Last Week’s Opponent: Bye
Last Week’s Result: No injuries, no arrests, all is good
This Week’s Opponent: @#24 Missouri. This is a HUGE game for both teams. Mizzou, Nebraska and Kansas are the best teams in the north division and NU plays both opponents on the road. Missouri hasn’t played a strong opponent yet, blowing out Illinois and Furman, coming back to beat Bowling Green and blowing Nevada out in the second half. They are led by freshman QB Blaine Gabbert, a one-time Husker commit. Gabbert’s brother is now committed to NU, but Gary Pinkel is flying to his games in helicopters to get him to switch.
Gabbert hasn’t thrown a pick all year and leads the Big XII in passing efficiency. He hasn’t been helped by an anemic run game (11th in the conference) and a porous offensive line. Missouri’s defense is led by the massively annoying Sean Witherspoon. NU has the nation’s #1 ranked scoring defense, but they haven’t faced an offense like Mizzou will bring.
Then, we have the history, NU hasn’t won at MU since Eric Crouch was a Heisman winner and has surrendered 41 points in each loss. Here’s a nightmarish trip down memory lane for any Husker fan. The aughts have been shitty.
This Week’s Predicted Result: Missouri 34-20. Nebraska’s defense is still not back to Blackshirt form and will struggle to stop Mizzou’s short passing game. Look for Gabbert to rack up a lot of yards and big plays. A couple Zac Lee turnovers will lead to Missouri scores and they will, once again, own the Huskers.
Current Season Outlook: The storm has finally arrived, how will the Huskers weather it? Can Zac Lee be consistent on the road? Can the defense hold up against a viable offense? Those questions will be answered on Thursday. A win, and a 4-0 start in Big XII play is likely with Texas Tech, Iowa St & Baylor due next.
Predicted Bowl: Alamo – holding steady here
Last Week’s Opponent: Minnesota. The two darlings of the 11 am ESPN timeslot met in the first ever Big 11 game at TCF Bank Stadium. The television audience was subjected to Chris Spielman’s concussed meathead brain and Bob Griese’s growing dementia.
Last Week’s Result: UW won 31-28. Once again, UW dominated an inferior team, but barely scraped out a victory. It was obvious watching the game that UW was the better team, but despite a few key Minnesota red zone breakdowns, UW couldn’t put them away. That has to be a lingering concern for Badger fans as expectations have risen considerably over the past two weeks.
This Week’s Opponent: #9 Ohio St This is a very intriguing match-up. Can UW move the ball against OSU’s stout defense? Can Scott “The Fleshy Chris Klein” Tolzien continue to run an efficient offense? I believe the answer is no as they won’t get 7 yards a pop on first down like they are accustomed to and OSU has enough speed to disrupt UW’s glacial play action pass plays. On the other side of the ball, UW hasn’t done a great job defensively and Terrelle Pryor should be able to make enough plays to pull out the win.
This Week’s Predicted Result: Ohio St wins 23-17. It will be a close game, but you have to go with the best defense and/or best quarterback. OSU has the upper hand in both areas and the game is in Columbus.
Current Season Outlook: Much sunnier. This is a no-lose situation for UW and they have a winnable game at home against Iowa (Virginia Tech West) next week. A 7-1 or 6-2 season is certainly doable with no Penn St (cough, sham, cough) on the schedule.
Predicted Bowl: Outback – the Badgers are moving on up. I expect Iowa to lose a few games (including in Madison) to give the Badgers a New Year’s Day berth.