Minnesota at Nebraska (3:30pm ET on BTN)
Line: Nebraska -21
Last Meeting: 2011 (41-14 Nebraska Win)
3 Players to Watch:
1) Phillip Nelson (QB Minnesota): This is Nelson's 2nd road start in his career after getting his first ever start in the Battle for Paul Bunyan's Axe earlier this season. So it will be key for the Gophers signal caller to draw off of that experience and what he's learned so far as a starter if the Gophers are going to be successful at all. He's been pretty steady since starting, completing 55% of his passes for 6TD's to just 2INT's. He's also rushed for 3.4ypc in the spread formation.
2) Kenny Bell (WR Nebraska): The Huskers need to test the Gophers secondary today in order to really get the running game going and getting Kenny Bell into the game early is key as well. Bell has 35 receptions for 635 yards and 6TD's receiving already and if he can be that deep threat then it will be huge towards a Nebraska blowout.
3) Troy Stoudermire (DB Minnesota): Stoudermire is more than just a defensive back, he's one of the biggest play makers the Gophers have and if there's any shot at an upset it'll be because Stoudermire is making plays both in the backfield, but also in the return game. He leads the Gophers in tackles with 63, has 3.5 tackles for loss, and has broken up 3 passes this season. He also averages 21.4 yards a kick return and many teams just avoid kicking to him all together.
Really, this game comes down to Nebraska's rushing attack against the Gophers not so stout rush defense. It's a complete mismatch on that side of the ball and this game is a complete mismatch, but don't expect the palindrome score to happen unless it's 42-24 this season as the Gophers are much improved on both sides of the ball, just not deep enough to hang with the upper echelon of the Big Ten.
This could be an ugly game for the Gophers, but Nelson has been a bright spot for the future of the Gophers program getting back to being the Fringe Bowl Team we all know they are.
My Pick: Nebraska 55, Minnesota 13
Rest of Staff's Picks:
Kevin: Nebraska 43, Minnesota 20
Will: Nebraska 55, Minnesota 20