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Saunders

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Everything posted by Saunders

  1. Anyone that thinks officiating doesn’t matter is getting banned.
  2. Or they can not be bad at their jobs. It’s not mutually exclusive.
  3. 2021 Game 9 “Expert” Picks: Purdue @ Nebraska (-7) ————— CollegeFootballNews.com Why Purdue Will Win It’s partly because QB Adrian Martinez tries to make a whole lot of plays and gets caught in the backfield, but Nebraska is giving up a whole lot of negative plays – allowing over five tackles for loss and close to three sacks per game – and Purdue has the defensive front to take advantage of it. DE George Karlaftis is on a pressure roll for a defense that’s come up with seven or more tackles for loss in six of the last seven games. That’s the catalyst for a D that’s second in the Big Ten behind Wisconsin, it’s not giving up a whole lot of big plays through the air, and it should be able to hold its own against a Nebraska offense that doesn’t win when it doesn’t get more than 160 yards. The Huskers are 3-0 when running for 220 yards or more, and it only ran for 160 or fewer when it came up with 160 or fewer. But … Why Nebraska Will Win Purdue just got blasted by the Wisconsin running game for 290 yards. Now, the team is 4-0 when allowing fewer than 120 rushing yards, and 0-3 when allowing more. Nebraska has hit the 120-yard mark on the ground in every game but the loss to Oklahoma. The Husker defense has been fine, even though it allowed 62 total points in the last two games. Purdue doesn’t/can’t run, and it needs to be steady with the passing game against a Nebraska secondary that gives up yards, but isn’t getting torched often enough to matter. Purdue hasn’t faced a whole slew of dynamic offensive playmakers. Notre Dame? Wisconsin? Oregon State? Minnesota? It dealt with plenty of steady and solid offensive guys, but it hasn’t had to deal with anyone like Martinez. What’s Going To Happen Nebraska got to take a deep breath. The lost to Michigan was devastating, and the loss at Minnesota might have been a deathblow to the season. With two weeks off, though, it should be the much fresher team against a Purdue bunch that had the physical loss to the Gophers, the emotional fight at Iowa, and the brutal beating to Wisconsin. It’s Nebraska – there will be a few big mistakes to make this interesting – but Martinez and the offense will come through with the offensive pop that Purdue won’t. Nebraska 26 - Purdue 20 ————— ESPN FPI Nebraska 74.9% ————— DRatings Nebraska 26 - Purdue 23 Nebraska 63% ————— ESPN Bill Connelly SP+ Nebraska 30 - Purdue 22 Nebraska 67% ————— Big Red Wrap-Up Mike’l Severe: Nebraska 30 - Purdue 21 Jay Moore: Nebraska 27 - Purdue 21 ————— AP - Ralph D Russo If the Huskers (3-5) are going to get bowl eligible, this is pretty much a must-win Nebraska 28 - Purdue 23 ————— Athlon Sports Steven Lassan: N Mark Ross: P Ben Weinrib: N ————— SI.com Molly Geary: N John Garcia: P Ross Dellenger: N Pat Forde: N Richard Johnson: P ————— Gold And Black - Tom Dienhart "Nebraska will have had two weeks to prep, but I think Purdue will be motivated coming off an embarrassing loss at home vs. Wisconsin in which little went right. The defense will want to strut its stuff, and I look for the Purdue passing game to click for some big plays in a close, low-scoring game." Purdue 24 - Nebraska 23 ————— More to come…
  4. 2021 Game 8 “Expert” Picks: Nebraska (-3) @ Minnesota ————— CollegeFootballNews.com Why Nebraska Will Win Now what do the Gophers do? Mohamed Ibrahim was one of the Big Ten’s best backs, but he went down in the Ohio State game with an Achilles tendon injury. In came Trey Potts, he ran for 552 yards and six touchdowns in five games, and now he’s out for the year. Minnesota doesn’t have the passing game to make up the running game if the freshman backs aren’t able to fill the void, and it doesn’t have the explosion to keep up if and when the Huskers start hitting the home runs with the passing game and when QB Adrian Martinez gets free in the second left. The offense is working, and the team has been really, really close to a