The Washington Huskies will have an opportunity to avenge themselves from their 56-21 regular season loss to the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Jake Locker’s Hesiman and draft status took a plunge after his 4/20 performance; How will the Huskies respond?
The early spread on this game is Cornhuskers (-14). Here are six of the key aspects of the game and what to watch out for when betting. All lines from Cooper’s Picks.
#1 Regular Season Match-Up
Bowl games usually pit teams who haven’t played during the regular season. Not the case in this match-up. The Washington Huskies hosted the Nebraska Cornhuskers on September 18, 2010. It was both teams’ third regular season game.
The Cornhuskers invaded Washington, winning 56-21. The Cornhuskers dominated the game. Jake Locker’s Hesiman hopes (and possibly first round potential) was shattered when the Cornhuskers defense smothered him to a 4/20 performance that showcased 71 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. The Cornhuskers outgained the Huskies 533-246 with 383 yards coming from the running game.
#2 Quality Victories
The Huskies did have a quality victory at the USC Trojans earlier this season (32-31). After that, they were mostly dominated. They lost to the Nebraska Cornhuskers (56-21), Arizona Wildcats (44-14), Stanford Cardinals (41-0), and Oregon Ducks (53-16).
The Cornhuskers defeated the Missouri Tigers (31-17), the Oklahoma State Cowboys (51-41), and the Kansas State Wildcats (48-13). They also lost to the Oklahoma Sooners and Texas A&M Aggies by a combined six points.
#3 Similar Opponents
Each other (Read #1).
#4 Third Down Conversion
Washington has one of the nation’s worst third down conversion rates at 31.4%. If that trend continues, then the Cornhuskers will have more opportunities to exploit the Huskies defensive deficiencies.
Rickey Thenarse is the biggest concern for the Cornhuskers as he’s under suspension. The Huskies have five players listed as questionable, but mostly players who’d receive very limited playing time.
#6: Nebraska Rushing Game
As previously mentioned, the Cornhuskers rushed for nearly 400 yards on the Huskies. That’s not a fluke, because the Huskies surrender nearly 200 yards per game on the ground, one of the worst rushing defenses in college football. Similarly, Nebraska is a top ten rushing offense with a stout defense.
Don’t really need to tell you much more than look at the box score from the previous match-up, HERE. The only obstacle I’d see would be if the Cornhuskers play flat because they’re playing in an underachieving bowl (considering they were supposed to be Big XII champions and are playing on a December 30th bowl). Cornhuskers are better, so I’d go with them.
Predictions against the Spread: – Nebraska Cornhuskers (-14)
Straight: – Nebraska Cornhuskers
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Cooper’s Picks, December 22 2010.
College Football Statistics, Rivals.com. December 22, 2010.
College Football Injuries Via covers.com. December 22, 2010.
Nebraska Cornhuskers ESPN Clubhouse. December 22, 2010
Washington Huskies ESPN Clubhouse, December 22, 2010.
Nebraska and Washington ESPN Box Score. December 22, 2010.