Idaho Vandals (1-0 0-0 ATS) vs. No. 9 Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0 0-1 ATS), Week 2 College Football, Memorial Stadium Lincoln NE 12:30 PM EST Saturday September 11, 2010
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Point Spread: UI +28.5/Neb -28.5
In the first test for both teams in the young college football season the 9th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers host the Idaho Vandals. Idaho is known for potatoes and not football (ok, Boise State is decent lol.), but they play in a legit conference in the Western Athletic Conference and last season they were 8-5 and beat Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl.
The Huskers are one of the 3 teams in the Big 12 that are ranked in the top 10 (Oklahoma and Texas) and to make it to the conference championship game they may have to beat Texas in the middle of the season.
In their opening games both teams blew out their opponent, as Nebraska beat Western Kentucky 49-10 and Idaho blanked North Dakota 45-0.
In the win over WKU Nebraska dominated on offense racking up 536 yards (247 passing yards 289 rushing yards). Their defense is a little cause for concern in this game against Idaho since in the Western Kentucky game they gave up 179 rushing yards to a team that has lost 21 straight games.
Last week Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez became the first freshman ever to start under center for the Huskers in a season opener. He had a game against Western Kentucky going 9/15 for 136 yards passing and became the first Nebraska QB to rush for over 100 yards (127 yards) since 2003 and he scored 3 rushing TD’s.
Idaho will have to keep Martinez and RB Rex Burkhead from making the big play on the ground, as in the WKU game each averaged over 11 yards per carry and Martinez averaged 18.1 yards per carry.
Last season the Vandals ranked 9th in the nation on offense and they are led by QB Nate Enderle, who may someday being playing on Sundays.Iin Idaho’s opening game blowout of North Dakota State he passed for 311 yards and 2 TD. He could have had a HUGE game, but he was taken out in the 3rd quarter.
The Vandals’ offensive line gave up 25 sacks last season and they will have to good pass protection in this game.
Idaho racked up 547 yards in their rout of North Dakota, but it is obvious they will be playing a tougher defense of Nebraska this Saturday. The Vandals may have to score a ton of points since their D is not their strength and one match up problem for them is their run defense against the Huskers’ rushing offense. In the North Dakota game Idaho gave up 148 rushing yards.
Last season the Vandals finished 114th in the nation in sacks and 115th in tackles for loss and they may not have to get to Martinez in this game, but they will have to play well in run defense and have a solid tackling game.
The Nebraska defense ranked 7th in the nation last season and even though they lost Ndamukong Suh to the NFL they will still be solid against the run and the pass. The Huskers’ secondary has good CB’s, but their safeties lack experience and they will be tested in this game by a great Idaho passing offense.
The Vandals can score with the passing offense they have, but they will not have a lot of time on the field since the Huskers will dominate the game on the ground. Look for the Huskers to rack up a ton of yards on the ground in this game.
Idaho has had their issues on the offensive line and Nebraska will be able to get to Nate Enderle and not allow him to find his targets. However, Enderle will come up with a couple of TD strikes in this game.
Idaho is 4-0-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games and Nebraska is 6-0-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Spread: While Nebraska will easily win this game it will not be a high scoring one since they will control the clock by running the ball. The Huskers will move to 2-0 SU with a win over Idaho, but the Vandals are a solid squad and they will cover the spread.