Nebraska vs. Northwestern: Week 10 Predictions

... what. - Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The staff hacks it up again (probably) and gets to their picks for the first Saturday in November.

Salt Creek: So who’s excited for some Nebraska football? I’m headed to the coast for the weekend in a much needed escape from Georgia. Here’s hoping we don’t ruin the day with a bad showing. But there is fish and beer involved, so I imagine I’ll move on fairly easily.

Brian: November is a great month this year. By the end, it should be settled on who are the big dogs in each conference.

Wisconsin (-9.5) at Iowa

Nathaniel: Iowa keeps it close but get gassed in the 4th quarter by Wisconsin’s running attack.

Badgers 34 Hawkeyes 17

Ty: Wisconsin uses this to establish themselves as the number two team in the conference, with a legitimate case that they’re number one. Wisconsin 45, Iowa 10

Salt Creek: We’re still in the Big Ten right? Iowa hasn’t won their annual "HOW’D THEY DO THAT" game yet. Let’s hope it’s this one. Give me Iowa, on accident. (By the way, we’re not hiring Kirk Ferentz, so take that name off your list. We can’t afford him.)

Aaron: Nebraska fans that watch this game are going to see how B1G football is played. This game will be a lot closer that most think. Iowa 21, Wisconsin 20

Husker Mike: Time for Iowa to resume being Iowa again. Ty’s got this one right. Badgers 35, Squawks 13

Mister Mike: I don’t think there’s any doubt that Wiscy wins this one. Running game is too strong for Iowa, even with their improved defense. Take Wiscy to cover.

Brian: Can’t see Iowa going into Camp Randall and doing what they’ve done to everyone else. They are a worry, but not here. Badgers.

Michigan (+4) at Michigan State

Nathaniel: Michigan State has vastly improved over the past few weeks while Michigan has been Jekyl and Hyde. I think Michigan State’s can get enough key stops in this game (and maybe even some defensive touchdowns) to pull this out in East Lansing. Spartans 27 Wolverines 20

Ty: Michigan State. I wish I’d had the guts to stick with them when I called it early season as this being the team to beat in the "West". However, I can stick with them now. It’ll be close, but I take Sparty 24-20.

Salt Creek: Sparty is on a mission to get back to Indy. Their toolbox is packed and ready. Michigan is traveling, which means they’re going to be horrible. This will be a "HIDE YOUR EYES" type of game, but Sparty wins it with at least two defensive TDs. And a safety, just for kicks. And maybe this is Narduzzi’s last Michigan-Michigan State game as a DC - he’ll be getting a HC job this silly season. Somewhere.

Aaron: Sparty blows up Michigan. MSU 31, UM 10

Mike: The Jekyll and Hyde Spartans offense turns Hyde. Big brother takes this one. Weasels 17, Sparty 13

Mister Mike: Interesting game here. The fact that Big Blue is on the road against a pissed off Spartan team that feels they aren’t getting enough respect in the polls...this should be a good one. The Spartan’s defense is Top 10, maybe Top 5 until someone proves otherwise. Their offense...meh…

Wolvie has problems of his own to figure out though, mainly defensively after giving up 47 to the Hoosiers.

I think Sparty pulls this one out though. It’s hard to bet against them at home here. Sobering fact...if they win, they’ve almost certainly sewn up the West Division title in the B1G. I’m taking Sparty to cover at home.

Brian: This is seriously a coin flip. It depends on which offense decides to show up. I sweat both these teams for Nebraska, but a Wolverines win will help the Huskers West division chances. Taking Blue in this one.

Illinois (+10) at Penn State

Nathaniel: For some reason I think Illinois will keep this one close. Both teams have really solid offenses should this should be a fun game to watch. Illinois 34 Penn State 31 in OT

Ty: Penn State 31-17

Salt Creek: The Illini aren’t going to bounce back from a season with no conference wins to a win at Happy Valley. Nope. Give me Penn State here. No potential coaches for hire here.

