The Northwestern Wildcats (1-2) host the Ohio Bobcats (0-3) Saturday morning. The 'Cats will wear purple jerseys with black helmets and pants in their Week 4 contest. Below is everything you need to know to stay up-to-speed on game day.
Date: Saturday, September 25, 2021
Time: 11:00 am CT Kickoff
Location: Ryan Field; Evanston, IL
Watch: Big Ten Network
Listen: WGN Radio 720
ESPN Football Power Index: The Wildcats have a 94.1% chance of winning.
Spread: Northwestern -14.5
How to Bet: Find the latest odds and place your bets on the Wildcats to cover the spread at SISportsbook.
Follow @SIWildcatsDaily on Twitter for live game updates and exclusive content throughout game day.
The Bobcats are looking for their first win of the season, after stumbling out of the gate, 0-3.The Wildcats will look to capture their second win of the season before heading into conference play next weekend in Lincoln.
The Bobcats offense has struggled, to say the least, thus far this season. Out of the 130 FBS teams, Ohio currently ranks 117 in total offense, tied at 120 for scoring offense, tied at 117 for third down conversion percentage at 30%, and are tied at 119 for Red Zone offense. The Bobcats are averaging 16.3 points and 301 yards per game, as redshirt sophomore quarterback Kurtis Rourke has completed 40 of 70 attempts with 416 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
According to Albin's most recent press conference, he and his Bobcats are fully aware that they have been struggling to finish drives offensively, especially on third and long. To make matters worse for Ohio, three starters on the offensive line went down in last week's game against Louisiana Lafayette, allowing several members of the Bobcats to make their first career start against a Power 5 opponent in the Wildcats.
As for the Bobcats' defense, they are known to run both three and four down linemen. According to Albin, Ohio is planning to prioritize the four down defense against the Northwestern run game due to the strength of the Wildcat offensive line. Albin also pointed out in this week's press conference that they are preparing for both Hunter Johnson and Andrew Marty at quarterback.
In last week's contest against Louisiana Lafayette, the defense was completely worn down by the second half due to the inability of the offense to extend drives. Seeing as Northwestern's offense has gotten off to considerably slow starts (such as last week's struggles against the Blue Devils), the Wildcats can look to take advantage of this in the second half and make some offensive gains.
In terms of rankings, the Bobcats are much more effective in defending the passing game than the rush, as they are ranked at 124 of 130 FBS teams for rushing defense compared to 35 for passing yards allowed with 182 and 86 for team passing efficiency defense.
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