College Football Pick: Michigan State vs Nebraska
- Updated: October 27, 2011
NCAA Football Betting Favorite: Nebraska -4
The Big Ten is broken up into divisions for the first time ever this season. Nebraska’s entry into the Big Ten created two six-team divisions. The Big Ten Legends has a couple clear favorites right now, and they will square off in this game Saturday afternoon. Mark Dantonio’s Spartans are coming off a huge win over Wisconsin, but now they must travel to Lincoln and try to upset the Cornhuskers. This should be a hard hitting Big Ten affair.
Michigan State won a share of the Big Ten title last year, but their blowout loss at the hands of Alabama in the Capital One Bowl left fans with a bad taste in their mouth at the end of 2010. The Spartans dropped a non-conference game against Notre Dame earlier this year, but they have bounced back in a big way. Michigan State has beaten Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin in consecutive games. This team is a real contender for the Big Ten again this year.
Kirk Cousins is the senior leader for this Spartans offense. Cousins is completing 66% of his passes this year, and he knows this offense very well. This is a veteran who makes good decisions with the football in the biggest spots. He had his best game as a Spartan last week against Wisconsin. Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell form a nice tailback tandem for Michigan State. The defense is the primary reason Michigan State is 6-1 so far this year. Dantonio’s defense is second in the nation in total defense, and they are allowing just 13.7 points per game.
Bo Pellini and the Cornhuskers had very high expectations for this season. The team has only lost one game this year, but they certainly haven’t played that well most of the year. Close calls against Fresno State and Washington were confusing. The team could have easily lost to Ohio State as well, but Braxton Miller was injured while Ohio State had a big lead. Nebraska has the talent to be a real force to be reckoned with, but they need to improve on the defensive end.
Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead give the Cornhuskers two great runners in the backfield at all times. Martinez is having another great year running the football, but his passing statistics simply aren’t very good. If Nebraska is forced to throw the football then they will struggle to stay in the game. Burkhead is averaging 5.8 yards per carry, and he already has ten touchdown carries this year. Nebraska’s defense was expected to be an area of strength, but they simply aren’t very good right now. Jared Crick is out for the year with a torn pectoral. The front seven needs to improve against the run if they are going to contend for the Big Ten crown.
I think this is a bad spot for Michigan State. The Spartans are coming off a huge emotional victory, but now they travel to a very difficult place to play. Nebraska should be ready to go in this one.
Free College Football Pick: Nebraska -4
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