Predictions: UCLA Week

RUN GIRLS RUN IT'S A BEAR - Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The staff gives their thoughts and selections on Nebraska/UCLA, as well as a host of other games in Week 3

Mike: Now things get interesting! Big game for Nebraska, and the alleged game of the year of SEC snobs!

Nathaniel: This week’s games will be a lot more fun to watch compared to last week.

Ty: I love when even the non-conference games are interesting. A good slate this week!

David: Really, really excited for not 100 degree weather at the game this week. Also, I do think the game of the year comes out of this week. I don’t think it will be in College Station though.

James: This is the week where dreams die, and the Husker fanbase gets very grouchy for the next few weeks.

Cobby: I LOVE COUGARS. I LOVE BYU COUGARS (HOOK ‘EM). I LOVE WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (YOUUUUU-ESSSSS SEE YA!) AND I LOVE THE THREE COUGARS THAT I TOOK HOME WITH ME LAST FRIDAY NIGHT!

Aaron: Does this mean we can stop watching the SEC for the rest of the year since this is the championship game?

Salt Creek: Mizzou vs Alabama is the champ game, duh. Look at those Tigers go.

Paul: After last week’s slate of B-sides, this week’s schedule is terrific. I can’t wait.

Andy: Getting my autographed Johnny Football jersey dry cleaned.

Brian: Fairly decent slate this week. Can’t complain.

Washington (-10) vs. Illinois (at Soldier Field, Chicago)

Mister Mike: Washington by two touches.

Nathaniel Perlow: The Illini offense keeps this game closer than many people will think.

Huskies 37 Illini 30

Ty: Who is Illinois? This should answer that question, but Washington looks very good. They cover.

James: Illinois is a pretender. Washington is a contender (until they face Oregon/Stanford). I like UDub big here.

David: Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, walks into Memorial Stadium and beats Illinois. So, Washington is going to sneak in, run up to Chief Illiniwek, punch him in the nose and run out. Huskies win, Scheelhaase does his thing. 47-42, EweDubb

Cobby: ILLINOIS PRODUCES MORE CORN THAN ANY OTHER STATE. THAT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME! ORANGE GUYS 56, PUPPIES 35

Aaron: I considered Illinois for the upset, but I like how the Dawgs looked after Boise State. If the Illini pull this one off, watch out in a couple weeks Huskers! Washington 27, Illinois 21

Jon: I hate it when everyone picks the same team. The contrarian comes out and I have this need to pick Illinois despite the rational conclusion that their coach is Todd Beckman, Washington is a 10-point favorite despite the game basically being a road game. Keith Price > Nathan Scheelhaase? Washington 45, Illinois 34

Husker Mike: I have no idea what happened with Illinois last week. It’s one of those "any given week" things, I suppose. Still think Washington is better: better coach, better quarterback, better team. UDub 42, Illinois 24

Salt Creek: No one has taken Soldier Field into account here. It’s a little early in the season but Soldier Field knows no bounds on its horribleness. And I speak as a Bear’s fan. I think the game is closer than anticipated. I still think the overall maturity of Washington leads the Huskies to victory, however.

Andy: I just don’t think Washington’s win over Boise is going to end up being that impressive. And Scheelhaase will give them fits. However, I don’t think Illinois’ defense could stop Elmwood. Washington 47 Illini 35

Brian: Washington is another team that you really don’t know what you’re going to get from week to week, but Illinois is the definition of this in Websters. I think Washington wins this one, but the Illini look better than people think.

Iowa (-2.5) at Iowa State

Mister Mike: The Fighting Pauls beat up on the Hapless Ferentz’s to the tune of 28 to 14

Nathaniel Perlow: The Ferentz woes continue. Cyclones by a field goal.

Ty: Even CU-CSU had more intrigue. Cyclones by a touch.

James: Iowa is going to take this one. They aren’t quite as bad as you think, and Iowa State isn’t as good as you think. Iowa wins it by a field goal in an ugly game.

David: Remember what I said about Colorado vs. Colorado St. a couple of weeks ago? This one’s a dawg. I like Paul Rhodes, I’ll go with the Clones, I guess… Random number generator picks 21-4, ISU.

