not faring much better in the air (219.9 yards per game).

Last week, the Wildcats scored an improbable victory over then-No. 18 Notre Dame. NW won in OT, after scoring the final 10 points of regulation to even the score. Trevor Siemian threw for 284 yards on 30-of-48 passing, while Justin Jackson rush for 149 yards and a TD. Notre Dame led 20-9 after the first quarter, but Northwestern scored 17 points in the second half to tie the game.

Justin Jackson has been effective in the backfield, but has received little help. Jackson has rushed 198 times this season, while Treyvon Green has just 57 attempts. Jackson is at 910 yards on the season with six TDs rushing and an additional via reception (146 yards on the season receiving).

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