Northwestern is back in action Saturday, hosting Bowling Green at Ryan Field on Sept. 16. The Wildcats are coming off a tough, 41-17 loss to Duke in Week 2.
Here’s everything you need to know about Northwestern’s Week 3 game against Bowling Green.
Northwestern-Bowling Green game time, details
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
Date: Saturday, Sept. 16
Location: Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill.
Weather: Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 70s around kickoff on a clear night.
The line: Northwestern -21.5
What channel is showing Northwestern-Bowling Green?
The game will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
How can I watch Northwestern-Bowling Green online?
The game will be streaming on BTN2Go.
How can I listen to Northwestern-Bowling Green on the radio?
The game will be on the radio on 720 AM WGN in Chicago.
Northwestern-Bowling Green preview
Northwestern, once thought to be a contender for the Big Ten West title in the preseason, has since fallen back to earth in a very quick, yet sobering fashion.
Last weekend, the Wildcats were drubbed by Duke, 41-17, in a game that might still have been even more lopsided than the final score suggests. NU was out gunned, out classed and out manned by a Duke team, which was piloted by captain quarterback Daniel Jones.
The Blue Devils were able to move the ball with ease on Northwestern, which was falling victim to an extremely thin defensive back corps. Coming into week 3, Northwestern will be down three cornerbacks. Starter Keith Watkins is out for the season with a non-contact injury, while his backup, senior Marcus McShepard, was also ruled out for this week.
McShepard’s absence leaves the Wildcats without a senior cornerback, which will throw graduate student, and former Robert Morris player, Moe Almasri into a more active role as the team’s third-string cornerback.
Although, luckily for Northwestern, the Wildcats’ opponent on Saturday is Bowling Green. This bodes well for Northwestern for a couple of reasons.
First, the Falcons struggle immensely against the run. Bowling Green has given up a total of 429 rushing yards (215 against Michigan State and 214 against South Dakota) in two games this season. One of the Wildcats’ biggest weapons, running back Justin Jackson, is arguably the second-best running back in the Big Ten behind Penn State’s Saquon Barkley.
Second, the 0-2 Bowling Green lost to South Dakota, an FCS school, 35-27. This is a pretty good indication that the Falcons aren’t very good, and that Northwestern might not need to be 100 percent healthy to beat them.
The best case scenario for Northwestern is simply this: suffer no injuries.
Bowling Green is not a very good football team. Northwestern, on the other hand, is an experienced one which is currently going through fixable issues.
The following week is a bye week for Northwestern, which will give coach Pat Fitzgerald’s team a much-needed week off to recover from their current stretch of injuries.
That is of the utmost importance for the Wildcats. The week immediately following its bye week, Northwestern will travel to Madison for its Big Ten opener against No. 10 Wisconsin, which the Wildcats were expecting to contend with for the Big Ten West title.