Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1 SU, 2-3 ATS) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-0 SU, 5-1 ATS), Week 8 NCAA Foots, 3:30 p.m. EST, Saturday, October 23, 2010, Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Okla.
by Ryno of Predictem.com
Betting Odds: Neb -6/OSU +6
Over/Under Total: 59.5
The Big 12 is loaded this season with talented teams. Nebraska and Oklahoma State are both ranked in the top 20 in the polls and have a chance at a Big 12 championship. But Saturday’s game in Stillwater will go a long way to determine which of the two teams has a better shot at reaching the conference title game. Nebraska is 5-1 after a disappointing home loss to Texas last week, so a second straight loss would all but put the Cornhuskers out of contention for the top spot in the North Division. The Cowboys are undefeated at 6-0 and are tied with rival Oklahoma atop the South Division. In order to stay even with the Sooners, who are now ranked No. 1 in the BCS, the Cowboys have to win this game and remain undefeated.
Nebraska won its first five games this season, but the two tough ones were both on the road. The Cornhuskers won 56-21 at Washington and 48-13 at Kansas State. But last week, they came back home as the No. 5 team in the country and lost 20-13 to Texas. They trailed 20-3 before scoring the final 10 points. There wasn’t much passing in the game. The Huskers ran the ball 44 times for 125 yards. Starting RB Roy Helu had just 11 carries for 43 yards. Starting QB Taylor Martinez was just 4-for-12 for 63 yards passing and 13 carries for 21 rushing yards before being pulled for Zac Lee, the former starter. Lee wasn’t any better, going 4-for-9 for 14 yards and running for 25 yards on 10 carries. WR Niles Paul had six of Nebraska’s eight receptions for 66 yards. Texas ran the ball 44 times for 214 yards. Texas QB Garrett Gilbert was only 4-of-16 for 62 passing yards.
After Martinez was benched in last week’s loss to Texas, it is unknown yet whether Martinez or Lee will be the Huskers’ starting quarterback on Saturday against Oklahoma State.
Nebraska hasn’t allowed more than 21 points in any game this season.
Oklahoma State has scored at least 34 points in every game this season. The Cowboys started off with four straight home wins, the last of which was the closest, a 38-35 win over Texas A&M. They then went on the road and won at Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas Tech.
In their 34-17 win at Texas Tech last week, the Cowboys got out to a 21-0 first quarter lead. Texas Tech got back into it with two second quarter touchdowns but the Cowboys held on in the second half for the victory. The Cowboys did their damage on the ground where they ran the ball 47 times for 240 yards, led by Kendall Hunter and his 130 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Joseph Randle also ran it 17 times for 95 yards and a touchdown. OSU QB Brandon Weeden was 24-for-35 for 356 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. WR Justin Blackmon absolutely dominated with 10 receptions for 207 yards and a touchdown.
Nebraska is 4-1 ATS in its last five games following an ATS loss, 4-1 ATS in its last five road games, and 4-1 ATS in its last five games as a road favorite. Oklahoma State is 4-0 ATS in its last four games overall and 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games in October. But the Cowboys are also 1-6 ATS in its last seven games as an underdog and 0-6 ATS in its last six games as a home underdog. Oklahoma State is 5-1 ATS in its last six games against Nebraska. The underdog is also 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings between these teams.
Ryno’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I expect a VERY high scoring game here into the 70’s. Take the OVER.