Preview: Western Illinois at Northwestern

When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, September 20, 2014
Where: Ryan Field, Evanston, Illinois


Northwestern’s running game has been virtually non-existent this season and it may not see much improvement when the Wildcats play host to FCS member Western Illinois on Saturday. The Wildcats averaged 90 yards rushing - which ranks 112th in the country - in losses to California and Northern Illinois. The Leathernecks are stout against the run and not only held Valparaiso and Drake to a combined 163 yards rushing, but muzzled Wisconsin to 167 yards.

That’s not good news for the winless Wildcats, who have been searching for a featured running back since Venric Mark transferred out of the program during training camp. Justin Jackson has displayed the most promise with 92 yards rushing on 20 carries. Northwestern’s passing attack has shown more potential, but quarterback Trevor Siemian has been inconsistent.

TV: Noon ET, ESPNews. LINE: None

ABOUT WESTERN ILLINOIS (2-1): The Leathernecks are led by quarterback Trenton Norvell, who is completing 67.6 percent of his passes for 633 yards and five touchdowns. They will try to milk the clock with running back J.C. Baker, who is averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Defensively, the Leathernecks allow 18.6 points per game led by linebacker Luke Venegoni and defensive tackle Eddy Holtschlag.

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (0-2): The Wildcats have plenty of issues offensively with quarterback Trevor Siemian completing just 58.8 percent of his passes with three interceptions, while the running game is averaging 2.5 yards per carry. Wide receivers Cameron Dickerson and Kyle Prater, however, have developed into primary targets. Linebacker Collin Ellis paces the team with 21 tackles, but Northwestern has forced just two turnovers.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Northwestern has won seven consecutive meetings with FCS opponents by a combined 259-73.
 
2. The Wildcats yielded 221 rushing yards to Northern Illinois and ranks tied for 74th nationally against the run at 167.5 yards per game.

 3. Western Illinois’s seven sacks against Drake were the program’s most in a game since 2002.

PREDICTION: Northwestern 35, Western Illinois 21

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Western Illinois 2-1 W1 28.7 18.7 2-0 0-1 0-0 2-0 0-0
Northwestern 0-2 L2 19.5 27.0 0-2 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0

Last Meeting

Western Illinois Northwestern
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
No Previous Meeting.

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
WIU N/A
NW N/A
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
WIU N/A
NW N/A
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
WIU N/A
NW N/A
TDs Player TD
WIU N/A
NW N/A
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
WIU T. Norvell 67.6 633 5 3
NW T. Siemian 58.8 497 2 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
WIU J. Baker 59 327 5.5 1
NW J. Jackson 20 92 4.6 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
WIU H. Scott 13 157 12.1 2
NW C. Dickerson 6 111 18.5 1
TDs Player TD
WIU J. Baker 2
NW C. Dickerson 1

Quickchart Matchup

Western Illinois Off vs  Northwestern Def
392.7 yards
407.5 yards
5 yards/rush
3.4 yards/rush
8.9 yards/attempt
7.7 yards/attempt
Northwestern Off vs  Western Illinois Def
374 yards
348 yards
2.5 yards/rush
3 yards/rush
6.5 yards/attempt
6.1 yards/attempt

Live Game Odds

Lines History | All Odds
Home over/under
OPEN OFF OFF
Offshore Odds
CarbonSports OFF OFF
Sportsbook OFF OFF
5Dimes.eu OFF OFF
GTBets.eu OFF OFF
Top Bet OFF OFF
BetOnline.ag OFF OFF
BetDSI OFF OFF
AllYouBet.ag OFF OFF
Belmont OFF OFF
BookMaker.eu OFF OFF
Vegas Odds
Westgate OFF OFF
Mirage OFF OFF
Station OFF OFF
Best home line Recent line moves

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Western Illinois Overall Northwestern
2-1-0 W/L 0-2-0
1-0-0 ATS 0-2-0
0-1-0 O/U 0-2-0
28.7 Pts For 19.5
18.7 Pts Against 27.0
Western Illinois A/H Northwestern
0-1 W/L 0-2
1-0-0 ATS 0-2-0
0-1-0 O/U 0-2-0
3.0 Pts For 19.5
37.0 Pts Against 27.0