Saturday, November 14, 2020, Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, Indiana, 7:30 p.m. ET
Wildcats at Boilermakers Betting Preview: Wildcats (-3), Boilermakers (+3)
Northwestern Wildcats Betting Preview
The No. 23 Wildcats (3-0, 3-0 Big Ten) have won their first three games for the first time since 2000 and will be looking to stay at the top of the Big Ten West Division in this matchup of unbeatens.
The Wildcats can credit their defense for their early success.
The unit has not allowed a point in the second half the entire season. For the three touchdowns it has surrendered, two of the possessions started inside the Northwestern 10-yard line and the other started inside Wildcats territory. Northwestern’s scoring defense ranks seventh in the country, and its total defense is 18th.
In the 21-13 win over Nebraska last week, the unit stepped up again. With the Cornhuskers at the 3-yard line looking to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, Chris Bergin intercepted quarterback Luke McCaffery’s pass to keep the Wildcats’ 8-point lead intact. It was one of two interceptions Nebraska quarterbacks threw that day.
“We’re getting excited, getting on each other’s backs, making plays and having a damn good time doing it,” Northwestern linebacker Blake Gallagher said. “We’re playing some good ball right now, but we have to keep correcting things and taking it to a new level every week.”
On offense, the Wildcats are hopeful to have starting running back Isaiah Bowser back after he missed the game against the Cornhuskers.
Purdue Boilermakers Betting Preview
Purdue (2-0, 2-0 Big Ten) is right behind Northwestern in the conference West Division after getting an unexpected open date when a scheduled game against Wisconsin was canceled last week because of the Badgers’ COVID-19 outbreak.
“Bye weeks can be an advantage, but sometimes I don’t like to take them,” Purdue coach Jeff Brohm said. “We had a decent rhythm going and we just got to make sure we are back in that rhythm.”
The Boilermakers have played without star wide receiver Rondale Moore for their first two games. The All-American had originally opted-out in August but returned to the program when Big Ten announced an October start date.
Brohm has not given a reason for Moore’s absence.
Moore’s first collegiate game was against the Wildcats in 2018, and the Indiana native immediately made a name for himself. He had 11 catches for 109 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 79 yards and a touchdown, and amassed 125 yards on kick returns.
“They don’t give out the term ‘All-American’ by accident, and I think we were a little bit a part of that,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald said.
Moore isn’t Purdue’s only dynamic and explosive weapon on the outside. Sophomore wide receiver David Bell has 22 catches for 243 yards and four touchdowns this year. Fitzgerald believes he is the best receiver in the country.
Wildcats at Boilermakers Betting Pick for November 14, 2020
The Wildcats have enjoyed a 7-4 advantage over the Boilermakers since Pat Fitzgerald took over the Northwestern program in 2006 and have won four consecutive meetings. The last time they two teams met in Ross-Ade Stadium, the Wildcats escaped with a 32-27 win. Purdue won 24-22 last year in Evanston on J.D. Dellinger’s 39-yard field goal with three seconds remaining. Aidan O’Connell passed for 271 yards and two touchdowns in his first career start for the Boilermakers.
Wildcats at Boilermakers Betting Pick:
Wildcats 24, Boilermakers 14
Wildcats at Boilermakers Best Bet for November 14, 2020
Purdue has scored 55 points in two games, Northwestern 85 in three. The Wildcats have yet to give up a point in the second half of any of its outings in getting off to a 3-0 start and have allowed only 36 points total in wins over Maryland, Iowa, and Nebraska.
Wildcats at Boilermakers Best Bet: UNDER 50.5