Cats Corner: The Gameday Podcast: Episode 1

Lawrence Price, Audio Editor



Cats Corner debuts with its first ever Gameday podcast featuring the Gameday staff. The group talks about Northwestern football’s offensive and defensive struggles against Maryland last weekend, and the upcoming matchup against Iowa.

JOHN RIKER: If the Cats go one and 11, I’ll say on the pod, I said it on the Instagram story — I’ll jump in Lake Michigan on the last night of publication for The Daily this fall



LAWRENCE PRICE: What’s up everybody, this is the Gameday Podcast for The Daily Northwestern under Cats Corner. I am Lawrence Price, the Audio Editor and I’m alongside the Gameday staff. You’ll get the intros in a second, but we’re just here to break down everything Gameday, everything football. So, whoever wants to intro yourself first.

CHARLOTTE VARNES: I’m Charlotte Varnes, I’m the Sports Editor of The Daily this quarter.

JOHN RIKER: I’m John Riker, the Gameday Editor.

SKYE SWANN: I’m Skye Swann, the Assistant Gameday Editor.

ALEX CERVANTES: And I’m Alex Cervantes, and I’m an Assistant Sports Editor.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Ok, so of course we know Northwestern lost 31-24 at Maryland last weekend on Saturday, and we had a few of you all go to the game — right, John, Skye, both from Maryland. So, can you talk about, you know, the experience of being in the press box but also being back in that area?

SKYE SWANN: Yeah definitely it was a great experience getting to go back and, like John and I, both being from Maryland, getting to be on that campus when I’ve been a couple times with family and friends. It was great to see and a lot of purple out in the stands, which is also great. And just seeing how much promise they had in the first half, it was kind of shocking — thought we were gonna get that upset against Maryland Homecoming weekend. So, that was a great experience. But, the second half not so much. So, yeah.

JOHN RIKER: Yeah, a homecoming game for the Terrapins, but also a homecoming game for both of us kind of getting to go back to our home state and it was a fun experience overall like a fun stadium. A well-equipped press box with lots of good food, so gotta give a little shout-out there. And also fun to see Andrew Golden one of our previous Sports Editors and a previous Gameday Editor, got to catch up with him and some old friends, and I think it was a more competitive and more exciting game — especially with Brendan Sullivan coming in then a lot of people expected, but obviously didn’t go the Cats way at the very end.

JOHN RIKER: It was just a refrain pretty much from the past two years where it was the whole crowd roaring when Roman Hemby broke that 75-yarder. That’s something that I’ve heard so many times over the past two years, and that’s just following this team everywhere we go, whether in the Midwest or on the East Coast.

LAWRENCE PRICE: So, okay, we can transition into the game then, as we know, you just said like the 75-yard run that Rowan Hemby had. What do you think, you know, the positives and negatives work from the game? Anybody can talk about it, I mean, I can say my thoughts, I mean, I just feel like when you talk about big plays and coach Fitz has talked about big plays, you give up a big play and that’s the deciding factor in the game. I mean, like you said Skye, they had a very promising first half and they just kind of fell apart.

SKYE SWANN: Yeah, for sure. I definitely felt going into halftime, Northwestern had an advantage and seized some moments using the running game with Brendan Sullivan, Evan Hull, but then coming out half the Terrapins as you could tell by the second half third quarter, they made adjustments and Northwestern didn’t. And it was kind of like, Maryland was like, “We’re just gonna put our foot on your necks and then we’re gonna squeeze it even further until you suffocate.” And that’s what we saw basically in the third quarter to get that advantage, and then Northwestern had to just gravel their way back to try to get a lead again in the fourth.

