Purdue 24, Northwestern 17? With both QBs good to go, Boilermakers are the pick
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NORTHWESTERN AT PURDUE
The facts: Thursday, 7 p.m., ESPN; 720-AM.
The records: Northwestern 0-0, Purdue 0-0.
The story line: Wildcats senior quarterback Clayton Thorson referred to preseason rankings the other day as a “bunch of trash,” and who can blame him? We don’t actually know in August what any of these teams will look like in September, let alone November and beyond. And as for Thorson himself, well, we can’t be sure what to expect on that front, either.
About eight months removed from tearing his right ACL in a bowl game, Thorson is listed as a co-starter with junior T.J. Green on NU’s official depth chart. That’s a little misleading — it’s Thorson’s job all the way, assuming he’s fit enough to perform it — but it does create some doubt that he’s fully good to go.
No such doubt exists about Boilermakers QBs David Blough and Elijah Sindelar. Blough, a fifth-year senior, has 25 starts to his credit. The taller, sturdier Sindelar, a junior, started eight games in 2017 — three of them after tearing the ACL in his left knee. They’re just in an old-fashioned competition for the No. 1 job.
“I think they’re more similar than different,” Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald said. “They’re two guys with great bodies of work. I’m sue they’ve spent a lot of time together getting ready and during training camp. We’ll be prepared for both.”
The line: Boilermakers by 1½.
Greenberg’s pick: Purdue, 24-17.