wonderful season, but … Why Nebraska Will Win Forgive the complete lack of substantive research and analysis on this, but … Nebraska just doesn’t seem to know how to win when it has the chance. You could see it on head coach Scott Frost’s face right as the Michigan game was ending. His team had the monster W right there for the taking, and once again, it couldn’t get it done. It’s good enough to roll in a few blowouts here and there, but it screwed up just enough to matter against Illinois. It couldn’t quite rise up when the chances were there against Oklahoma, the Michigan State game came down to who blinked first late, and it was all there for the taking against Michigan, and … Loss, loss, loss, loss. There are a whole lot of strong parts to the improving Huskers, but the special teams are just okay – to be kind – the O doesn’t move well enough when Martinez isn’t doing something amazing, and there isn’t enough of a pass rush to get through the giant Minnesota offensive front. However … What’s Going To Happen YOU try to guess which Minnesota team shows up. Is it the one that fought through its worst day of the season running the ball to beat Purdue, or is it the one that didn’t get off the bus in a stunning loss to Bowling Green, or is it the one that totally stoned Colorado on the road? The Gopher defensive stats are great, but it also helps that there weren’t any teams on the slate after Ohio State that could run the ball. There won’t be anything spectacular about it, but Nebraska will come up with a very good, very measured, and very business-like performance. It will get two big pass plays to open things up a bit, the run defense will be just fine, and the season that desperately needs a win at this point to keep bowl hopes alive will march on. Nebraska will have the chance in a close game, and finally, it will win. Nebraska 23 - Minnesota 17 ————— ESPN FPI Nebraska 59.7% ————— DRatings Nebraska 27 - Minnesota 24 Nebraska 57% ————— ESPN Bill Connelly SP+ Nebraska 27 - Minnesota 27 (wat?) Nebraska 51% ————— Big Red Wrap-Up Mike’l Severe: Nebraska 28 - Minnesota 21 Jay Moore: Nebraska 21 - Minnesota 13 ————— AP - Ralph D Russo Gophers have lost their top two tailbacks to injury. Nebraska 21 - Minnesota 14 ————— Athlon Sports Steven Lassan : N Mark Ross: N Ben Weinrib: N ————— Bleacher Report - Kerry Miller Minnesota 24 - Nebraska 21 ————— More to come…
  5. I started my draft, I’ll post it in the morning!
  6. It started at -1, then was up to -3 at some places. I normally just grab it from whatever preview I start with first.
  7. 2021 Game 7 “Expert” Picks: Michigan (-3) @ Nebraska ————— CollegeFootballNews.com Why Michigan Will Win It’s a rock-solid team that maintains a nice even keel. If that sounds boring, it’s because it’s been very, very business-like to the point of the Michigan faithful not believing that it could all look this easy. There was a little bit of sweating in the second half of the 20-13 win over Rutgers, but not really. And why? The lines are rock solid and the team isn’t screwing up. The offensive front has been a rock for a running game that predictably struggled against the Scarlet Knights and Wisconsin, but has been solid overall. There aren’t any plays allowed in the backfield – Michigan leads the nation in fewest tackles for loss allowed, and it’s second in sacks given up – and everything else flows from there. There’s no real pressure on QB Cade McNamara and the backfield, there hasn’t been any need to force anything, and because of it, there’s been just one turnover in the first five games. Nebraska doesn’t do enough to force takeaways. On the flip side of the Michigan line, the Husker front five has allowed the most sacks per game of anyone in the Big Ten. But … Why Nebraska Will Win The sack thing is a bit of a technicality because of Adrian Martinez’s mobility. He’s been brilliant so far – he’ll throw something different at the Michigan D. The Wolverines haven’t faced any dangerous dual-threat playmaking quarterbacks, and now they have to deal with a veteran who looks settled into the gig. He’s hitting 67% of his passes with over 200 yards in every game – averaging close to ten yards