JOHN RIKER: I think that since everybody was, seemed like a lot of people were expecting a blowout —


JOHN RIKER: — that it kind of had somewhat of a positive. I thought Northwestern might have a chance, but I think the consensus was it was not gonna be a very competitive game. Maryland’s had a great offense this year. But I think the overwhelming like the tenor of the of the result is negative — like it didn’t amount to anything. They gave up 31 points to an offense with the backup quarterback in, fell to one and six on the season. Can point to like Brendan Sullivan doing well or Tomi — Tomi (Adetomiwa Adebawore) had a great game. Bryce Gallagher was historic as well for this defense. But it’s only going to get tougher from here. Like Maryland has been a great team — they’re now Bowl-eligible. They had a backup quarterback, it doesn’t get any easier. Get Ohio State, get a road game against that Iowa defense. Illinois’ looking great this year — this is one that it felt like the Cats had to win with a 10-point lead and then to give up all those unanswered points and lose that game the way they did, it’s a really hard just outcome to swallow for Cats fans and it should be for the Cats’ players and coaches.

LAWRENCE PRICE: What do you both think?

CHARLOTTE VARNES: Yeah, I think generally like, obviously like they didn’t win like it was a negative result. And they had them at the half. It was just very tough to watch but I think one positive was Brendan Sullivan looked a lot more comfortable than that first game where he threw three straight three-and-outs and it just, he looked really badly. Like even with the interceptions at the end, like that kind of handed the game away. Like I will say that at the end he liked he did not have a great second half, but I felt like he looked much more comfortable overall and he just like hasn’t played football in a while, and I think like once he gets more into these games, he’s going to be a decent quarterback and he looked good.

LAWRENCE PRICE: I mean, I talked about well, yeah, when I interviewed Brendan, he said he hasn’t played in over two years. So that’s one thing and of course that’s just gonna happen like having the mistakes, like you said, but also I feel like the defense just didn’t give him a good enough job, or do a good enough job to put the offense in a position to win. Alex, can you talk about it? Because I know in your article you talked about nine plays, but you know, what do you think?

ALEX CERVANTES: I mean, that turning point kind of was. You start off with the ball after going into halftime with a seven point lead and you start with the ball and you make your way into Maryland territory within 90 seconds. And so you think we’re you’re kind of in that stretch again, where you think they’ve they’ve come out of halftime, you think that we’re going to be able to continue this momentum and then Sullivan talked about he’s on the right hash and he just made a misread and he throws the ball straight into a Maryland defender so that kind of did it in, and then Maryland obviously goes down and scores a touchdown. It was Hemby’s second touchdown I think on the day and then he obviously had a late 75-yard burst.

But I don’t know, it’s just tough like coach Fitz talked about it postgame but really is the missed tackles and like you think, like I’m not trying to call out A.J. Hampton, but he dove at Hemby’s ankles on that 75-yard bust. Clair just scored the touchdown, right, Northwestern just tied it up 24 apiece. You think maybe a stop, maybe Maryland drives into field goal territory. Maybe they miss, I mean the Maryland kicker had already missed one. So but like their, Maryland to their credit blocked that play really well but just poor positioning and then like there was like an endzone angle that I found on Twitter that did not look any better in terms of where the defense was, but that’s what I’ll say.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Gotcha. And you talked about you know, well, we all know like wide open or open field tackles are very difficult to make —

ALEX CERVANTES: They are, they are.

LAWRENCE PRICE: — but they’re definitely the game changers. John, you talked about you know Tomi’s play and Bryce’s play, were there any, like, other people that you felt stood out in the game for you know, Northwestern, or, of course, Bryce had just a career day. Just tackle wise but were there any outside of just Tomi and Bryce that you felt like had a good game?

JOHN RIKER: Yeah, I would say Evan Hull for sure. Evan Hull had a really great day. Because this run game had been doing pretty poorly in previous weeks. They didn’t eclipse 80 yards against either Wisconsin or Penn State. And that’s what’s supposed to be like this offense’s strength. Not putting all that on Evan, Evan’s been great in the passing game as well and a lot of that does go on the O-line. But when Northwestern was able to control the line of scrimmage and then establish that run game, that made things easier on Sullivan. He could establish himself as a runner, but really just watching Hull just dice ‘em up, get some big plays, get this offense that’s, that’s probably the biggest positive, this offensive looked electric at times. I think you don’t have any of that without Evan Hull having a big game. And it’s been for a guy who was 1,000-yard rusher and maybe a little quieter start to the season aside from the Duke game for him. If Northwestern is to win one of these games down the stretch against Big Ten competition, he has to be a huge factor and he was this game.

