Lowes Line


Indiana State Preview and Prediction

By Charlie Simon

Matchup: Indiana State Sycamores (1-0) at Northwestern Wildcats (0-1)
Date: Saturday, Sept. 11, 11:00 a.m. CDT
Line: Northwestern (-28!)



Northwestern's return to the gridiron in 2021 was underwhelming to say the least.  No one quite knew what to expect from the 2021 Wildcats as they lost the majority of their offensive weapons and defensive standouts from 2020.  There were the optimistic thoughts that with the great offseason of recruiting that NU had made it to the big time and could simply Expect Victory.  As any team not coached by Nick Saban eventually finds out, you can't just walk out onto the field and be handed the win.  You have to earn it.  And in the opener for both teams, Michigan State did earn the victory.  They were the aggressor.  They attacked.  NU tried to react but was left looking flat footed.

The offense was OKish.  Hunter Johnson looked fine.  He was sharp with his passes but he was falling back on many of them as the O-line was over matched.  The receivers are nothing to be afraid of at this point so the opposing Defense can key on the running game.  The loss of Cam Porter was also evident.  The trio of runners that replaced him were acceptable but not spectacular.  Some group on the offense needs to be better than average for NU to be successful.  Right now no group is.

The defense was the bigger concern.  NU simply made way too many mistakes.  There were way too many missed tackles and missed assignments.  If theses problems aren't corrected soon, it could be a long season.

Luckily Indiana State comes to Evanston tomorrow.  NU should be bigger and stronger and in general should have their way against the FCS foe.  It will be a good week to correct the mistakes on defense and give the offense more time to find its identity.

I expect the trees to stay close for the first half but NU will pull away.  It should be a beautiful day for a game and there will be special tributes as this is the 20th anniversary of 9/11.  Get out and enjoy the game and life.

Just don't expect NU to cover 28 points...

Pick:  Northwestern 30, Indiana State 13.  Take the Trees and the points.

Season to date: Straight Up (0-1), Against the Spread (0-1)

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 Lone Star Cat, GallopingGrapes, P.S. O'Briant, Eric Cockerill, Joel Kanvik, Charlie Simon, and MO'Cats) have continued the Line in memory of Marcus.  For the 2021 season it has returned to HailToPurple.com, for anyone to enjoy.  Thanks to the gridiron brain trust at the Lowes Line!