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Staff Predictions: Nebraska vs. Rutgers

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The CN staff gets in and makes their picks with the Huskers taking on Rutgers, along with a few other games for Week 9.

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Husker Mike: You can tell that it must be World Series weekend, because we’ve got a relatively craptastic weekend slate of games.  No body-bag blowouts, but way too many games with two and three touchdown spreads.

Ranchbabe: I don’t think I’ve gone over .500 yet on picks this season. I was way smarter when I didn’t have to put my guesses in writing…

Ty: I never look at my picks afterwards.  That way I can be confident I nailed EVERY SINGLE ONE!  Also, Husker volleyball on ESPN2 Sunday at 4:00.  Hopefully it’ll be better for my heart than Wednesday’s match.

Andy: I almost feel like I’m not a real college football fan for even considering spending a moment of time caring about non-SEC games. Paul F., forgive me.

Jon: Michigan-Michigan State isn’t listed. The game interests me despite Michigan being on fire. The Wolverines still have athletes. They can still make some noise, still save Hoke’s job. Will they? Doubtful, but still.

Brian: Michigan will make noise when they hire Jim Harbaugh in late December and bring in Greg Roman as their OC. Til then, it’s all farting from Ann Arbor.

Ole Miss (-3.5) at LSU

Ranchbabe: I want utter chaos in the SEC West and I don’t want any rumors of LSU stealing Bo.  Those two things seem to require an LSU win. The bag man can’t get ‘em all. LSU 21 Ole Miss 17

David: Ole Miss seems like the real deal. But winning at the Red Baton isn’t any small achievement, even when they’re not up to their normal standard. I think LSU stands their ground and this one is a game of the year candidate. Ole Miss goes on a late drive and keeps their title hopes alive with a 17-13 win.

Ty: Les Miles has earned the right to have an off season and still keep his job (So has Bo, but I digress).  Man, Ole Miss seems to be on a rampage this year, trying to pry supremacy away from the state of Alabama (Actually, all of Mississippi is trying to wrest the title).  It’s at LSU, which is always a tough game, but I think it ends up being a nailbiter win for Ole Miss.  Uh… 24-21.

Jon: In the words of Ole Miss’ real mascot Admiral Akbar - "It’s a trap!". LSU wins because.. yeah. LSU 24, Confused Akbars 21

Andy: Jon brings up what could have been one of the most awesome stories of our time. Just think if that whole Admiral Ackbar as Ole Miss mascot thing had come to pass a few years ago. That carp-faced geek would be rocking t-shirt sales and causing the internet to implode on yet another Star Wars resurgence while JJ Abrams tried madly to write into the sequels. As far as the game, stat geeks will have to let us know the last time that LSU was swept by the state of Mississippi. Ole Miss 27 LSU 17.

Husker Mike: I know that LSU is having a down season, but I just can’t see LSU losing another home game, especially one like this.  LSU 24, Ole Miss 21

Mister Mike: Ole’ Miss will attack LSU similar to how they attacked ‘Bama.  Misdirection, option, isolation, and some QB runs.  They’ll score on the Tigers, but they’ll have to hold up against Fournette and the downhill run game of LSU.  Should be a great matchup, but I think the Rebs hold on for the win.  Ole’ Miss 23, LSU 20.

Brian: I think Ole Miss is better than Mississippi St this year, and the Bulldogs ran train on the LSU D. Dr Bo wins and LSU is out of the top 25 with 2 losses at night in Death Valley.

West Virginia (+1.5) at Oklahoma State

Ranchbabe: Geno Smith is WAY better than Brandon Weeden or Wes Lunt, or, wait. Nevermind.  I have no idea what the score will be but WV has played up/down to its competition and OSU lost by 6 to Florida State and only beat Kansas by 7...which means….absolutely nothing. WV has a letdown after beating Baylor (what non-insane former Big 12 fan has ever typed that sentence?). Okie Lite 112 WV 96 (Reduce scores by a third if Big 12 defensive players actually board the bus)

David: Gundy’s got better hair, but I like that Holgorsen doesn’t care that his looks like cotton candy by the end of the game. This game is in Stillwater, though. I think they win.