LAWRENCE PRICE: And Skye, you talked about, or you wrote about the run game. Was that the, you know, a similar aspect you had with Brendan Sullivan and Evan Hull’s, you know, dynamic that they brought to the table?

SKYE SWANN: Yeah, for sure. I definitely felt like, despite the outcome, you could definitely tell the running game, like John said, was something that of course they’ve been struggling on the past couple of weeks but it looked strong and it looked like if they keep working this angle for the rest down the stretch, it could definitely be a contributing factor to maybe getting a win or a couple wins later in the season. And also, even finding Andrew Clair late in the fourth quarter might be a fourth back, starting back, but he definitely helped contribute to getting that touchdown late in the fourth And so if they just keep using that run game they could potentially keep at bay the defenses until they work out their passing game later in the season.

JOHN RIKER: Yeah, and going off Skye, we’ve seen some good things from Hull this season. We just haven’t seen what we expected from Porter, from Tre, and from Clair as well. So to see them, Porter had some good runs, and getting that touchdown late from Clair is a really good sign for this run game.

LAWRENCE PRICE: I think it’s difficult, just having four running backs that could I mean, two of them are captains, right, you’re trying to spread the load. And then also you have Sullivan who can run, it’s like “Who do we have to, who do I give it to at all times?” Of course, Evan Hull you’re gonna give it to him at all times, but like, Cam Porter you got him, and then Tyus, Andrew Clair. And it’s I feel like it’s gonna be real interesting coming up next year to see of course who returns but what’s going to happen? I mean, you know, if you’re a guy that wants to take the next step and then Evan Hull’s in front of you it’s going to be very difficult if he comes back and you’re still going to be the two guy, the two-three guy. So, but I feel like I know where you all feel on this next topic, but with Brendan Sullivan and Ryan Hilinski, we’ve seen Sullivan in, you know, play a full game now, and then we’ve also seen Ryan Hilinski through what? Five games. So, you had to pick right now the quarterback that Northwestern has to go with for the rest of the season, who would you all pick?


LAWRENCE PRICE: Well, why do you say that?

ALEX CERVANTES: There’s a level, to a certain degree, Hilinski, for better or worse, is kind of a known commodity and we know his faults, we know his strengths. In Sullivan, there’s a little bit more of an intrigue there because he is now only featured in like a game and a half, right? And so, he’s also a year younger, he redshirted last year. If he is your quarterback of the future, you want to get him those snaps now. Plus, if he offers you more mobility out of the pocket, he’s faster, he’s a better runner. I think he can probably take hits better, even though he usually is sliding, but I don’t know, I feel like the passing game will come, right? Like he was 18-of-24, and two of those were bad incompletions. The first one we’ve already talked about, right? Like, it was a misread — young quarterbacks are gonna have that. The second one, I can kind of give him a pass on that. You’re trying to chase the game with three minutes left and you’re trying to force the deep ball, the safety read it well. Again, it’s something you learn from, but I think this offense is looking more successful with him under center.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Gotcha. I feel like Charlotte I know where you’re gonna go as well. I mean, would you agree with Alex, or would everybody agree with Alex?


CHARLOTTE VARNES: I mean, like it’s so tough to say like just give him time and he’ll get better but like literally just give him time and I think that he’ll become a better player. Just like you said having two years off football, that’s a really long time and like, honestly, like Northwestern has nothing to lose at this point. Like might as well just let him develop and let the offense develop around him. I think he’ll be great the rest of the season.

