Virginia Tech Hokies +7 (3-1) 1-2 ATS at Nebraska Cornhuskers -7 (3-0) 2-1 ATS Saturday September 27 Memorial Stadium (Osborne Field) (87,067) Lincoln, Nebraska 8:00 p.m. EST, regionally on ABC TV
By Wilson of Predictem.com
The Nebraska Cornhuskers will host the Virginia Tech Hokies this weekend for a clash between the ACC and the Big 12. These two teams have only met one time, in the 1996 Orange Bowl when the 6th ranked Huskers beat the No. 10 ranked Hokies 41-21.
The trip for Virginia Tech will mark the first time the Hokies will play a football game in the state of Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers open this weekend with a 3-0 record, and are coming off of a 38-7 win over New Mexico State. They are averaging more than 450 yards in total offense, 261 through the air, and 189 on the ground.
The Cornhuskers are putting up 40 points per game and only giving up 14.3 to their opponents. Nebraska could clean it up a bit in the penalty department as they are averaging 8.3 penalties per game.
Defensively, the Huskers have been preparing for Hokies sophomore quarterback Tyrod Taylor who is a constant threat both with the run and the pass. Huskers defensive coordinator Carl Pelini is concerned about Taylors ability to manipulate defenses. You cant forget about him or hell burn you. Said Pelini in a recent press conference. Pelini is extremely talented and will run all over the place if the Huskers dont contain him. This may be a good test for the Nebraska defense, as they have not yet been forced to address this caliber of a team along with a player as versatile as Taylor.
Virginia Tech will attempt to upset the Cornhuskers as 7-point dogs but that line may tighten as the weekend nears. Go to 5Dimes.com for the latest lines and totals update. Both of these teams have a 1-2 O/U record, both going under the total twice.
The Hokies have averaged 21.5 points per game while giving up 17. Their penalty margin is half of Nebraskas mark (8.3) with just 4.3 penalties per game. The Hokies have had trouble putting points on the board especially in the first half as they have failed to score any points during the first quarter of their last six games.
Defensively, the Hokies have only allowed three touchdowns in the first half, which is most impressive through four contests. In the UNC game the Hokies defense had 9 tackles for a loss. They will need to repeat those numbers if they plan on slowing down Taylor and the Cornhuskers offense.
If the Cornhuskers can contain Hokie QB Taylor, they will improve their chances to win. Taylor will be the key to this game and probably every game for the Hokies. If they pressure and force Taylor to hurry he well likely make mistakes and fall into the Cornhuskers trap. Im sure coach Pelini will address the Taylor concern and not allow him to take over. But we all know how great athletes usually find a way to succeed; Taylor is no exception.
Virginia Techs last game was a 20-17 win over UNC. The Hokies look to keep a balanced attack on offense, but the O-line must do their job in order for the Hokies to put points on the board. Virginia Tech has the tools they just need to be more productive.
Wilsons Pick: Nebraska holds on at home, but doesn’t cover the spread.