Ty: I’M A MAN!  I’M FORTY!  Heh.  Gets me every time.  I don’t think WV has what it takes to take on the (current) elite of the Big XII two weeks in a row.  Pokes 35, Mountain Men 24

Andy: West Va is primed for a hangover game, but the Cowboys seem to get a little worse each week. And Gundy’s face is still Top 10 in Punchability Factor. I know that has nothing to do with the game, but it still bears mentioning. WVU 34 The PunchGundy’s 23

Husker Mike: Oklahoma State was exposed last week with offensive issues like you wouldn’t believe.  Bob Barry thinks they’re desperate enough to pull the redshirt off of quarterback Mason Rudolph. He’s probably the long term answer, but probably not this week.  WV 40, Okie Lite 24

Mister Mike: WV seems to knock off some ranked team every year, although last week was the first time they’ve knocked off a Top 5 team in 11 years at home.  Holgo’s version of the Air Raid can be lethal, but I don’t think they get it done in Stillwater.  Pokes 42, WV 31.

Jon: West Virginia wants more riots. Oklahoma State

Brian: Two teams that truly aren’t as good as people think, but I don’t think WVU is good on the road. Pistols firing over the burning couches this week.

Southern Cal (-1) at Utah

Ranchbabe: I will be asleep by then.

David: I like Utah, they’ve got a nice team. Utes by 2.

Ty: I just wanna see SC lose cause I don’t like them, and I kinda like the Utes as upstarts to upset the balance in the Pac-12.  I just think there’s too many variables at USC, and they’ve been WAY too inconsistent.  Utah by a field goal.  I have no idea about the actual score.

Andy: I’m giving this to Utah based on home field alone. There’s a lot of dry folks there who have found any assortment of weeds and tainted water that leave them as polluted and batshit crazy as Skid Row’s drunkest. They’ll threaten the visiting  fans and chuck undersized woodland carcasses at the Trojan bench. It will be enough of a distraction. Utes 26 Rubbers 21

Husker Mike: Most people probably thought Utah, not Colorado, was the throw-in when the Pac-12 added teams. Utah has adapted quite nicely to the Power-5 upgrade, unlike the Buffies, who really need to be relegated down to the Mountain West.  Big pelt this week:  Utes 28, Trojans 21

Mister Mike: This is basically a pick ‘em game, although Utes get the Trojans at home, which is why USC isn’t favored by 3 or more.  The Utes seem to have a talent for winning these types of games.  That said, I can see USC coming in and raising all sorts of hell.  I’m going with the Trojans here; USC 34 Utah 27

Brian: Want to know how good USC is on the road? Boston f’ing College trucked them. Give me the Utes.

Texas (+10) at Kansas State

Ranchbabe: I weep at this. Tejas always feared the purple Wildcats more than the Red Corn. And so, the Snyder reign of terror will continue.  KSU 31 Longhorns 21

David: KState is Texas kryptonite. Or at least they were when the fall began. Take the points, the Cats cover this easily. 41-3.

Ty: Texas will start buying overtly buying wins next year.  This year, it’s gotta be on the downlow.  Kansas State’s been a confusing team to watch this year, and I anticipate that continuing as they don’t cover, but win it 38-33.

Andy: It’s ok to admit it, Nebraska, watching Texas implode has been very enjoyable. At some point, Texas high school football has become a 7-on-7 game of touch & Mack took the Horns down a dark path by recruiting off the Rivals website & never waiting to see how any kid performed his senior year. One of these teams always finds a way to win & one doesn’t. K-State 34 Texas 30

Jon: Texas sucks. Kansas State workaholics 38, Texas entitlements 17

Husker Mike: No tears over watching Texas implode...but always regret about the opportunities missed in 2002, 2005, 2009, and 2010. What is it they say about wanting something too much?  But that was then, this is now.  Kansas State is a real program.  Texas is rebuilding.  Wildkitties 38, Texas 24

Mister Mike: I think the score is closer than people are anticipating, and I like Ty’s line about the spread.  Bill Synder is still the Dark Wizard whose powers transcend those of space and time.  I don’t think KSU covers, but wins convincingly anyway.  K-State 30 Texas 23.

