Lowes Line


Purdue Preview and Prediction

By GallopingGrapes

Matchup: Purdue Boilermakers (4-5, 2-4) at #25 Northwestern Wildcats (6-3, 4-2)
When: Saturday, November 11, 2017, 6:00 p.m. CST
Line NU (-4.5), O/U 48.5



And from those ancient days my story bring,
When Boilermakers from Lafayette passed in hostile fleet,
And ravaged Evanston, with Jeff Brohm their king,
Flushed with his youthful rage and furious heat;
Who on King Fitz's, the Purple emperor's head
Had vowed due vengeance for the asskicking laid upon them in 2016, dead.


In the same strain of Thorson will I tell
Things unattempted yet in prose or rhyme,
On whom strange madness and rank fury fell,
A man esteemed unstoppable in former games;
If he, who to like cruel passing and blocking has well
Nigh brought loyal fans' feeble wit which fain would name
And hourly Shiner Bocks waste my sense, yet concede me skill
And strength my daring promise of Lowes Line prognostication to fulfill.

(Credit: Orlando furioso, with apologies to Ludovico Ariosto and William Stewart Rose)

Per tradition, the victims of this NU football preview are forced to endure the mind vomit that comes from whatever I've most recently downloaded onto my Kindle.  Sometimes, it's barely a step above the Penthouse forum (which I'm not sure is even still a thing, maybe I should ask FBI).  Unfortunately, at the moment I've been trying to exercise my brain muscle with the 1820s translation of a 16th century epic Italian poem regarding the Matter of France.  I know it's probably difficult to envision, as in your collective mind's eye you no doubt imagine me sitting on a Saturday morning in front of the television, not entirely unlike the Buckingham Palace Guard on casual Friday in my new favorite Geico commercial.  But allow your imagination to carry you instead to Texas, the heart of Big 12 Country, from whence this week's Lowes Line flies into your email inbox.  While my kids attack the hotel breakfast buffet like the Tsavo lions taking down colonialist railroad workers, I sit nursing my weekend-long wedding buzz with a morning Mexican coffee and the dark, crispy remnants of eternally warmed bacon as I search for inspiration to describe a football contest against freaking Purdue.  I will grant you that it was a struggle to figure out what to say about Boilermaker football, which frankly hasn't been interesting since they stole the recently departed and indisputably awesome Joe Tiller from Wyoming 25 years ago.

The epic hero of today's gridiron clash, the Roland of our story, is Future Denver Broncos Running Back Justin Jackson, who as he climbs the career B1G record book also is poised to become only the second RB ever to notch four 100-yard rushing games against Purdue (joining Ron Dayne).  Jackson's chance at this very specific accomplishment depends upon the NU offensive line NOT playing like they just met the Purdue DL on Match.com.  Guys, you aren't on the field to try to get to second base I know wrong sport don't worry about it just stay with me the Line is running late today and my buzz is wearing off.  Anyway, Purdue's team strength is supposedly its run defense, but on a nut-shrinkingly cold night in Evanston, look for FDBRBJJ to post his hunny and get the 'Cats one step closer to a bowl game against the Saracen hordes of a middle tier ACC team.  Frankly, that might be all the creditable football analysis you'll get from me this week.  Shockingly, I can't name a single player on the Purdue team.  I saw a tweet somewhere noting that the Boilermakers had been dealing out of the Colter/Siemien playbook with a QB tandem most of the season, but will be down to just one QB tonight.  Beats me which one NU's defense will have the pleasure of smashing into the frozen turf of Ryan Field.  The Wildcats have played more football this year than anybody, but as a courtesy to the fans freezing their butts off in the stands I think they will keep their feet firmly pressed on Purdue's neck, and avoid a fourth straight overtime game.

The real danger faced by our Wildcats is their newly minted top 25 ranking (no kidding, they snuck into the playoff rankings despite choking on the Dookies this Fall).  Granted, the committee technically ranks all 130 teams, but if you follow the B1G in 2017, you really only care about the Top 25, because the top 8 slots are beyond reach, like Prestor John in unexplored Ethiopia, sorry Wisconsin.  Anyway, if you don't mind another reference to the legends of Charlemagne and his greatest chivalric knight, a top-25 ranking for the Wildcats has proven to be as terrifying an opponent as the Moorish giant Ferracutus, descendant of Goliath, who enjoyed an Achilles-like invulnerability to mortal weapons, except in his navel.  Let's hope NU can pierce their #25 ranking right in the bellybutton, and climb the list to inflate Wisconsin's curriculum vitae as the Badgers' best win, dooming them to the Florida Citrus Bowl.  Speaking of rankings, it is a banner moment for NU's revenue sports.  Football is ranked, and I must note that NU's hoops heroes start their campaign with a top-20 ranking (!!) and a not-really-home victory in Rosemont over Loyola (Md), in a squeaker that should not have been that close.  The BasketCats even snagged a top-15 recruiting class this week.  Thank God their alums still set the nerd meter to its highest setting with Italian poetry game previews.  Surely the English Lit department is proud of me, right?  No?  Hey, hands off my B.A.

Prediction:  Take the 'Cats and lay the points.  NU 23, Purdue 17.  The 'Cats treat Purdue like Slats Grobnik banging down honest to God boilermakers in the darkness of a lower Wacker Drive tavern on a Tuesday night after deadline.

Season to Date: 6-3 ATS; 3-6 straight up.


The Lowes Line is an e-mailed description of NU's next football game, with an invariably fearless prediction of the outcome and how NU will fare against what the other "experts" predict.  Our good friend and Brother Marcus Lowes began the broadcast mailing in 1996.  The crack Lowes Line Staff (alumni Jersey Cat, GallopingGrapes, Eric Cockerill, Joel Kanvik, Charlie Simon, and MO'Cats) have continued the Line in memory of Marcus.  For the 2017 season it has returned to HailToPurple.com, for anyone to enjoy.  Thanks to the gridiron brain trust at the Lowes Line!