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Predictions: Huskers vs. Badgers

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What’s your pick?

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Wisconsin Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Mike: I have to admit, I don’t have a good feeling on this week’s matchup. I don’t believe Nebraska matches up all that well with Wisconsin, and with coaching changes underway, it almost feels like the game is irrelevant.

Patrick: MACtion has gotten me through November.

Jill: Can I write the recap without actually watching the game?

Andy: We flipped some coaches, Jojo’s done and we’re playing arguably the hottest team in the conference with virtually no chance at anything. Buckle up, Sally, let’s do this.

Iowa (-12) at Illinois

Patrick: University of Iowa 21 University of Illinois 20

Mike: If Illinois isn’t turning the ball over, they have a chance in this one. The only way Iowa wins by double digits is if the Hawkeye defense scores. Squawkeyes 19, Illini 17

Jill: Wow, you both give Illinois way more credit than I do. Of course, whenever I say stuff like that, they pull off an unexpected win. Iowa seems to have better QB play now, so I’ll believe the upset when I see it. Iowa 24 Illinois 10

Andy: This spread is just goofy. Illinois has won 3 of their last 5 and the only team in that stretch with a double digit win over them is (sigh) Wisconsin who sonned Iowa by about the same score. Remember when the Hawkeyes were #2?? They literally give up more yards per game than they gain. I think they pull this out but not by 12. Iowegia 16 Illinois 11

Michigan State (+19) at Ohio State

Patrick: Ohio State University 31 Michigan State University 27

Mike: Somewhat surprised by the spread, but I really shouldn’t be. Bucknuts 45, Sparty 24

Jill: That is a very interesting point spread. I think OSU is only getting stronger as the season goes along and even with Walker, I don’t think the Spartans have the firepower to keep up. Buckeyes 34 MSU 24

Andy: Mel Tucker is coming with me when I buy lottery tickets. A man with a 16-13 record as a college head coach who has butt-ass-lucked his way to a 9-1 record this season (yes he has - unless you know of any other 9-1 teams whose offenses only gain 6 more yards per game than their defenses give up?) is apparently going to get a contract which will surpass Dabo Swinney’s.

If Mel is smart, he’ll sign it before this weekend. Ohio St. 44 Sparty 19

Purdue (-11) vs. Northwestern
at Wrigley Field

Patrick: Purdue University 28 Northwestern University 9

Mike: Look for NW to move a game against NU to Wrigley in 2026 or later to limit the number of Husker fans who can squeeze into what it SUPPOSED to be a NW home game. As for this season, Purdue has too much offense and NW has way too little on both sides of the ball. Boilers 31, NW 6

Jill: Purdue is the better team. Boilers 37 Wildcats 12

Andy: Sometimes, I like to go against the grain just because I firmly believe all of us cannot be right about the same game. But ugh, Northwestern is really hammering home what can happen if you don’t make the transfer portal a two-way street. Anything can happen in college football, but I’m not seeing it in this one. Purdue 34 NW 15

Minnesota (-7) at Indiana

Patrick: University of Minnesota 35 University of Indiana 12

Mike: My goodness, Indiana is bad. As for the Goofs, it depends on which Minnesota P.J. brings to the Hoosier state. Goofs should win, but is it a 3 point or 30 point victory? Goofers 31, Hosers 9

Jill: Minnesota wins. Gophers 29 Hoosiers 19

Andy: Us Husker fans like to cry in our rum over what could have been in 2021, but how would we feel if we started the season ranked 17th and now found ourselves sitting at 2-8? Without exciting close games? Ladies and gentlemen - Indiana has left the chat. Goof Bastards 27 Hooshers 9

Nebraska (+9.5) at Wisconsin

The line at the DraftKings website has increased to 10 as of this morning

Patrick: University of Wisconsin 9 University of Nebraska 7

Mike: On paper, this looks like a bad matchup for Nebraska. Wisconsin is second in the Big Ten in time of possession and first in every defensive category. They can do what Minnesota, Purdue and Illinois did to Nebraska...and do it a helluva lot better. Buuuut remember, Scott Frost’s offense has put up yards every time it’s faced Wisconsin. So don’t abandon all hope; the key is turning those yards into points. And the big question: Does this Nebraska team want to finish this season strong? Badgers 27, Huskers 21

Jill: I’d love for the Huskers to get the surprise win. /checks Wisconsin’s defensive stats again. Nope, sorry. Badgers 32 Huskers 20

Andy: On paper, it doesn’t…actually look that bad? Definitely not good and the new faces on the sideline are an X-factor along with no mo’ Jojo. And that Wisconsin defense, damn. (And don’t be fooled - even though the Michigan and Notre Dame scores suggested otherwise, Wisconsin shut those offenses down too.)

But…

As Mike noted, we’ve put some yards up on Wiscy the last few years. The QB’s the Badgers have faced up till now have basically been nailed into one spot. We’re also throwing the best receiver corps at them they’ve seen so far. And let’s face it, the best competition has brought out the best in the Huskers this season.

So a pile of ifs:

If Adrian is really healthy for the first time in weeks
If our O-line can give him just a little bit of time
If Rahmir can keep popping runs and maybe get a few quality carries from the Yant.
If the D can fill Jojo’s shoes and shut down another elite running back (and, brother, this 240-lb freshman tank is the next big thing in Madison)
How about another Toure bomb or two?
If we can make our XP’s and short FG’s
If there’s an offensive plan that mixes the power & deep balls/big plays
AAnd ifififififififif we can for once not shit the bed at the worst possible times??

Damn, I want a lot for Christmas on Saturday. But, to hell with it - nothing to play for but pride? Tell ‘em, Rocko:

“(The world’s) a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”

Perhaps the revamped staff and contract is the fresh start we’ve needed and with no bowl game to worry about, the ears get pinned back and a team unafraid of failure is finally unleashed. If, maybe, if, maybe, if, maybe. Do we finally get the W? I don’t know, so let’s say Huskers 27 Wiscy 27 End of Regulation

On to Overtime. :-)