SKYE SWANN: I mean, we even saw between Wisconsin and Maryland, he’s definitely has grown, he has been more comfortable on the field. So, just a matter of time before he gets even more comfortable with the guys on the field and getting confident in passing.

JOHN RIKER: Yes, I’m also now thinking that Sullivan is the right move. You saw what he did to that run game.

LAWRENCE PRICE: So you didn’t think in the beginning, would you say?

JOHN RIKER: Well, Hilinski was the best quarterback in the Big Ten in that first week.

LAWRENCE PRICE: True, true, true.

JOHN RIKER: You can’t understate, he had one of the best performances by a Big Ten quarterback all season against Nebraska in Ireland. For him to establish himself that way — and even in the Duke game, like he helped the team come back, but it’s just — they went from having such great quarterback play to the point where it’s like below average for a couple of weeks.

I think it’s really important for…one of the things that derailed last season was that they just kept going back and forth between quarterbacks, all the way through the last game, like all the way through the Purdue, the Illinois game. I think there were probably like seven or eight quarterback changes the whole season.

I think if I was Pat Fitzgerald making the call I would say stick with continuity. One, because Sullivan looked pretty good this week and has improved from his first appearance to his first start. Two, you get to see as everybody’s saying, you get to see what’s out there for the future.

And three, just so that you’re not flipping back and forth and making a constant drama of Who’s In Who’s Out. I think that that will make a lot of sense for this Northwestern offense, even if they can’t find their way to win out and get bowl eligibility. I think that there’s a lot of benefits to having Sullivan that you won’t necessarily get with Hilinski. And you get a faster quarterback.

LAWRENCE PRICE: I think I was talking to you weeks in the past and even my guy Bradley Locker as we discussed a lot about the football team. But, Ryan Hilinski kind of reminded me of Hunter Johnson last year. I feel like Hunter started out amazingly, even though they lost the Michigan State game, he looked really good and then kind of declined over time. But, do you all think that Fitz is going to go back to Hilinski at any point? Or, of course we have what we think should happen, but do you think he’s going to go back to Hilinski now that most likely he’s out of concussion protocol and could be ready to go against Iowa?

ALEX CERVANTES: Absolutely. They are playing an incredible Iowa defense this weekend. If Sully starts off with a couple turnovers, I don’t think, this Iowa offense is not explosive so it very well could, even if Northwestern is losing the turnover battle in the opening quarters like I don’t that the game will be a blowout. So like, could Hilinski replace them? Absolutely. I don’t know if that brings another dynamic presence to the offense, but like he does offer a level of, kind of, security as an upperclassman, I would say.

So, I don’t think it’s impossible, like I don’t think Fitz would wrestle with that too much. I think he would. I think they could absolutely go back and forth.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Gotcha. Gotcha.

JOHN RIKER: Yeah, it’s hard to know if like, let’s say Sullivan goes out there and throws three picks, like I feel like Fitz would just make the change. But, I do feel like Sullivan kind of earned the starting role with his performance against Maryland going away by like ESPN’s advanced numbers, so like QBR and expected points added, he had the third best performance of any Northwestern quarterback this season.

So the best performance since Duke and a marked improvement from the Wisconsin game, which is, I mean, just a disaster for everybody. I think he kind of earned it, but then also, not only from a passing standpoint showing that progression, but just bringing something that Hilinski just doesn’t and being able to be a guy that you can rely on for not only production but big plays. So, will Fitz go back? I think it’s easy to see that there’s a scenario in which that happens, but I think there are significant benefits of just having that consistency, in terms of who’s lining up under center.

LAWRENCE PRICE: And I agree with you in the sense that if you bring Hilinski back in, right, you already know what he’s going to give you, right? I mean, of course, Sullivan is very young, but also Sullivan brought that out of pocket presence, or being able to roll out, be more dynamic to where the defense couldn’t really understand. Of course, Iowa, Jack Campbell, the linebacker for Iowa, he’s gonna know. He’s gonna read that very, very well. So, that’s going to be a tough thing. But you know, I did want to ask you all as well, just we’ve been talking about the offense, but what’s been the bigger issue this year?

