College football forecast: Scary low total from Northwestern-Iowa


The best Halloween costumes are the ones about a current event.

This year, that means sports fans showing up to the office costume contest dressed as a depressed Yankees fan, or if they’re really creative, maybe a fish with weights stuffed in their belly like the ones discovered at the weigh-in of that fishing competition.

Iowa is showing up to the party as one of those broken-down cars on the side of the freeway that have been there for two months. The windows are smashed and the tires are flat, but for some reason it just sits there and never gets towed away.

The Hawkeyes’ offense is damaged goods, ranking 128th out of 131 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in scoring offense at 14 points per game. In addition, Iowa is dead last nationally in total offense, averaging 227.3 yards.

Northwestern is dressed like one of those art cars at Burning Man that coughs black smoke, can’t go past 10 mph and has foam pool noodles glued to the roof in the shape of a mohawk.

The Wildcats also score less than Beavis and Butthead, averaging 18.6 points per game. And they can’t hold onto the football, either, ranking tied for 126th in the nation in turnover margin.

This game should be uglier than the Vecna from “Stranger Things” after listening to that Kate Bush song on repeat. Take under the total of 37½.

Here are four more ghoulish plays for Saturday:

Nebraska +7½ over Illinois: There is a business concept called the Peter Principle that basically says people will rise to “a level of respective incompetence.” Applied incorrectly to the Big Ten West, the Peter Principle says Illinois isn’t good enough to run the table without hitting some speed bumps. The Cornhuskers had an extra week to prepare and have played better this month, going 2-1.

Illinois-Nebraska U50: The Fighting Illini lead the nation in scoring defense and yards allowed per game, which should keep this a low-possession game. But Illinois struggles to punch the ball into the end zone, ranking 96th in red zone efficiency. And it has a case of fumble-itis, losing nine fumbles in seven games. Only Central Michigan, Northwestern and Virginia have more.

Texas Christian-West Virginia O69: The Horned Frogs have had no problem putting up points this season, averaging 44.7 per game, which ranks third in the nation. West Virginia has played three home games at Milan Puskar Stadium and scored 42, 65 and 43 points in those contests. The over here looks nice.

Colorado +13½ over Arizona State: Sometimes you reach in the bag of candy after going trick-or-treating and find a full size Snickers or a giant Hershey’s bar. You’re not sure which house it came from, but it was an unexpected surprise between all the 3 Musketeers and Sour Patch Kids. Hopefully, the Buffaloes are like an unexpected candy bar and keep this one close.

Last week: 3-2

Season: 18-21-1

Contact David Schoen at dschoen@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203. Follow @DavidSchoenLVRJ on Twitter.


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