Northwestern Wildcats (3-6) at Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2)
|Date & Time||Saturday November 15, 2014, 3:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Notre Dame Fighting Irish -17 -- Over/Under:
The Northwestern Wildcats and Notre Dame Fighting Irish square off Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
The Northwestern Wildcats have lost four straight games and have won just once on the road all season. Northwestern is led by a defense that’s allowing 22.3 points, 373.7 yards, and has forced 17 turnovers and 14 sacks. The Northwestern Wildcats have allowed 24 or less points in five of their last eight games. Chi Chi Ariguzo leads Northwestern with 80 tackles and Dean Lowry has five tackles for loss. Offensively, Trevor Siemian is completing 57.5 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and eight interceptions. Siemian has one touchdown and three interceptions in his last three games, and Northwestern has just seven passing plays of 25 or more yards. Kyle Prater and Dan Vitale have combined for close to 700 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while Tony Jones has eight of his 25 receptions in his last two games. Northwestern's running game is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry, and Justin Jackson leads the way with 761 yards and five touchdowns, and he’s scored three times in his last three games.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have lost two of their last three games and lost a possible playoff spot last week after getting rocked by Arizona State. Everett Golson is completing 61.7 percent of his passes for 24 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Golson has 11 touchdowns and seven interceptions in his last three games, and Notre Dame has 25 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Notre Dame is 2-2 SU when Golson throws at least two interceptions. William Fuller and Corey Robinson have combined for more than 1,100 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, while C.J. Prosise has 162 receiving yards and a touchdown in his last two games. Notre Dame’s ground game is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, and Tarean Folston and Golson have combined for 10 rushing touchdowns. Defensively, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are allowing 25.3 points, 365 yards, and they’ve forced 17 turnovers and 16 sacks. Jaylon Smith leads Notre Dame with 67 tackles and Matthias Farley has 3.5 sacks.
The Wildcats are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 road games and 4-15 ATS in their last 19 games overall. The Fighting Irish are 1-3-1 ATS in their last 5 vs. Big Ten and 3-7-1 ATS vs. a team with a losing record.
After the performance Notre Dame just gave, it's hard to be confident in laying this much chalk. However, the Northwestern Wildcats have shown nothing positive on the offensive side of the ball, and they'll need to be able to score in order to keep this game close. While I don't 100 percent love the pick, Notre Dame should be able to win this game easily and help get that nasty taste out of its mouth.