Cobby: BOTH OF THESE TEAMS SUCK THIS YEAR. TORNADOES 4, BIRDS WITH NO PUPIL 2

Aaron: I’ll go with the Hawkeyes in this one. The cyclones were just so bad in week one. Iowa 28, Iowa State 17

Paul: Two bad teams. Go with the home team. Clowns 28, Hawks 24.

Jon: Agree with Paul. Iowa can’t seem to come up with an offense. Iowa State… oh hell, they’re both a bad 1-2. Iowa State 17, Iowa 13

Husker Mike: Nobody will win this game, but somebody will definitely lose. In this case: Clones 17, Squawkeyes 13

Salt Creek: Ferentz has only won in Ames twice in his career as HC. Let’s go ahead and say that number stays the same here. SO PROUD by a field goal.

Andy: I care about this game even less than usual. Since Hawkeye fans get so red assed when the Cyclones drop them, I’m saying Clones 23 Iowa 20

Brian: For all the harfing over Kirk Ferentz’s job, I keep wondering how Paul Rhodes keeps being mentioned for all these open jobs when they open. The guy is 24-27 in Ames, and has done nothing spectacular at all. I just looked and the last .500 coach that was in more than 2 games was back when Earle Bruce had the job… in 1978. However, the game is at the High School Stadium with a massive scoreboard in Ames, so sure, Cyclones win Meth Bowl ‘13.

Wisconsin (+6) at Arizona State

Mister Mike: First team Wisconsin has played this year. Things aren’t going to go as smoothly for them this time. ASU over Wiscy.

Nathaniel Perlow: Wisconsin has just beaten up on a couple powderpuff teams this season. I think Arizona State comes into this game more prepared and pulls out the win.

Sparky 30 Bucky 24

Ty: Arizona State, but it’s close.

James: Should be a fun game. I think the Big Ten takes this one on Sparky being Sparky. Wisconsin wins a close one on the benefit of ASU mistakes.

David: Sneaky game of the week candidate, right here. Wisconsin will have some success running the ball, but that pesky thing about Big Ten teams traveling west rears its ugly head. ASU 19-14.

COBBY: I’LL JUST BE WAKING UP FOR THIS KICKOFF AT LIKE MIDNIGHT OR WHATEVER. IF THE BADGERS ARE AS WIRED AS I AM WITH MY RED BULL AND VODKA, THEY ARE GONNA SOAR OVER THE DEVILS. ARIZONA STATE A LOT, WISCONSIN A LOT MORE.

Aaron: I was going to go with ASU, but everyone else has picked them so I’ll take Wisconsin. They play keep away with sparky and escape the desert with a win. Wisconsin 35, Arizona State 28

Paul: ASU 24, Wisky 21

Jon: Wisconsin beat two teams by a combined score of 93-0, and Arizona State beat a really bad Sacramento State team 55-0. Arizona State is 8-0 at home all time against the Big Ten, while Wisconsin is 31-6 in their last 37 games at night. I’m going with Wisconsin’s running backs and offensive line in tight game. Wisconsin 24, Arizona State 21

Husker Mike: Originally, I was going to pick Wisconsin to win. Then I saw the Tillman Tunnel that leads to the field at Sun Devil Stadium, and it gave me flashbacks to 1996 and the Frank Kush tribute. I still remember walking back across the ASU campus after that loss. Three safeties? Really? How did that happen? It was the perfect storm of karma. Instant karma gonna get you, Bucky. Devils 31, Stinkin’ Bahdgahs 20.

Salt Creek: Taking Arizona State here. Not sure if ASU is on Pacific or Mountain time, but it doesn’t matter. Wisconsin hasn’t left home or played anyone with a pulse yet, and I think they panic early and come up short late. ASU by less than a touchdown.

Andy: The desert is not kind to Badgers & that stadium can get...excitable. Devils 35 Wiscy 21

Brian: For those picking ASU, y’all do remember Todd Graham is still the coach there right? He could take the Grambling job at halftime conceivably. That being said also, no one really knows how good Wisconsin is going to be. Give me the Badgers on the road beating ASU.