Brian: Texas scored 48 on Iowa St. Texas gave up 45 on Iowa St. Kansas St wins and Bill Snyder is the best of the schools who can’t afford shit in the Big 12. And we really obsess over UT way more than they even think about us as an entire fanbase.

Rutgers (+17.5) at Nebraska

Ranchbabe: Which team wears duct tape numbers better? Trick question. No one can read them anyway.

Nova is a non-mobile quarterback and Pelini defenses feast on those guys--but not always. The Rutgers D is sort-of average against the run and not-good against the pass. This means TA2 could have a good day and if so, #fearameer could have a really good day. Even if TA2 doesn’t show, the OC will have DPE play QB and option to AA in the RZ for a TD! I thought about even more acronyms, but I better save something for kickoff poetry. On paper, Rutgers looks like an opponent Nebraska should handle easily, but we all remember NW 2011, don’t we? Huskers have to be assignment-sound and not look ahead to Purdue….Corn 42 East Coast TV’s 21

David: I’m told Nova can do some things so, I’ll give Rutgers a punchers chance. The problem is they’re pretty average when it comes to stopping the run. There’s an opportunity here for Abdullah to have a big day. I think they feed the Scarlet Knights a steady dose of AA and he knocks off a huge chunk of that 779 yard gap between him and Mike Rozier. Man, think where he’d have a chance to do if he’d have had more than 150 yards his freshman year...

Ty: This game’s not near the snoozer that we anticipated it’d be at the beginning of the season.  However, we do have to keep in mind that Rutgers struggled against Michigan.  Michigan.  The Tire Fire in Ann Arbor.  Yeah.  ANYWAYS, one has to imagine that the team will put together a full four quarters, and kinda run over Rutgers.  The Scarlet Knights are putting on more of a show this year than I think anyone expected, but nonetheless, all of the points are belonging to us in this one.  Huskers 45, Rutgers 17

Andy: Best RB gone and a TO prone QB. Unlike asshat, Urban Meyer, we won’t be running the 1’s late in the 4th. NU 44 Rutgers 10

Husker Mike: I suspect that Nova will get the ball to KU transfer Andrew Turzilli for a huge gain at some point in the game.  If it’s in the first quarter, buckle your seat belts.  But if it’s not until deep in the second half against the reserves, it’ll be OK.  I worry about the former (which means it’s a four quarter game), but think the latter is more realistic.  Huskers 38, Rutgers 14

Mister Mike: To put it bluntly, Rutgers is not good.  Their run defense, ranked at 67th, is inflated and hell, 1-7 Howard from FCS fame, rushed for 250+ yards at over 6 ypc.  There’s no reason that we shouldn’t run for at least that much on these guys.  Anything less than that and AA should walk up to Bo and Beck and smack them right across the face for further diluting his longshot Heisman hopes by starting Cotton, Pelini, and Sterup along the OL instead of Price, Kondolo, and Reeves.

The other question for me will be, can our secondary stand up to Nova and can our DL get pressure?  He threw for 404 yards on Michigan, which despite all their troubles, doesn’t exactly suck on defense.

Bring pressure early and often, blanket their WRs, involve DPE and we should win this shit going away.  We should...but I don’t think we do.  Huskers 38, Rutgers 30.

Jon: They will be confused about where they are, which is in the midwest. They will look around a lot. They will say to themselves "Why does it not smell like industry here?", "Why does the water not taste metallic?". They will see people carrying real corn cobs because it is harvest season. They will be too afraid for football. Huskers 84, Scarlet Knights 14

Brian: Well, we’ll see what team comes out. Rutgers is enough to make you worry, but at the same time, this should be a game where the 2nd half team of last week should run train and spew blood all over. However, with Bo, we know that his teams sometimes do not deserve nice things. We got all these words about what to look for, but in the end, a top 5 program goes out and curbstomps teams like Rutgers because they are focused and go one game at a time. But, the past couple of seasons, we haven’t had that have we?

Lets see how the "leaders" of this team keep a Scarlet Knights team that can scare the shit out of you at bay on the road. Nebraska will win, but if it’s close, I will have a hard time believing that they can make it to Indy with a lack of focus.