Nebraska Cornhuskers (4-6 SU, 3-7 ATS) vs. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-2 SU, 7-3 ATS)
NCAA Week 12
Date/Time: Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 4:00 P.M. ET
Where: Beaver Stadium
TV: Fox Sports 1
by Jerbeek, Expert Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: Neb +26/PSU -26
Over/Under Total: 56.5
The Nebraska Cornhuskers travel to University Park, Pennsylvania to take on the #14 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. The Cornhuskers have endured a difficult season and Athletic Director Shawn Eichorst was the first to pay the price when he was fired after a week 3 loss to Northern Illinois. The season has spiraled out of control since then as Nebraska has lost 4 of their last 5 games with blowout losses to Ohio State, Wisconsin and Minnesota. The latest loss was the most inexplicable as Minnesota came into the game ranked #118 in offense and totally steamrolled the Blackshirt defense averaging 9.1 yards per carry in a 54-21 rout. Nebraska spent a lot of money to bring in defensive coordinator Bob Diaco over the offseason but his switch to the 3-4 defense has not produced results and it is expected that Head Coach Mike Rileys time will come to an end as soon as the 2017 season is finished. Cornhusker fans are holding out hope that home town hero Scott Frost will leave his head coaching spot in Central Florida and come back to try to lead Nebraska back to National relevance.
Nebraska has been led by transfer QB Tanner Lee who has started every game this season; however, Lee suffered a concussion in the Minnesota game and is questionable for this weeks game. If Lee cant play the duties will fall to Redshirt Freshman Patrick OBrien who saw his first extended action in the loss to Minnesota. The Cornhuskers are also without their top RB as Tre Bryant has been shut down for the season after an early knee injury. The offensive line has had a great deal of difficulty pass blocking and has also had several key injuries down the stretch. The line has not done a good job of run blocking either as the Cornhuskers are only averaging 3.6 yards per play and in the last 3 losses are only averaging 50 yards rushing per game. The lone bright spot has been WRs Stanley Morgan and JD Spielman.
On the defensive side of the ball the outlook is not much brighter for the Cornhuskers. Starting LB Luke Gifford is having surgery this week and is lost for the season. The defensive line has not been able to get any pressure on opposing QBs and lately the entire defense has lacked any type of energy or effort leading to the inevitable question as to whether the coaching staff has lost this team. It was clear in the loss to Minnesota that there was not a lot of effort in trying to stop the Gophers as Minnesota scored on every possession except one. The Cornhusker rush defense has allowed 5.3 yards per carry against teams that average 4.5 yards per play.
Penn State comes into this game with a high powered offense averaging 37.7 points per game. The offense is led by QB Trace McSorley and Heisman candidate Saquan Barkley who is averaging 5.4 yards per carry. Barkley has also been very good catching passes out of the backfield averaging 12.9 yards per reception. WR DaeSean Hamilton leads the receiving corps with 653 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Defensively, Penn State has been very good except for their 2 losses. In their 8 wins they have only allowed an average of 9 points per game. They have only allowed 3.3 yards per carry so the Huskers will have a hard time rushing the ball.
Jerbeeks Pick to Cover the Point Spread: If you have read thus far, I am sure you can see which way I am leaning in this game. The question will be how well Penn State is focused on this game as they stumbled out of the gate last week against Rutgers in the first half before taking over in the second half. It looks like Riley has lost the team and this train has totally come off the tracks. This should be a blowout win by the Nittany Lions and I predict a score of 48-10. My recommendation is to play Penn State minus the 26 points. I look for this line to rise to 28 so you may want to play it early. Bet your pick for this game using your credit card at an online bookie where it WILL work for deposits and where you’ll receive a generous 50% signup bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $250! (Example: Deposit $250 and they’ll give you an extra $250 FREE!) Find this great offer at Bovada Sportsbook.