#8 Nebraska (-2.5) @ #19 Texas A&MNebraska has got to be kicking themselves watching the Texas Longhorns lose week after week to less talented Big 12 opponents (Baylor & Iowa State) thinking about what could have been.
Inexplicably, the Huskers coughed up their National Championship dreams in a 20-13 loss to a Longhorn team (at home no less) that has proven to be nothing more than a Big 12 South doormat.
Since that loss Nebraska has rebounded with solid wins over then ranked #14 Oklahoma State (51-41) on the road (their only loss on the year) and then ranked #6 Missouri, with a convincing (31-17) beat down at home. Nebraska will now turn their attention to another ranked Big 12 opponent this week in #19 Texas A&M in College Station, Texas.
Inside the Game
Texas A&M’s fortunes have turned since handing the starting QB position over to Ryan Tannehill, who has led the Aggies to four straight home wins for the first time since 2006. Since the transition at QB, they’ve averaged 488.3 yards — 312.0 through the air — in those four victories, a stretch in which Tannehill has thrown 10 touchdown passes.
While the Aggies have picked up momentum under Tannehill their mettle will be tested against a Cornhusker defence which allows just 140.2 yards per game through the air — second behind TCU — and are coming off one of the finest defensive performances in the program’s storied history. Coach Bo Pelini’s team surrendered 87 total yards —15 passing — in a 20-3 win over Kansas on Saturday. That is not a typo, Pelini’s Huskers held Kansas to 87 total yards for the total game. Wow.
Offensively, Nebraska seems to be getting its legs back with the return of their sensational freshman quarterback Taylor Martinez from an ankle sprain. Martinez wasn’t a huge factor against Kansas — he threw for 167 yards and an interception and ran for 71 yards — but he was just happy to be back on the field.
The www.skulldogshow.com has been playing Nebraska on the road this year where they are 3-1 ATS as they have proven to be true road warriors by being able to focus better as a team away from home. We are convinced Tannehill and the Aggies will struggle to move the ball against the Huskers on the ground as Nebraska’s front 4 is as dominant as you will find in college football today. They will likely be forced into trying to throw the ball downfield and that will not be easy with the return of Alfonzo Dennard last week and his partner Prince Amukamara who together are the nation’s top shutdown corners.
While we don’t think A&M will be able to move the ball consistently or score for that matter we really like the matchup of Roy Helu and Rex Burkhead as the two headed running back monster for Nebraska against the A&M defence. The Aggies showed some vulnerability on the ground last week after entering the Baylor game sixth in rushing defence at 92.3 yards per game, A&M gave up 291 yards on the ground against the Bears.
Coach Pelini historically has always built his teams to peak towards the end of the season and this team is no different. We like the Huskers early and often in this Big 12 showdown and should have little trouble covering the 2.5 points.
The Pick: Nebraska -2.5
**We will be covering this game and the other top picks of the week on The Skulldog Show tonight at 8PM PST. Call in if you would like to discuss!
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