I'm sensing a high degree of anxiety in some members of HuskerNation with the Missouri game on tap. Certainly Missouri has a high powered offense...and the Blackshirts haven't been playing so hot in recent weeks.
Conversely, the Husker offense has been rather productive in
the passing game recently, while the Tiger defense has been rather leaky all season.
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Last year in road games at Iowa State and Kansas State, Nebraska "pounded the rock" to shorten the game, maintain possession of the ball, and take the crowd out of the game. This year, however, Nebraska's rushing attack has been fairly ordinary except against Nevada. Oh, and did I mention this Saturday night's game is in Columbia... at 8:15 pm, no less?
So what do experts think? CBS Sportsline's College Football Experts picked Missouri 4-1 over Nebraska. With that in mind, the lone vote for the Huskers came from the expert with the best percentage this year. Even Adrian Fiala, radio color commentator for the Husker broadcasts, chose Missouri by 3 on last night's "Big Red Wrapup" on NET.
Vegas has Missouri a 7 point favorite, with an over/under of 67. (Which appears to be one of the highest over/unders for this week in college football.)
Personally, I think Vegas and the experts picking Missouri are probably right. Does that make me a bad fan? Some will think so...but that doesn't mean I'm going to be wearing Tiger black on Saturday night. I'll be rooting for the Big Red... I'm just not quite as optimistic as I'd like to be.
But I can also see Nebraska winning...and quite easily, I might add. I think the Blackshirts are better than they've shown in recent weeks. Can they pull everything together this week? Certainly! In fact, if they play like I think they are capable of, I think Nebraska can will this game easily.
On the other hand, I watched Ball State move the football at will a couple of weeks ago...hence, my prediction of the Tigers.
And yet again, Missouri is tied for 18th in the country in turnover margin, while Nebraska is 77th. Sam Keller, while he's been very efficient with the football, has had the knack for turning the ball over this season. If Keller turns the ball over too much, I can also see a Missouri blowout.
So what does it mean? I think Missouri wins a shoot-out that reminds us of those old late Saturday night WAC games on ESPN where San Diego State and BYU race back and forth with a 63-56 final. Will it get that high? Hard to say... but I wouldn't be surprised by a 45-42 final score.