Alabama (-8) at Texas A&M

Mister Mike: Saban gets his revenge in this one, Manziel going XBOX at QB isn’t going to matter. Bama 31, A&M 20.

Nathaniel Perlow: Saban will get his revenge. By the end of the game Manziel will want Saban’s autograph. Bama 37, Texas A&M 17

Ty: This, really, is Manziel’s chance to prove he’s more than a flash-in-the-pan story. However, Saban’s too damn good. ‘Bama, but by a touchdown late.

James: Johnny Manziel lights up the Aggie Defense again and wins another thriller. He’s the kryptonite to Saban.

David: I get the hype about this game, but frankly, I’m just not feeling it. Maybe when I get home from the Husker game and it’s a tight one in the second half, I’ll change my mind. McCarron 27, Designated CBS camera pretty boy 18

Cobby: NUMBER JOHNNY FIVE IS ALIVE! MANZIEL WITH 7 TD’S AND 462 TOTAL YARDS. JUST LIKE PEYTON MANNING DID LAST WEEK ON MY FANTASY FOOTBALL TEAM. SHEEP GROOMERS 56, PINK TIDE 21

BY THE WAY, ONCE THE LEAGUE COMMISH OPENS UP THE GAME FOR PUBLIC VIEWING, I'LL POST AN ARTICLE EVERY WEEK ABOUT COBBY’S NINJA SQUAD AND YOU CAN FOLLOW ALONG AS WE BEAT THE OTHER B1G SB NATION BLOGGERS. MINNESOTA WENT DOWN IN WEEK ONE! THE DAILY GOPHER GOT HIS DAILY BEATING!

Aaron: I’m a big Texas-to-the-Big-Ten guy so part of me wants A&M to do as well as possible and for Texas to fail miserably. The shame of being one-upped by A&M could lead the Longhorns to do something drastic in a few years, like switching conferences. Pipe dreams aside, it’s hard to pick against ‘bama. Saban will try to neutralize Johnny Football by playing keep away against a surprisingly bad A&M defense. Roll ‘Damn’ Tide 45, Drama Queens 17

Paul: Going with Johnny F’in Football and Cobby here. A&M 27, ‘Bama ‘20

Jon: Johnny Football gets taken out of the game on a late hit by ‘Bama. Texas A&M wins anyway. Texas A&M 30, Alabama 27

Husker Mike: JFF wilts under the spotlight. The Tide rolls. Bama 27, A&M 14

Salt Creek: I kind of want Texas A&M to win. Not only will we get Johnny Shenanigans, we get Mark May blubbering in a booth AND an angry Nick Saban. I can already see the articles next week. Oklahoma State who?

Andy: Pulling for A&M simply because I love watching talking heads who only think quiet, humble athletes are capable of playing at high level gnash their teeth until their fillings break. Some people can’t handle rush hour on the interstate. Love him or hate him, Johnny Football could calmly weave against NASCAR traffic at Daytona with one hand on the wheel and his middle finger extended to the crowd. There is no chart in Robo Saban’s hand that has an answer to his broken containment. Bama’s special teams are suddenly scary, but I’m taking the aTm 27 Bama 23

Brian: At the end of last year, Saban told his team that they had won the National Championship but they were not the true National Champions, because they hadn’t beaten everyone on their schedule. Furthermore, there was only one tape played on a continuous loop throughout the Alabama facilities this summer, and that was the Texas A&M loss. This is the West division title game (because LSU ain’t beating either one of these teams and you can book it) and the ticket to Atlanta basically gets punched right here. The overlooked part of the game is the A&M D, which has dealt with suspensions and looked like hot garbage against Rice a couple weeks back. Saban in a payback game with 2 weeks to prepare? Bet your happy ass I’m taking Bama here.

Ole Miss (+2.5) at Texas

Mister Mike: You can bet that after BYU whipped Texas’ ass on Saturday that Hugh Freeze popped in that game tape and started going to work. I don’t think a new DC is going to make any difference in this one and a week certainly isn’t enough time to get all their defensive woes corrected. Oh, and they’ll most likely be starting Case McCoy since Ash is on the bench with a head injury and the OL is...not up to Texas standards. Expect a long night for the Horns. Ole Miss 35 Texas 20.

