Friday, November 28, 2008

Nebraska-Colorado predictions

LINCOLN -- The final game of the regular season has arrived. Doesn't it seem like yesterday that Nebraska kicked off the Bo Pelini era against Western Michigan?

Colorado comes to Lincoln in the same position the Huskers were in last year at Boulder: owners of a 5-6 record and needing a victory to become bowl eligible. As several Nebraska players pointed out this week, they'd like nothing better than to make sure the Buffaloes stay home for the holidays.

Nebraska is listed as an 18.5-point favorite, but as we know, anything can happen in these so-called "rivalry" games.

The picks:

Kevin Schuster, sports writer: Nebraska 38-17
Tony Boone, sports writer: Nebraska 41-20
Bob Gonderinger, sports writer: Nebraska 42-24
Bob Hamar, assistant sports editor: Nebraska 34-10
Terry Douglass, sports editor: Nebraska 38-21

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, November 28, 2008 || 0 comments

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nebraska getting votes, preparing for CU

The Nebraska football team is scheduled to return to practice Sunday in preparation for a short week, capped by Friday's 2:30 p.m. (ABC) regular-season finale against Colorado.

The Cornhuskers will be trying to head to a bowl game riding a wave of momentum with a third consecutive win. While coach Bo Pelini's team will be facing a beat-up bunch of Buffaloes, you can bet that Colorado coach Dan Hawkins will be pulling out all the stops in his team's annual red-letter game where a win would make CU bowl eligible.

Nebraska (7-4, 4-3 Big 12) was among teams receiving votes in both major polls Sunday. The Huskers were the equivalent of 34th in the USA Today coaches' poll with three points and tied for 36th in the Associated Press media poll with one point.

While it's not plausible to think that every team that beat another team should be ranked higher (see Oklahoma and Texas), it's interesting to note that Western Michigan is 30th in the coaches' poll and 32nd in the AP poll. Interesting because Nebraska defeated Western Michigan 47-24 in the season opener on Aug. 30 at Lincoln.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Sunday, November 23, 2008 || 0 comments

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Offensive approach keys NU rebound

Nebraska's Bo Pelini won't sniff any Big 12 Conference coach-of-the-year honors this season, but it says here that he should be at least considered after getting the Cornhuskers back to a bowl game and possibly an eight-win regular season.

The irony of the situation is that while Pelini was brought in to fix Nebraska’s defense and the Blackshirts (yes, they’re Blackshirts now) are improved, truth is it has been the Huskers’ ball-hogging offensive approach has been the key to the turnaround. Consider that last year’s defense allowed an average of 6.1 yards per play and this year’s defense is giving up 5.8 yards per snap.

The difference? With NU near the top of the country in time of possession, its defense is facing an average of 15 fewer plays per game.

Some might say that time of possession doesn't matter or is an overrated statistic. That may be true in some cases, but not for Nebraska.

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Friday, November 21, 2008 || 0 comments

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

Nebraska-Kansas predictions

LINCOLN -- It's cold and windy here at Memorial Stadium and both teams will battle the elements with their high-powered passing games. Could it be one of those days that takes us back to the good ol' days of the Big Eight Conference when the team that could run the ball and stop the run best wins? We'll see.

Despite taking a 76-39 drubbing from the Jayhawks last year at Lawrence, the Cornhuskers insisted this week that revenge won't be a factor. Still, it's hard that won't be brought up at some point in Nebraska's locker room.

The predictions:

Tony Chapman, sports writer: Nebraska 38, Kansas 29

Dale Miller, staff writer: Nebraska 28, Kansas 24

Brian Ayers, sports writer: Kansas 35, Nebraska 30

Tony Boone, sports writer: Kansas 35, Nebraska 27

Terry Douglass, sports editor: Nebraska 35, Kansas 31

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, November 08, 2008 || 0 comments

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

Nebraska-Oklahoma predictions

NORMAN, Okla. -- The weather for tonight's Nebraska-Oklahoma game couldn't be much nicer. As we drove to the stadium this afternoon, the temperature was about 85 degrees with barely a breath of wind.

The Cornhuskers obviously face a tall order as 22-point underdogs against the No. 4-ranked Sooners. Oklahoma is 58-2 at home in Bob Stoops' 10 years as head coach, making things even more difficult for Nebraska in a night game at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

OU has be prone to giving up big plays in recent weeks, but the Sam Bradford-led Sooner offense has also be virtually unstoppable. Nebraska will likely try to keep things close by continuing its ball-control style of offense. Will it be enough for the Huskers to still be hanging around in the fourth quarter?

The picks:

Terry Douglass, sports editor: Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 27
Bob Hamar, assistant sports editor: Oklahoma 35, Nebraska 21
Tony Boone, sports writer: Oklahoma 45, Nebraska 24

Posted by Terry Douglass @ Saturday, November 01, 2008 || 0 comments

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