Aaron: Magic 8-ball says "All signs point to Penn State". Lions 42, Illini 34

Mister Mike: Even after the colossal taint-punching Penn State took against tOSU, I can’t pick against them here, especially in Happy Valley. Illinois looked like they had something going early in the year and they’ve already exceeded their win total from last year, but they just can’t seem to find a defense…like at all. O’Brien and the Lions by AT LEAST 10.

Brian: Ain’t no way that Illinois is winning on the road. No, chance. Penn State here.

Minnesota (+10) at Indiana

Nathaniel: Another entertaining offense battle but Minnesota keeps things rolling on offense and lets other Big Ten teams know they mean business. Gophers 38 Hoosiers 34

Ty: I think. I THINK the "Coach Kill’s still here" effect wears off, and Minnesota comes back down to earth, but they’ve got a soft landing zone. Gophers 28, Indiana 24

Salt Creek: Indiana’s offense, unlike Nebraska’s, isn’t called by a man who hates successful plays. But Indiana’s defense makes Nebraska’s look legit. If the Gophers continue to play fundamental football, they could win the shootout here. But I think Indiana picks up this win. Give me the Hoosiers, but give me the over on 77 points between the two squads. No coaches for hire here.

Aaron: If you don’t do your homework on Indiana, they will score lots of points on you. If you do your homework, they get shutdown. We all know from last week that Minnesota watched tape of Nebraska to learn how to beat em. They do their homework. Minensota 24, Indiana 17

Mister Mike: Minny should be riding high on the momentum generated by their win last week against Nebraska. That should be enough to get them past the Hoosiers. Minny wins, but like Salt, I’d take the "over" on whatever the total points should be.

Brian: Let down game folks? Probably not, considering we all thought that the Nebraska game would be a letdown game after Northwestern. Gophers in this one.

Oklahoma State (-2.5) at Texas Tech

Nathaniel: This Big 12 matchup always screams lot of offense. Cowboys have struggled in a few games this season while Texas Tech has looked really solid all season despite falling short against Oklahoma last week. I think Texas Tech bounces back this week and gets the W.

Red Raiders 55 Cowboys 45

Ty: Kliff "The Notebook" Kingsbury has Tech playing really well. Okie State’s been bipolar this year. Give me Tech in a blowout, as they need to show the world they can keep pace with Baylor. Red Raiders 51, Pokes 21

Salt Creek: You have to take Tech here. And the noise for Scott Frost to Nebraska gets louder because IF KLIFF KINGSBURY CAN DO IT AT TECH, WHY NOT FROST AT NEBRASKA. /fart noise

Aaron: Tech big over the Cowboys. TT 42, OSU 24

Mister Mike: Okie State has been up and down more than Paris Hilton on a blind date. Tech has been the most consistent of the two teams. I’ll take Tech in this one.

Brian: I still think it’s Baylor vs Tech on Nov 16th for the Big 12 title. And this game doesn’t scare me if you’re Tech. Pistols fire in this one for the Lubbock crowd.

Miami (+22) at Florida State

Nathaniel: Miami had some really close games against average opponents and unlike Michigan they have actually won them all so far. Florida State has a very sound offense and defense this season. Miami’s luck stops here and Florida State rolls. Seminoles 48 Hurricanes 17

Ty: Florida State wants to reclaim the #2 in the BCS, and this is probably their best chance to do so. However, I think they also expose the flaws that lesser competition hasn’t, and send Miami tumbling out of the top 20. ‘Noles 45, ‘Canes 10.

Salt Creek: Oh god. Here’s the thing. Miami is going to get schwacked but they’re still a very good and very sound team. OH, and you’ll want to watch this because SHAWN EICHORST AND AL GOLDEN USED TO WORK TOGETHER (for a year) SO OF COURSE GOLDEN WANTS TO COME TO NEBRASKA (because reasons)!

