Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-3 5-2 ATS) at Baylor Bears (3-4 2-4 ATS) Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, TX 12:30 PM EST Saturday October 31, 2009
By Jason Green at Predictem.com
Point Spread: Cornhuskers -13 / Bears +13
In a Big 12 match up this Saturday afternoon the Baylor Bears host the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Huskers have lost 2 games in a row and they need to win this game to keep their hopes alive of playing in a bowl game. The Bears have lost 3 straight and it may be a long shot for them to play in a bowl game, as they are 0-3 in the Big 12 and they still have to face Texas, Missouri, and Texas Tech this season. Both teams are struggling to score in their losing streak, as the Huskers are averaging only 8.5 points in their last 2 games and the Bears are averaging only 8 points a game in their last 3 games.
Last week the Huskers lost at home to Iowa State in a barnburner 9-7 and the Bears were crushed losing to Oklahoma State 34-7.
In the loss to Iowa State the Huskers actually had more total yards and passing yards, but how the hell can you expect to win when you commit 8 turnovers? Yeah, that is not a typo, as Nebraska had 8 turnovers and 4 of those came when they were inside the 5-yard line of Iowa State. Huskers’ QB Zac Lee did have 248 yards passing in the game, but he had 3 INT’s. The Huskers were huge 18.5-point favorites, so they obviously did not cover the spread.
In their loss to Oklahoma State last week the Bears did move the ball through their air with 241 passing yards, but they were out-gained on the ground 195 yards to 43 yards. The Bears simply could not play any D in the game, as the Cowboys moved the ball at will. The Bears were underdogs by 9 points so they were nowhere near covering the spread losing by 27 points. The posted total of the game was 53 so Under bettors for the game won some dough.
Baylor only has the nation’s 91st ranked defense and they will be facing a Huskers’ offense that can move the chains on the ground and in the air. The Huskers may force the run in this game, as the Bears rank 100th in rushing defense and they have given up many big runs this season.
The Bears only have 12 sacks this season and their front line D will have to get to QB Zac Lee (1,461 yds 10 TD 6 INT) and contain RB Roy Helu Jr. (646 yds 6 TD). Lee has had problems on the road this season, as in games away from Nebraska the Huskers are only averaging 147 passing yards per game.
Roy Helu Jr. has a stinger injury in his shoulder and even though he did play in the Huskers’ loss to Iowa State he only had 5 carries and fumbled twice.
Since the Baylor defense is weak they may have to get into a shootout, but that is not likely since their offense only ranks 75th and the Huskers’ D ranks 8th.
It goes without saying that the Huskers have to hold onto the ball, as 8 turnovers last week obviously killed them.
Freshman QB Nick Florence (720 yds 2 TD 2 INT) has to have a big game for the Bears to avoid a home loss. He has a couple of legit targets in WR’s Kendall Wright (36 rec 399 yds 2 TD) and David Gettis (24 rec 302 yds 3 TD), who are each averaging over 11 yards per reception.
Florence may have to do it all in this game since the Huskers are so good at stuffing the run and the Bears’ rushing offense only ranks 78th in the nation.
In their last 8 games the Huskers are 6-2 ATS and 5-1 ATS in their last 6 road games.
Jason’s Pick: The Huskers gave away their last game, as even though they matched a school record with 8 turnovers they only lost by 2 points. I look for the Huskers to dominate this game on defense, as they WILL dominate the Bears and not allow them to score. Take the Huskers and the points in this game, as they will win and move to 5-3, which will help bolster their positioning for a decent bowl game.