Has it been the offense? You know, coach Mike Bajakian’s offense, or has it been the defense? I mean, we’ve seen the offense and defense go back and forth, but what do you think has been more of the weaker link or even a respective room has it been? The secondary? The linebacker? D line? O Line? QB? Wide receivers, what do you think? Or running back, it could be the running back room.

CHARLOTTE VARNES: I’m going to go with offense, but like quarterback specifically, which I guess like we’ve already talked a lot about, but it just feels like maybe it’s going to be different with Brendan Sullivan now. But like, Northwestern hasn’t been developing quarterbacks for a while.

Obviously, like Peyton Ramsey came in a couple years ago, and that was great, and ever since then it kind of feels like things are in turmoil. And I think like having a player like Brendan who you develop, who’s been with the program since day one, I think that’ll be really helpful. But just like, Ryan Hilinski was a transfer, and then the whole situation last year with having three different people play, I feel like there’s just been a lot of turmoil around that position. I think that’s an issue.

LAWRENCE PRICE: And just to add on, I mean, Peyton Ramsey came in already kind of like seasoned a little bit, just having his experience at Indiana, so he came in already to rock, per se. But what do you all think? Would you agree, or?

ALEX CERVANTES: I struggle with it, because it really feels like a game by game basis.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Lowkey a loaded question.

ALEX CERVANTES: No it is. Like, you can point to like, Miami Ohio, like, the offense didn’t execute. Northwestern’s offense put up 14 points, but at the same time, like, you give up that, whatever it was, 66-yard rush late in the game to Aveon Smith, and they kick a field goal to win the game, right? But then Penn State, defense forces five turnovers comes up critical. Hilinski throws the ball what felt like a million times because of the rain because Penn State did a good job bottling up Northwestern’s run attack, but then, that can’t really be on the defense, right? Like, that was the best performance of the season. Then you got to Wisconsin and Braelon Allen, a running back, has a passing touchdown. He has a passing touchdown.

So like, it truly feels like a game by game basis, right? And so, I don’t know, they’ve both been poor, right? But, I don’t know if I can like pick one to blame over the other, like, they both struggled at different points on both sides of the ball.

JOHN RIKER: I would say, I give kind of a nuanced answer to this. I think the offense is more to blame this year. Because, you see, go back to 2019, they had one of the best defenses in the Big Ten, one of the best in college football. They went three and nine just because the offense was so bad. So, I do think that if the offense was doing great, I feel like that does more to win games. However, I feel like the defense has collapsed these last two years under Jim O’Neil, the new defensive coordinator, and seeing a bunch of those guys go play other places, that’s a bigger existential crisis to Northwestern is like long term football, sustainability. Because this is a team with defensive tradition.

Seeing all those broken tackles and all those big plays, I know secondaries dealt with some injuries that’s been kind of rough, but going to recruiting, just kind of everywhere you look with this defense, it’s 2019 was a miserable team to watch —

LAWRENCE PRICE: Up arrow, for sure.

JOHN RIKER: — but, at least it had a defense. We don’t have an offense, we don’t have a defense, and the special teams have been the second worst in the Big Ten. Like the kicking, the field goal, there’s just nowhere on this team that you can place confidence. If the quarterback play was stellar, I think Northwestern would be in the middle of Big Ten contention for a bowl. Maybe even for the Big Ten West, it is not a great year for the Big Ten West. But everywhere on this team, it’s just been, a perfect storm that’s contributed to what, as you were predicting, could be a one and 11 season.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Onto next week. Of course, Northwestern will be taking on Iowa, 2:30 game, Halloween weekend. Of course, Halloween is Monday, and it’s their Homecoming game in Iowa City, so it’s going to be a huge fan turnout for them. What do you all expect for the game?
We know that Iowa hasn’t had the best offense. Northwestern also hasn’t had the best offense, but I mean like hearing the press conferences or just a amazing press conference this week, but, you know.