Nathaniel Perlow: Mack Brown’s misery continues and the nation rejoices. Rebels get revenge and pull out the win 31-21

James: Rebels take advantage of the defensive chaos in Austin, and the wagons don’t get rallied this week. Boos reign down on Mack and crew. Ole Miss by a touchdown.

Ty: Is Mack coaching for his job? A loss to a visiting Ole Miss will up the pressure on Brown, but Mississippi goes home victorious.

David: Texas hasn’t really responded to a challenge since Colt McCoy got knocked out of the MNC vs. Bama. Don’t really see why they would here. Robert Nkemdiche has a coming out party. 26-24.

Cobby: TEDDY BEARS WON’T SAVE YOU THIS WEEK TEXASS. MISSISIISISIISISISISIIIISS STATE 42, GREG "TEDDY RUXPIN" DAVIS’ RAMBLING WRECK 17

Aaron: I agree Cobby. As much as I like to see the SEC lose, hanging another "L" on the Longhorns is even better. Ole Miss 38, Texas 24

Paul: No questions. Ole Miss rolls. 31-17

Jon: Texas is just plain-ass soft. And lost. Ole Miss 31, Texas 21

Husker Mike: I have no love for Texas...but I think they circle the wagons around the 40 acres. And I’m not sold on Ole Miss. Bovines suck, but Rebels suck more. Texas 28, Ole Miss 21

Salt Creek: This game isn’t being played where anyone can see it, so even if Texas loses (and they will - Diaz wasn’t the problem), they can tell everyone that they won.

Andy: See what’s going on at Okie St? Save those headlines and insert "Mississippi" in 3-6 years. They start getting their money’s worth as they send Clap, Clap, Clap one step closer to his gold watch. Ole Miss 33 Cows 26

Brian: GERGGGGGGGGG ROBINSON. He’s not helping. Ole Miss is the better coached team and has less of the nuclear implosion factor going. Rebels win in Austin, and the 40 acres are fully engulfed in flames.

UCLA (+4.5) at Nebraska

Mister Mike: UCLA’s OL returns a lot of experience with guard Su`a Filo anchoring a veteran unit. These guys play well together, and it’s going to be a significant challenge for us to get pressure on Hundley. Mazzone’s HUNH offense will use motion to try and outnumber us in the box again, and will have several packaged plays for Hundley to run. I honestly would not be surprised to see them get up by 10 or so points on us early. We’ll see if raw athleticism can overcome a lack of experience, but you can bet that Mazzone has done his homework. If Martinez and the offense can limit the turnovers, we have a good chance. However, I don’t see us coming up on the right side of this one. UCLA 38 Huskers 31.

Nathaniel Perlow: This game is going to be a shootout. I think both defenses will have trouble containing Martinez and Hundley. If Martinez can avoid bad turnovers and keep the Bruin defense guessing by mixing it up with runs and throws to his different backs and receivers. If everything works out the Huskers will be able to bleed the clock in the 4th quarter with Abdullah, Cross and Newby. I’ll remain optimistic and say the ‘Blackshirts’ will continue to improve.

Huskers 48 UCLA 38

James: UCLA has too many weapons, against an inexperienced defense. Bo is going to do his typical mobile QB crap, and play contain. All the pressure from the Southern Miss game disappears, as do the TFLs. Nebraska dies a death of a million cuts amounting to 500+ yards. The game stays relatively close due to the Nebraska offense playing well, but even then, UCLA walks out comfortably, and the Nebraska fanbase is left with the pieces for the next month until the real conference schedule begins in November. UCLA 42, Nebraska 31.

