No. 7 Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-1 SU 4-3-1 ATS) vs. Iowa State Cyclones (5-4 SU 4-5 ATS) Week 10 NCAA Football, Jack Trice Stadium Ames IA 3:30 PM ET, November 6, 2010 on ABC
by Jason Green of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: ISU+18.5/Neb -18.5
Over/Under Total: OFF
Iowa State on national TV this Saturday? Really? Well, they are above .500 for the season and are 3-2 in Big 12 play and only need to win one more game to become bowl eligible. However, don’t look for that to happen this weekend facing a Nebraska Cornhusker team that handed Missouri their first loss of the season last week 31-17.
The Huskers have covered the spread in 9 of the last 13 meetings against the Cyclones and the road team has covered the spread in the last 4 games between these 2 teams.
Iowa State only has 2 wins this season against teams that have winning records and those teams are far from college football powerhouses in Northern Illinois and Northern Iowa. Since losing their first game of the season to Texas the Huskers have beat 2 ranked teams, Oklahoma State and Missouri, who were both undefeated at the time.
Ya think the Huskers have a little revenge in mind? Hell yeah, as they lost to Iowa State last season in Lincoln 9-7 in a barnburner. In that game Nebraska only lost by 2 points and they turned the ball over 8 times, yes 8 times.
The Cyclones are 1-3 this season against ranked teams and the only team they beat was Texas, who is not ranked any longer and is having their worst season in over a decade. For Iowa State to have any chance in this game they will have to keep the Huskers and their 6th ranked rushing offense from dominating the ground game, but that simply will not happen. Iowa State only has the nation’s 99th ranked rushing defense and even in beating Kansas last week 28-16 they gave up 119 yards to a Jayhawks’ team that only ranks 77th in the nation in rushing yards per game.
Huskers’ RB Roy Helu Jr. became the first player in the country to rush for over 300 yards in a game this season rushing for 307 last week against Mizzou. QB Taylor Martinez is the leading rusher for Nebraska with 886 yards with 12 TD and is averaging 7.9 yards per carry. The Cyclones have played 4 teams that have legit rushing attack in Iowa, Kansas State, Utah, and Oklahoma and in those 4 games they gave up an average of 275.25 yards per game. The thing is none of those teams can run the ball like the Huskers, who will run rampant in this game piling up a ton of rushing yards.
The Cyclones only rank 89th in pass defense and Martinez can air it out with 1,161 passing yards and 9 TD this season, but he will not have to use his arm much since Iowa State will not be able to stop the run.
Where the Cyclones are strong on offense is their rushing attack, which is ranked 52nd in the nation led by RB Alexander Robinson, who has rushed for over 115 yards in each of his last 2 games. Robinson did not play in last season’s upset win over Nebraska and he will be counted on for the offense for the Cyclones in this game. He will have a decent game, but not a huge one even though the Huskers only rank 75th in the nation in run defense.
Iowa State QB Austen Arnaud was solid against Kansas last week passing for 168 yards with 1 TD and 0 INT, but he will not put up good numbers against a Huskers’ pass defense that ranks 3d in the nation. I mean last week Nebraska held Mizzou’s solid QB of Blaine Gabbert to only 18/42 for 199 yards and he was sacked 6 times. Iowa State has given up 20 sacks this season and Arnaud will be taken down a few times in this game.
Jason’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Nebraska has yet to lose on the road this season (3-0) and in all of those games they covered the spread. Look for that streak to be snapped on Saturday vs. an Iowa State team that isn’t as bad as you might think. Take the Cyclones plus the points!