JOHN RIKER: From both sides.

LAWRENCE PRICE: From both sides, right? Right. So, what do you all expect coming into this game or what do you think, you know, what does Northwestern need to do to turn it around?

ALEX CERVANTES: Oh, I mean it’s spooky season, I think it’s fitting that we get Brian Ferentz — versus Jim O’Neil, two days before Halloween, I think that’s a little fitting. But no, I mean this game, the article is going to be out by this time, so like my article is kind of on, trying to encapsulate like the sickos energy, taking some of the inspiration from the sickos community. Like, this game is supposed to have a, I think last time I checked, it was like 31 and a half over-under line right now.


ALEX CERVANTES: Which according to one twitter user, is one of the lowest in college football history. I think it kind of encapsulates it, you know. You got a rollercoaster of an offense in terms of Northwestern, you don’t know what you’re going to get, especially, like, you can’t guarantee that Evan Hull is going to get a ton of touches, right? And that’s kind of how this offense goes. And then you know, you got a stellar Iowa defense, but Spencer Petras is still under center.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Spencer Petras is still Spencer Petras.

ALEX CERVANTES: He’s still there, you know. He has two touchdowns, five interceptions, their two leading receiver options are tight ends, I don’t know. I don’t know if you’re show them the mattane showing Saturday, I don’t know if I would pick this, but it’s going to be a game, a football game will happen Saturday. For sure.

LAWRENCE PRICE: I mean it is…kind of like tight end U, almost, you know, you got George Kittle coming through, Noah Fant.

ALEX CERVANTES: It is tight end U, that’s fair, that’s fair. That’s a fair point.

LAWRENCE PRICE: But, what about you Skye? We’ll just…

SKYE SWANN: I mean, the past two homecoming games, Northwestern has been at odds. So, hopefully, we can get an upset. I think maybe we might be able to, especially because Northwestern offense did show a lot of promise in that first half in Maryland. So, I feel like, if they go with the start of Sullivan, which I’m pretty confident Fitz will do, potentially we can get that running game and just hold the store and stall until the end.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Stall?! That’s crazy.

ALEX CERVANTES: I didn’t say this, but I think’s going to be really low scoring.

SKYE SWANN: Like a lacrosse stall.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Was I supposed to laugh?


LAWRENCE PRICE: I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I did want to say earlier when you had like the step on the neck thing, that was like, that was like Glorilla and Cardi B’s, because Cardi B had a verse.

SKYE SWANN: My lacrosse coach would always say that.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Yeah, go ahead John.

JOHN RIKER: Yes, I have very little confidence in Northwestern’s ability right now. We had a game a couple weeks ago…

LAWRENCE PRICE: Up arrow, up arrow, up arrow.

JOHN RIKER: Where, a team without a head coach, who was at the very bottom of the Big Ten West, even lower than Northwestern, came in on Northwestern’s home turf, and just absolutely blew them out 42 to seven, as you said, on a homecoming weekend, with a running back who threw a passing touchdown. And made Wisconsin look like Ohio State for a weekend.

LAWRENCE PRICE: We’ll see Ohio State in a few weeks.

JOHN RIKER: We will, we will.

ALEX CERVANTES: That’ll be a separate podcast.

JOHN RIKER: That’s going to be a great podcast.

LAWRENCE PRICE: C.J. Stroud to the Detroit Lions, I’m tapping it in.

JOHN RIKER: There you go, there you go. I have Iowa winning by a couple touchdowns.

LAWRENCE PRICE: A couple? What do you mean?


LAWRENCE PRICE: Ok, ok. A couple could be a couple, or a large amount.