Ty: This one’s scary. The Huskers showed marked improvement from Wyoming (who I said could be good this year) to Southern Miss. However, that was Southern Miss. In a way, we were UCLA’s coming out game last year- they established themselves as a program to be reckoned with in this game. I think our secondary will give Hundley problems, but Brett Smith is experienced, and Wyoming found a way around us. There were a couple remaining glaring weaknesses against Southern Miss, but I think the Blackshirts will be cleaner. I hate to pick against the home team, and it will come down to the 4th quarter, I think, but the comeback magic we showed a couple of times last season won’t be enough. ‘Skers lose a close one. 31-28

David: Not sure where UCLA’s heads will be after what is likely the toughest week in the lives of a lot of these players for the Bruins. I’ve seen these things work both ways. I think UCLA starts fast, but can’t sustain. Huskers want this game bad. We’ll learn a lot about the young squad this week, but there’s too much weight being put on this game by outside observes. I think the Huskers win, Gregory and Enunwa enter the CFB consciousness, but the true tests for this team come in November. 41-27, NU.

COBBY: DON’T PICK AGAINST NEBRASKA YOU TURDS. GO BIG RED 56, OOOOK-LA 17

Aaron: When I look at this game I see two teams with great offenses while one team has a decent defense, and the other has a questionable defense. Logic dictates that the team with the questionable defense will have the toughest time winning. Well, that team is Nebraska. I feel like this game will come down to whether or not the Husker offense can stay on the field and maintain drives. They have to keep UCLA’s opportunities to a minimum, to keep the defense off the field, fresh and feeling good about themselves. A slow offensive start with turnovers and/or 3-and-outs and this could be a long game for Nebraska. Keep it close and I think we have the advantage. Nebraska gets behind a little early on, but comes back for a win late. NU 37, UCLA 33

Paul: Huskers 47, Bruins 36

Jon: Huskers 45, Bruins 38 - then we all complain about how the defense won’t win us the Big Ten.

Husker Mike: The Nick Pasquale tragedy is the X factor that’s impossible to evaluate ahead of time. UCLA could be incredibly motivated...or incredibly distracted. So I’m going to play it straight up and ignore it. Nebraska’s offense will score points, but I think the Husker defense will make the plays this year. The player that’ll shine this week? Zaire Anderson. Huskers 31, UCLA 21.

Salt Creek: Nebraska 56, UCLA 21. Can’t wait for the over-reactions.

Andy: Husker Mike is right. That kind of thing can inspire or destroy a team. It probably cost the T-Boone’s their best shot at a title game when they lost to Iowa St after their own tragedy. Hell, remember that the Bears lost the game they dedicated to Brian Piccolo for crying out loud.

NU will get their points - it’s going to come down to whether these kids on D can grow up fast. They’re going to make us gasp in awe and curse like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas all season long as the athleticism tries to gain the experience. I think we’ll see a few turnovers from them, but also some big plays given up as Hundley breaks containment, coverages are blown a few times & Seisay gets burned deep once.

Weird that we’re favored, though. So, I’m saying a UCLA turnover or two is crippling even though we give up 520 yards and the bookies are right. NU 44 UCLA 38

Brian: This is the game on the schedule that will tell us if Nebraska is truly a B1G title contender or just another 9-10 win team that heads to Orlando or Tampa to hopefully not get embarrassed by a SEC team on New Year’s Day. If you believe that they are a conference contender, then you MUST believe they should win this game. On the other hand, if you think they are pretenders in the B1G, then this is the game that worries you.

There will be better teams Nebraska plays this year (Mich,NW) but that’s far down the road. Right now, it’s about how you beat a Bruins team that embarrassed your ass in the Rose Bowl last year. It’s about how you can prove your defense is truly better than what happened last year. It’s about your offense being able to finish drives and the game when the fourth quarter comes around.

Forget the fact of the blackout or whatever for a moment, the honest question is this: Do you trust this team, in this type of game, to play a COMPLETE game and win against a team that’s as good as they are, with motivation and 2 weeks to prepare? With a supposedly more mature QB and the type of offensive system that tends to embarrass teams? Can Bo’s squad beat all that and Win The Damn Game?

I’m going to trust Nebraska here, because in order to win the Big 10 West and give Ohio State their best shot, they MUST prove they can win when it’s a even match up on the field. You have to put faith in that the Huskers players and staff can make it happen when it counts. Tomorrow is an investment into the B1G schedule and October through Thanksgiving.

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