Lowes Line


Kentucky Preview and Prediction

By Jersey Cat

Matchup: Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl - #21 Northwestern Wildcats (9-3, 7-2 B1G) vs Kentucky Wildcats (7-5, 4-4 SEC)
Date/Time/ Location: Friday, December 29, 2017, 3:30 pm CST, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, TN
Line: NU (-7.5)


The 'Cats (the NU kind) come into the postseason riding a seven-game winning streak, winning seven conference games for the first time in the Fitz era. With a win, NU would have won ten games for the third time in six years, a pretty incredible feat.

After starting 2-3, NU turned it around, storming past Maryland, getting some good breaks in winning three consecutive overtime games, and then dominating Purdue, Minnesota, and Illinois to close the regular season.

Senior back Justin Jackson rushed for over 1,000 yards for a fourth season in a row, and QB Clayton Thorson had a solid redshirt junior campaign, set a school record with 26 wins, and has 44 TDs through three seasons, making him the most accomplished passer in NU a history in three seasons. That said, that Thorson formally declared he'd be returning for his senior season was a surprise to no one paying attention.

I like the way NU's defense has been playing of late, and while Kentucky is a mid-level SEC team, compared to the bottom half of the Big Ten West that NU had feasted on since early November, the Wildcats of Lexington should provide as good a test as NU had seen in some time.

Be that as it may, I like the Evanston 'Cats to continue to play the solid defense we've seen over the second half of the season, which will be the difference, as well as show they're able to move the ball on the ground.

Pick: Too easy to say go with the Wildcats. Look for our boys from Evanston to get win number 10, but the 'Cats from Kentucky to cover.  Northwestern 24, Kentucky 17.  Take UK and the points.

Season to date: 8-4 straight up, 5-7 vs the spread.

Best wishes to all Lowes Line fans for a happy and healthy 2018.


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!