JOHN RIKER: By a 14-point margin, because Northwestern did have a pretty strong showing on the road, I just have a little bit of doubt. I think well founded doubt that Northwestern can continue these strong performances two weeks in a row on the road. Especially, I mean, the quarterback situation is in flux, the secondary there’s some guys going in and out, you have a guy in Josh Priebe who is out for the season now on the o-line, that’s a big loss. The kicker, the punter, both of those, have been kind of going back and forth.

Iowa has good, defensive tradition. I think is going to be hard for Northwestern to get, like, above ten points, I have them right at ten points.

LAWRENCE PRICE: But, also it’s going to be very hard for Iowa to score even against a very —


LAWRENCE PRICE: — suspect defense of Northwestern. They haven’t scored more than 14 points in the past three, three games. And their like, last in scoring, like scoring offense, but top five scoring defense. So, I don’t know, I could see a pick six. I could see a fumble to the crib.

ALEX CERVANTES: Iowa is scoring a defensive touchdown, I will lock that in.


ALEX CERVANTES: I will lock that in. Iowa is scoring a defensive touchdown Saturday.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Ok, ok. What do you think Charlotte?

CHARLOTTE VARNES: I have Northwestern winning 17-10, which honestly, it could be more like 10-3, like, if Northwestern wins, or it could be like the Iowa score, I don’t know. Obviously they have a really bad offense, and we have a not-so-great defense. So, I guess we’ll see, I don’t know, I’m not one of the people writing stories about the upcoming game this week, so like, I haven’t given it too much thought before we head to Iowa on Saturday, but yeah, I think this could be a game Northwestern pulls an upset.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Gotcha. Would you ever believe that these are the last two Big Ten West champs? Squaring off, you know. But I mean, Iowa lost 54 to 10 against Ohio State, their biggest, I’m pretty sure their biggest loss in the last two decades. But, of course, Ohio State is not Northwestern. I really think it could go back and forth. I think I’m gonna take Iowa winning 14 to 10, 17 to 10. I don’t know if they’re going to get to those points. I could really see a 17-9, 13-9, like a very, very low scoring game because I mean, Jack Campbell on the defense, when you got a guy like him in the middle of your defense, leads the Big Ten in tackles. I mean, Bryce Gallagher is right behind him at number two, but I mean, it’s clear that the Iowa defense is like, very secure all around, right? So, but I mean, it only takes one big play to change the game, but we’ll see. Luckily this isn’t a night game, because if it was a night game, I’m taking Iowa by at least 15. Respectfully, though, respectfully.

ALEX CERVANTES: For what it’s worth, I think Northwestern is winning 16 to 11. And there’s gonna be like, a defensive touchdown and, Iowa is gonna have safety.

LAWRENCE PRICE: I was gonna ask how in the world did you get to 11. But

ALEX CERVANTES: We don’t need to break that down, but 16 to 11.

LAWRENCE PRICE: That’s crazy.

JOHN RIKER: That’s for the Patreon version.

CHARLOTTE VARNES: That is just a deeply uncomfortable college football score. I’m not ok with that.

ALEX CERVANTES: Do I need to break it down?


LAWRENCE PRICE: Actually, break it down! Break it down!

ALEX CERVANTES: So Iowa, how they get to 11, they are going to score, because I just think this game is just gonna be all over the place.

LAWRENCE PRICE: I just think it’s just a fraud game.

ALEX CERVANTES: I just think it’s going to be so chaotic, I’m just leaning into it. Iowa’s going to score a field goal. They are going to score a defensive touchdown, that’s where they get to nine. That extra point is going to get blocked, and Northwestern is just going to return that.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Do you know who’s going to block that? I just want to know.


LAWRENCE PRICE: Who’s going to block the field goal?

ALEX CERVANTES: I don’t know, maybe A.J. Hampton if he lines up offsides again.


ALEX CERVANTES: Right? So, A.J. Hampton blocks it, right. And someone else returns it, ok?

JOHN RIKER: All the way?

ALEX CERVANTES: All the way. That’s how Northwestern gets to 16. Because Evan Hull will score a touchdown, and Brendan Sullivan on a QB keeper will score a touchdown.