Aaron: There will be no survivors. FSU 49, UM 14

Husker Mike: OK, it doesn’t count if you just pick Florida State. Not with a 22 point line. But yeah, the Seminoles will roll all over the Canes. FSU 42, u 13

Mister Mike: Lots of "ifs" for the Canes to pull this one out: IF they generate turnovers, IF they can get to Winston, etc, etc. The Canes aren’t playing consistent enough right now to believe they can pull this one out. IF they do though...wow. All the sudden, tOSU is back in play with a chance to reach the MNC. Not going to happen though. FSU wins, but doesn’t cover.

Brian: How in the hell is Miami a 3 score dog? FSU will not cover, that’s for sure. That being said, I can’t see the Noles not winning this game.

Northwestern (+7) at Nebraska

Nathaniel: With TA2 back at the helm I don’t think the offense will be as jittery but it will be up to the receivers like Bell and Enunwa to avoid dropping passes to keep drives going and keep the Husker defense off the field. I don’t know if all of this will happen but I still think the Huskers bounce back and win this one. Huskers 37 Wildcats 31

Ty: Ah hell, I don’t know! Huskers win by four touchdowns, or it’s like Iowa State in 2008. Really, I think we sit Taylor, again, and go with TA. Northwestern’s been plagued by injuries to high profile players, as well, and has yet to win in B1G play this year. As a side note, while at supper with my wife and mom on Monday, I saw Spencer Long, he sat at the table next to us. I can see why he’s such an asset, and the crutches and brace on his knee made me cringe. Damn. Anyway, TA also helps us because he’s mobile and can evade the free running D-Line from the missed blocks. I have faith that our receivers get it together again and catch some balls. I think Kenny Bell will be a man on a mission. I’m rambling. Huskers win it 27-17.

Salt Creek: Nebraska wins this one and here’s why: Northwestern’s Venric Mark is out. Expect Northwestern to make use of pre-snap motion as well as that old "SMOKE AND MIRRORS" play of running the ball straight at our defensive line. (MYSTICAL.) But without Mark handling the ball, it won’t have the same bruising effect as Minnesota’s running game. And Colter’s bum ankle doesn’t help things as it likely limits his ability to run with the ball. And we all know what happens when Northwestern spends the fourth quarter throwing the ball. (If you don’t know, Nebraska barely wins the game because Northwestern’s normally on-target kicker misses the chip-shot field goal.)

As for Nebraska, with Taylor Martinez out, look for Beck to rely on his running backs because that’s what makes the most sense with a young QB whose strong suit is the option run play. No, I didn’t write that with a straight face. I have no idea what the hell Nebraska’s offense will look like. I’m guessing we’ll hate it and we’ll be cursing Tim Beck’s name, even if we somehow win. And we’re still experimenting on defense, so either it’ll be better or worse than last week.

Nebraska really can’t afford for the defense to be worse. Losing at home really isn’t going to help Pelini’s case for returning in 2014, at least not with the average Nebraska fan.

Aaron: Game of the week. *sigh* Since Nebraska can’t seem to fix their problems on defense and everyone seems to have figured them out, it’s hard to pick Nebraska to win. Especially since people are starting to figure out Nebraska’s offense as well. Northwestern 38, Nebraska 17

Husker Mike: While Colter will do some damage on the ground, he’s not going to be able to carry the Wildcats. Nebraska’s offense will do enough to get the "W". NU 31, NW 21

Mister Mike: We’ll see if Nebraska can overcome the let down from last week at Minnesota. I expect this to be quite an ugly game, with T-Mart out (maybe) and no Venric for NW. If Fitz is smart, he’ll use Colter at QB and try to use him at key times in their run game. I’m expecting a game like last year, except NW doesn’t make as many mistakes, and makes just enough plays to win. NW 30, NU 28.

Brian: A refocused Tim Beck, along with a team that is embarrassed again after a loss, coming home for the first time in almost a month. Plus, Colter worries me but not as much as the Nebraska offensive line. They made Minnesota look herculean, and it’s probably not going to get much better. I have to take Nebraska, cause a loss here basically ends all chances at going to Indianapolis. If/when that happens…… holy cow.

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