per throw – to go along with five rushing scores in his last two games. Thanks to Martinez, the Huskers are great on third downs, they’re dominating the time of possession battle, and the offense is averaging over 500 yards per game. It might have taken a while, but the O is starting to work. However … What’s Going To Happen It takes 500 yards for the Huskers to win. The Huskers aren’t getting 500 yards against Michigan. Nebraska is 7-1 over the last three seasons when it comes up with 500 yards, and it’s 4-14 – including 0-3 this year – when it doesn’t get there. Michigan is allowing fewer than 300 yards per game and hasn’t allowed 500 to anyone but Ohio State since 2015. It won’t be anything spectacular, but again, that’s Michigan. It’ll be efficient, it won’t screw up, and the steady drip will soon add up to 200 yards passing and rushing – and a 6-0 start. Michigan 26 - Nebraska 20 ————— ESPN FPI Michigan - 63% ————— DRatings Michigan 28 - Nebraska 24 Michigan - 63% ————— ESPN Bill Connelly SP+ Michigan 27 - Nebraska 24 Michigan - 58% ————— Sporting News This is a trap game for the Wolverines. Michigan hasn't visited Memorial Stadium since a loss in 2012, and the Huskers have dominated in their home games. These are the two best rushing offenses in the Big Ten, too. There will be some anxious moments for Michigan, but they come through in the second half. Michigan 31 - Nebraska 24 ————— Big Red Wrap-Up Mike’l Severe: Michigan 24 - Nebraska 20 Jay Moore: Nebraska 24 - Michigan 20 ————— CBS Sports Dennis Dodd: N Tom Fornelli: N Chip Patterson: N Barrett Sallee: M David Cobb: M Shehan Jeyarajah: M ————— The Athletic Dan Santaromita: M Jason Starrett: M Chris Vannini: M Ari Wasserman: M ————— Dallas Morning News Scott Bell: M Chuck Carlton: N Corby Davidson: M Josephy Hoyt: M Ric Renner: M Selby Lopez: M Kevin Sherrington: M Brett Vito: M Newy Scruggs: M ————— 247 Sports Hummer: Michigan -3; I just think Michigan is better. The Huskers have quietly played excellent football since their loss to Illinois. But Nebraska is a run-first offense, and Michigan has defended the run as well as anyone early this year. I also just trust the Wolverine offense a bit more right now. This is a close game, but I like Michigan to cover. … Michigan 27 - Nebraska 21. Crawford: Michigan -3; It would not surprise me at all if the Huskers hand the Wolverines their first loss on Saturday night in a sold-out setting. However, Michigan is the better team at the line of scrimmage and I do think Jim Harbaugh's group will be able to control that aspect of the matchup enough to prevail. ... Michigan 20 - Nebraska 16. ————— AP - Ralph D Russo Cornhuskers might be sneaky good, though they have lost 14 straight against ranked teams dating to 2016. Nebraska 24 - Michigan 21, Upset Special ————— Wolverines Wire Trent Knoop: I think this game ultimately comes down to the Nebraska offense against the Michigan defense. Adrian Martinez does a great job with the read-option attack, but if the Michigan edge defenders can stop him, then the Wolverines should win this game fairly easy. Cade McNamara has done a great job managing the the Michigan offense, he has yet to throw an interception, and he will need to continue doing just that in a hostile environment at night. I’ll take the Wolverines to win their first game ever in Lincoln. Michigan 31 - Nebraska 17 Isaiah Hole: Nebraska is much better than its record, having lost all three games by just one score. The offense is high-powered and the defense is stellar. The biggest issue for the Huskers is that they make mistakes and are undisciplined, essentially beating themselves. This is a home game, at night. All these things favor Nebraska. Except, it hasn’t (theoretically) seen a defense like Michigan’s and they have the worst offensive line in the country. For me, the big question is how the Wolverine defense will handle Adrian Martinez, as I think the offense will be able to score, given what it was able to do vs. Wisconsin. I think this will be a tough game, but Michigan pulls away on the road. Michigan 42 - Nebraska 24 ————— OWH - Sam McKewon Saturday Night Special. Unless Nebraska is playing Ohio State