LAWRENCE PRICE: That makes sense, I can see it.

ALEX CERVANTES: And Iowa will have a safety, because Northwestern will get pinned deep on a punt and go like negative four yards and two rushes, and then try to throw the ball on third and 12, and it won’t work.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Hey, you’re better than me when putting this, that was a very deep, thought out plan. Do you all have any more thoughts before we wrap things up, you know what I mean?

ALEX CERVANTES: I’m excited for the wave. That’s going to be really fun.

JOHN RIKER: Yeah talking to Adam Stage, the kicker, today, that was the one thing he was excited about as a player. That was the first thing he said was that tradition, looking forward to that. I think everyone in the stadium is because the football game is not going to be much to cheer about I don’t think for either side. For both teams.

ALEX CERVANTES: But Northwestern’s winning on U.S. soil, so I think that’s a plus. It’s going to happen.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Well, you heard me earlier, I feel as though there’s a good chance goes one and 11 in the season. And if they don’t beat Iowa, they’re not beating Ohio State.

ALEX CERVANTES: Disagree. I’m just kidding.

CHARLOTTE VARNES: Uh, that’s a topic for another week.

SKYE SWANN: That was a crazy take.

LAWRENCE PRICE: They are not beating Ohio State. They are not beating, what, Minnesota afterwards?

JOHN RIKER: Minnesota.

LAWRENCE PRICE: That running back room in Minnesota is very good. Purdue? Possibly. I think Purdue, that’s reasonable. And then Illinois, Illinois is looking very good.

ALEX CERVANTES: And it’s Senior day.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Oh yeah. Oh yeah.

ALEX CERVANTES: I don’t know if that means anything, but it should. I mean homecoming didn’t mean anything, so…

SKYE SWANN: I would have to agree with Lawrence, I think they might go one and 11.

CHARLOTTE VARNES: I’ve been saying this since the Miami (Ohio) game. Like yes, I’ve had occasional moments of hope, as I do have this week, but I have said this since the Miami (Ohio) game.

SKYE SWANN: Even that Southern Illinois game, that was very…

LAWRENCE PRICE: See I was joking when I first said one and 11 after Nebraska because I was just thinking, you know, I don’t think they are gonna actually do it. But, you know, when you lose some very questionable games it really gets like that. You know how sticky it gets. But, aye that was lowkey a bar so…

SKYE SWANN: October’s very own.

LAWRENCE PRICE: But yeah, I mean Northwestern and Iowa square off this Saturday, hope you all tune in to not only the game, but also our coverage as John, Charlotte, and Alex are going to the game. But yeah, I think we can really wrap it up, anybody have any further thoughts or anything like that?

JOHN RIKER: If the Cats go one and 11, I’ll say on the pod, I said it on the Instagram story — I’ll jump in Lake Michigan on the last night of publication for The Daily this fall


ALEX CERVANTES: I have the screenshot from the Instagram post.

CHARLOTTE VARNES: Nov. 19th, Nov. 19th I’m pretty sure.

ALEX CERVANTES: I will have the video on Twitter of you doing it.

JOHN RIKER: I have faith in Northwestern, I don’t know why, but it’s the Big Ten West all kinds of things.

LAWRENCE PRICE: Just because we are on a team, does not mean we are jumping in as a team.

CHARLOTTE VARNES: No, that’s a John thing.

LAWRENCE PRICE: I’ll be recording.

JOHN RIKER: I will need a cleanse from this team if it comes to that.

ALEX CERVANTES: Is that cleanse hypothermia?



ALEX CERVANTES: Is that cleanse hypothermia, Lake Michigan?

JOHN RIKER: If hypothermia is the worst that this team gives me, then I’ll be getting off lucky.


LAWRENCE PRICE: Aye, clip that! That’s a great way to end the pod. Thank you all for watching, we will be back pretty soon for the next episode. But, thank you, that’s it from us, have a great rest of your night. Peace.



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