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Southern Miss vs. Nebraska, 09/01/2012 15:30
Point Spread: -19½/-110 Nebraska
Nebraska -19.5 vs. Southern Miss
By Tony George
The Huskers open up the 2012 season with last years returning Conference USA Champs Southern Miss. While name recognition is always a factor in the lines, especially early in the season, it seems oddsmakers are commanding a ton of respect for Nebraska here. Anytime I have a 4 loss team from the previous year, who struggled in the Big 10 their first year and not meeting expectations laying almost 3 TD's to a returning conference champion, it gives me great pause. Opening games can sometimes show weakness's, flaws, penalties or just plain rustiness, and when you are Nebraska, Ohio State, LSU , Alabma and other dynasty type schools, you always get everyones best shot because those schools playing them want a signature win.
The Huskers offense is going to be simple to stop, if you have the horses to do it, as a healthy dose of QB Taylor Martinez and RB Rex Burkhead will be the order of the day for Nebraska as they will be a run first type team and they are also deep at RB with good rotation. While rumors of QB Martinez's passing has improved, the Huskers cannot stretch the field vertically until they prove otherwise, and it simply killed them against good teams last year, especially when playing from behind. Bo Pellini has a new offensive coodinator so some new look schemes will be out there in this game for NU as well. The Huskers defense lost some key players to the NFL, but the Blackshirts are deep, physical and speedy and match up well here..
Southern Miss rteturns 11 starters overall and an offense that could get it done in 2011, ranking 14th nationally in scoring, but that is history now. Head coach Larry Fedora bolted for North Carolina. Tommy West from Memphis implements a new defense as a coordinator, a QB issue is a serious concern as all world Austin Davis is gone. With a new coaching staff, major inexperience at QB and playing NU in their home opener, Southern Miss will struggle here, especially late in the game and NU pulls away late with power football and an aggressive defense who will attack a weak QB position that will lead to turnovers.
Nebraska 35 Southern Miss 10 - Lean to the Huskers in Lincoln