College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Northwestern vs. Purdue 11/14/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Northwestern visits Purdue on 11/14/2020 at 7:30PM.

Northwestern and Purdue face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Northwestern has a record of 3-0 this season. Purdue is 2-0 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Northwestern Team Defense Preview

Northwestern has had 32 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.72 plays per drive. Northwestern lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Northwestern opponents pass the football 63.39% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Northwestern opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.76 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

Northwestern has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Northwestern has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Northwestern Team Offense Preview

Northwestern has had 31 total drives this season and they generate 6.48 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Northwestern. Northwestern is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Passing plays make up 36.32% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Northwestern is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Northwestern can take credit for 2.42 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Northwestern has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Northwestern is a better passing team than running team this season.

Purdue Team Defense Preview

Purdue has had 25 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.8 plays per drive. Purdue lets opponents run a lot of plays per drive and in the Fourth Quarter, this team could be gassed. Purdue has a generally average defense. Nothing too special about it, but they are capable of rising up when needed. Passing plays make up 50.34% of their opponents’ play calls.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

This is a pushover defense. There is not enough push from the Defensive Line and not enough imagination from the Defensive Coordinator to cause chaos in the backfield.How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Purdue can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 3.17 yards per carry. This defense lets offensive lines have too much control over them on the ground, too much push from the opposing offensive line. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Purdue has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Purdue Team Offense Preview

Purdue has had 25 total drives this season and they generate 5.52 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Purdue has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Passing plays make up 63.77% of their play calls.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

Purdue struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.56 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have had average success disrupting the flow of the Purdue Offense. Front sevens are causing an average amount of trouble for the Offense. Purdue is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Northwestern Roster

The Players to Watch for Northwestern

Peyton Ramsey QB 6-2 220

This season, Peyton Ramsey has put up 511 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has thrown 3 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 129.1thus far this season. Peyton Ramsey has thrown 3 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Peyton Ramsey has 101.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 81.32 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 28.0 times this season, which puts him in the 74.73 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Drake Anderson RB 5-11 190

This season, Drake Anderson has 193 rushing yards on 35 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 2 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Drake Anderson picked up 21 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 1 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman WR 6-2 203

This season, Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman picked up 112 yards. He caught the ball 11 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jake Saunders DT 6-2 300

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Northwestern, Jake Saunders has 4 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 78.14 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 35.43 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Earnest Brown IV DE 6-5 270

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Northwestern, Earnest Brown IV has 7 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 2 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 71.42 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.91 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Brandon Joseph DB 6-1 192

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Northwestern, Brandon Joseph had 17 tackles which puts him in the 69.47 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 77.36 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Brandon Joseph as a ball hawker was able to pick off 3 passes last season, which puts him in the 99.28 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Purdue Roster

The Players to Watch for Purdue

Aidan O’Connell QB 6-3 200

This season, Aidan O’Connell has put up 653 yards and 5 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 149.8thus far this season. Aidan O’Connell has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Aidan O’Connell has -45.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 3.56 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 7.0 times this season, which puts him in the 38.08 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Alexander Horvath RB 6-3 230

This season, Alexander Horvath has 231 rushing yards on 43 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 1 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Alexander Horvath picked up 55 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 8 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

David Bell WR 6-2 205

This season, David Bell picked up 243 yards. He caught the ball 22 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 4 receiving touchdowns this season.

Lorenzo Neal DT 6-3 325

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Purdue, Lorenzo Neal has 2 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 27.14 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 35.43 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Semisi Fakasiieiki DE 6-2 230

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Purdue, Semisi Fakasiieiki has 5 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 1 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 54.21 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 32.91 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Brennan Thieneman S 6-1 210

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Purdue, Brennan Thieneman had 12 tackles which puts him in the 58.85 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 34.52 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Brennan Thieneman as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.1 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Cam Allen CB 6-1 200

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Purdue, Cam Allen had 11 tackles which puts him in the 63.39 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 37.12 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Cam Allen as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 85.08 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Northwestern vs. Purdue Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Northwestern 25 Purdue 19

Spread Pick: Northwestern -2.5 -110 BetOnline
Moneyline Pick: Northwestern -150 Bookmaker
Total Pick: Under 51.5 -116 matchbook