Surprise, surprise! As I type this, the opening line for Saturday's game favors Sparty, but not by much....somewhere between 3 and 6. Maybe not news to some, but considering MStates defensive reputation this season (ranked #1), you would think we might be overmatched. At least that was the thinking of the pragmatic and sane a few weeks ago.
However, our defense seems to be on the rise. Evidence? Apples to apples....we held Meatchicken to negative 21 rush yards. Sparty held 'em to negative 48 rush yards the week before. Against the pass, both teams had similar stats against the boys with the funny painted helmets. So the defenses might be equal...if we play like we did on Saturday and not according to our current ranking (#41).
Offensively? Nebraska is ranked #42 while MState is ranked #86 (behind the aforementioned pitiful Meatchicken at #82). For sure, we got more weapons, even with the funky two-quarterback rotation. Of course, give a nod to TArmstrong who is beginning to show the stuff that had y'all talking happy when he signed his letter of intent. But there is that #1 defense again....and they will taking on our rookie.
Go ahead and parse and spin the stats further if you want, but at first glance it appears we should fare well. Depends on which Blackshirt D shows up....the one that played UCLA or the one that kept Devin Gardner dazed-n-confused. Oh....and which Beck will show up? (Insert your own funny comment here). This is a difficult one to call, but I think it will be a slobberknocker, making Islander Husker very happy!
Mean Greenies: 20
Corn Bred Red: 17
This game now looks much closer than it may have a few weeks ago. Unlike Michigan, MSU is a very physical football team. They have the ability to manhandle us like Minnesota did.
Mark Dantonio is anxious to get the UNL monkey off MSU's back as they are 0-7 vs. our team. Two years ago a very, very good MSU team came to Lincoln and they laid an egg in their only Big 10 loss that season.
Last year Sparty was pounding on us in East Lansing when Darqueze Dennard took a TMart pick 96 yards to the house only to get robbed of a TD that would have put MSU up by 17 with only 10 minutes left. That play and a few others including a bad PI call late vs. Sparty will loom large in the minds of MSU for this rematch. They will come to Lincoln with revenge in mind.
MSU has 2 outstanding corners in Dennard and Waynes as we do in Evans and Baptiste. MSU has a young DE (Calhoun) and we have Gregory (who was a HS football teammate of MSU basketball star Gary Harris). Pushes here but the reminder of the MSU defense is also outstanding; particulary their LB corps of Bullough, Allen and Jones.
Our WRs Bell, Turner and Enunwa are superior to those of MSU. Ameer is the best RB on the field. I'm not sure that Tommie will be able to throw the ball effectively in this game. Ditto for MSU QB Connor Cook.
When in doubt games like this are won and lost in the trenches. MSU's OL and DL are healthy (their OL was a mess last year) and our OL is not.
The sleeper in this game is MSU 2nd team RB, freshman RB Delton Williams who is a star in the making.
If we get beat up in the trenches as we did in Minneapolis this game may not be close. The winner controls their own desitiny in the Legends.
But it could be lower scoring than that.
Since I called the Husker win last week, I will do it again. Huskers 27, MSU 10. Book it Rev
MSU has an extra week to prepare for the Huskers but in the end it is the Huskers who prevail. This "born again" Husker team has shown me their will to improve and win. Abdullah gets his 100 yard day as Quincy and Bell have big days also. TA doesn't turn the ball over and manges the offense well. Our D continues to improve and we win the turnover margin as well as the game.
Michigan State has allowed .93 yards per carry this season.
MSU DB Darqueze Dennard (cousin Darqueze) has been targeted 77 times this season while allowing 60 yards passing.
Unfortunately, Tommie Armstrong is not Tommie Frazier.
I want NU to win this game. Mostly so that they can take another crack at Ohio State. If Huskers lose to Sparty, we'll hear a chorus of "Got dandruff...some of it itches". I say the Huskers use the ol 'Head + Shoulders' strategy to pull out a close win.
Soft and Luxurious Herbie Hairs 24
Dry and Damaged Split-End Sparty 23
it would be peotic justice if Huskers make it to the CCG and knock the Bucknuts out of a shot at the BCS title game for the piling on TD they had last year when a knee would have ended it
Once again the resurgent Blackshirts will step up and shut down Sparty while the ailing offense will find a way to get it done in front of the 3rd largest city in the state
High Octain Grain 23
Green Guys 5
I'll keep it short this time. Sparty and NU have had similar schedules....both very weak. Soooo, the "who have they played argument is pretty much null". Glad to see Beck stayed simple last week. I hope he can do it again. I am concerned about our ability to block their guys with a depleted OL. I do think it will be fairly low scoring. Gotta say, I do hope us breaking the 0-19 streak isn't an omen for MSU breaking their 0-7 streak against us....gonna be a beautiful fall day at least!
MSU 23 NU 13
HuskerSpot...where the hopes and dreams of the loyal go to die a slow, but painful death.
Last conference championship in football...1999 and counting.
Time for a change?
I don't really know what to predicticate. It is much eeasier to to this AFTER the game when everything seems like it was SO OBVIOUS. But I know a few things to help me guess about the game. 1) Our 2 QBs are improving every week but will not produce a lot of points 2) our defense is MUCH better than they were at the start of the year and are now a GOOD, and at times a GREAT unit, but still stumble against certain plays. 3) we are not turning the ball over as much as we have the past year or two and our special teams have improved dramatically 4) Mich State has a solid D and a good offense. The result...
NU Huskers 28 Mich St Spartans 23 in a hard-fought, PHYSICAL game. Go Big Red !
P.S.- Maybe I should revise my prediction to Huskers 456 Spartans 23 since the Spartans are giving up NINETY-THREE YARDS per carry ! (according to Mr.Know-It-All) The scoreboard will surely melt down...GBR !
That says .93 (as in less than one).
We lose a must win game. So what else is new? This is Bo Pelini football.