Posts Tagged ‘Northwestern Wildcats’

Gator Bowl Predictions – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern 1/1/13

December 31st, 2012 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Gator Bowl Predictions – Mississippi State vs. Northwestern 1/1/13
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Gator Bowl LogoOur 2013 bowl predictions continue on Tuesday, January 1st with the Gator Bowl, and we are set to make our Gator Bowl predictions, tips, and keys to the game for the duel between the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Northwestern Wildcats.

2013 Gator Bowl: Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Northwestern Wildcats
2013 Gator Bowl Location: EverBank Field, Jacksonville, FL
2013 Gator Bowl Date/Time: Tuesday, January 1st, 12:00 p.m. (ET)
2013 Gator Bowl On TV: ESPN2, Watch ESPN

Click Here For The Rest Of The 2012-13 Bowl Game Schedule And Other Bowl Game Previews

Key #1: The Wildcats have to get Kain Kolter involved in all facets of the game
QB Kain Kolter is really a quarterback in name only. He is the prototypical “Slash” type of player, and he’ll line up against anyone in any position on the field. He’s just that great of an athlete. Kolter isn’t the best passer in the world, but he will take some snaps under center and in the shotgun and throw the ball. He had 796 passing yards with eight TDs and just two picks, but at this point, it is almost a bit more of a gimmick for him to throw the ball than anything else. Still, he is the Wildcat quarterback and is quick as the wind, and his 12 rushing touchdowns this year were no mistake. He had 820 yards as well and averaged 5.2 yards per carry, and that number includes all of the times that he was sacked as well. Kolter was also frequently split out wide at the receiver position as well. He caught 16 passes for 169 yards on the outside. This is the type of man that really can mess with the game plan that the Bulldogs have defensively, and the SEC reps have to be prepared to see anything and everything out of Kolter.

Gator Bowl Odds at WagerWeb Sportsbook
Mississippi State Bulldogs +1.5
Northwestern Wildcats -1.5
Over/Under 53.5
Click Here to Bet Your Gator Bowl Picks!

Key #2: Venric Mark has to have a big time game
Those in Evanston really thought that Mark should have been considered for the Heisman Trophy at some points this year. Just a junior, Mark is going to have another chance to flash his skills next year. He had 213 carries for 1,310 yards on the ground in his primary trade, but he also proved to be a decent receiver with 101 yards and a great return man as well. All told, Mark ended the season with the most all-purpose yards in the Big Ten with 2,048, and he is going to have the chance to get the ball in his hands a solid 20-25 times in this game between offense and special teams. The Mississippi State defense is going to have to be all over the field, knowing exactly where Mark is with the football, because one misstep, and the junior could be off to the races. This is the man that has the ability to blow this game out of proportion if the Wildcats get ahead.


Key #3: Tyler Russell has to take care of the football and hit some big plays to Chad Bumphis
Northwestern had a defense this year that made some big time plays against the run, but this secondary is absolutely suspect at best. The Cats ranked just 97th in the country, allowing 261.6 passing yards per game, and that came against a Big Ten conference that just didn’t have all that many great passers in it this year. The time is clearly here for QB Tyler Russell to be a playmaker in this, the final game of his junior season. An ankle injury has slowed down Russell just a bit, but there is a clear difference in his stats between his wins and his losses. In wins this year, Russell threw for 19 TDs and just one pick. In four losses, he had three scores and five INTs. Those latter numbers just aren’t going to cut it, and it is a clear indication that this team is only going to go as far as Russell takes it. WR Chad Bumphis is the big play man and the favored receiver that Russell has to work with, and if he makes some big time plays, as he has done sporadically over his whole career in Starkville, the Bulldogs are going to have a real chance at the mild upset.

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Ticket City Bowl Picks: Texas Tech vs. Northwestern Analysis

December 31st, 2010 by Adam Markowitz (Bankroll Sports Columnist) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on Ticket City Bowl Picks: Texas Tech vs. Northwestern Analysis
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Every single year, the Northwestern Wildcats seem to figure out how to play a few games every year that just make you go “Wow!” College football betting fans hope that one of those games is on New Year’s Day at the Ticket City Bowl. The Texas Tech Red Raiders will basically be playing on their home turf, as this game is played right up the road at the Cotton Bowl. The three keys to this game should help you make your Ticket City Bowl picks to start your New Year’s Day off right!

Key #1: Evan Watkins needs to be a very unexpected hero
When QB Dan Persa went down with an Achilles injury, the argument really could have been made that the season went down the drain with it. This was a Northwestern team that could have played in a significantly better bowl game this year if not for the fact that it really just fell apart with two blowout defeats down the stretch. Watkins was absolutely nowhere near the quarterback that Persa was either in the air or on the ground. Persa threw for 15 TDs and rushed for nine more, completing 73.5 percent of his passes and averaging over 50 yards per game on the ground. Watkins only has 48 total rushing yards, is completing just 53.1 percent of his passes, and has only one score against four picks. The good news is that there has been plenty of time to prepare for this game. This is also a Texas Tech defense that can really be had, especially against the pass. The Red Raiders averaged 306.1 yards per game through the air, ranking second to last in the nation in the regular season.

Ticket City Bowl Odds at JustBet
Texas Tech Red Raiders -9.5
Northwestern Wildcats +9.5
Over/Under 60.5
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Key #2: Both of these teams need to establish a running game
Did you ever think the day would arrive that Texas Tech would be the dominant running team in a game? The days of the Air Raid are said and done with, but this is still a high flying Texas Tech offense. The Red Raiders do have two great backs though, in RB Eric Stephens and RB Baron Batch. Batch was hoping to become the first Texas Tech runner to reach the 1,000 yard barrier since before Mike Leach was in charge of this offense, but he fell a couple hundred yards short. These two did combine for over 1,400 yards and ten TDs on the campaign. For Northwestern, this could be a very tricky situation. The team did run for 151.7 yards per game this year, which ranked a reasonable No. 68 in the country. However, if you take Persa out of the equation, you’re losing 519 yards and nine TDs on the ground. The team’s third leading rusher, RB Arby Fields has transferred, while both No. 1 runner, RB Mike Trumpy, and fourth leading rusher, RB Jacob Schmidt are injured and are listed as questionable. The Red Raiders at least have the ability to win this game without a running attack because of their nature, but Northwestern doesn’t stand a chance with Watkins under center. Still, whichever team gets something going on the ground is probably the one winning this duel.

Key #3: The Cats need to put a body on Lyle Leong
WR Lyle Leong is essentially the second coming of WR Michael Crabtree in this Texas Tech offense. The senior did just about everything this year for the Red Raiders, and he is quite often the target deployed right near the goal line in virtually every instance. He only had 64 catches this year, which seems like a pedestrian number, but a whopping 17 of those passes went for TDs. The Cats really had no luck playing defense for the mass majority of the season, and until RB Mikel LeShoure went absolutely bananas against this team on the ground, the pass defense was what really struggled. Allowing 230.5 yards per game through the air in a Big Ten conference that focuses more on the rush than on the pass just isn’t all that good, and if Leong can get loose and continue to find the end zone in this game, the Ticket City Bowl odds are certainly going to be stacked against them.