inside Memorial Stadium, it’s pretty tough in that environment with big wins over Michigan State, Miami and, yes, Michigan in 2012. That Wolverine team isn’t as good as this one, but this Husker D is much stingier. Scott Frost nabs the big one. Nebraska 24 - Michigan 21 ————— The Athletic - Stewart Mandel Nebraska is 3-3, but we know its defense is very good. And with a few personnel changes last week, the offense exploded last week against Northwestern. The time is ripe for Scott Frost to finally win a big game … I just don’t trust that the Huskers can beat a top-10 team with their penchant for self-inflicted wounds. Michigan 27 - Nebraska 23 ————— CBS Sports Six Pack Picks I'm not sold on Michigan yet. The unbeaten Wolverines climbed into the AP Top 10 after starting the season unranked, but they're simply too one-dimensional on offense. And that dimension has faded in recent weeks. The Wolverines rushed for 1,051 yards at 7.15 yards per carry in their first three games, but that average dropped to only 2.73 yards per carry against Rutgers and Wisconsin. Now, they're going on the road for a second consecutive week to face Nebraska. The Cornhuskers might not be Wisconsin defensively, but they profile similarly to Rutgers. Plus, with Michigan presenting little threat in the passing game, the Huskers can load the box. Maybe Nebraska doesn't pull off the upset, but I have this one being close, so I'll gladly take the 3.5 points. Nebraska 24 - Michigan 23 ————— More to come...
  8. They told me at least half a dozen times that they had so much fun. Great weekend.
  9. I took the Huskers to win and cover. Probably just wishful thinking since we're making the trip up for the game, and I'm hoping my kids get to see a dub.
  10. Lol, that triggers Northwestern fans so much. They totally don't get it.
  11. 2021 Game 6 “Expert” Picks: Northwestern @ Nebraska (-9) ————— CollegeFootballNews.com Why Northwestern Will Win Are the Wildcats figuring it out? Is this one of Pat Fitzgerald’s slow-starting teams that kicks it all in after the first few games are out of the way? Getting the running game going against Ohio isn’t all that big a deal – the Bobcats are having a rough time – but at least there’s some production. The defense isn’t its normal dominant self – Duke went off two weeks ago and Michigan State ran wild in the opener, but it’s been okay at getting into the backfield and Nebraska isn’t doing a whole lot to keep defenses from living behind the line. Why Nebraska Will Win The passing game is rolling with five straight 200-yard games to start the season. It might not always be consistent, but it’s putting up yards. Adrian Martinez has been great, and … It’s the other side of the ball that’s stepping it up. The Huskers haven’t been great at getting off the field – even though they give up too many third down tries – but controlling the clock isn’t a problem with an O that’s cranking out first downs by the bucket. Oklahoma and Michigan State both stalled a bit too often – the Spartans only came up with 254 yards last week – and now Nebraska gets a Northwestern offense that can’t get anything going with the downfield passing game. What’s Going To Happen Enough is enough. Scott Frost and Nebraska went from being a major disappointment, to winning two games they should’ve against Fordham and Buffalo, to coming up with two totally acceptable and gut-wrenching road losses to Oklahoma and Michigan State. This is one win the coach and program must win. The Huskers are playing well, but it has to translate into a relatively easy victory against a Northwestern team that’s a mere shadow of its 2020 self. A few early Big Red scores will force the Wildcats to press, and it won’t go well. It’s Northwestern – and it’s Nebraska – so there will be a bit of second-half comeback thanks to a few Husker mistakes. It won’t be as easy as it should be, but Nebraska will get the win with Martinez being the difference-maker to control the clock and the game in the fourth quarter. Nebraska 30 - Northwestern 20 ————— ESPN FPI Nebraska - 79% ————— DRatings Nebraska 26 - Northwestern 21 Nebraska - 68.1% ————— ESPN Bill Connelly SP+ Nebraska 30 - Northwestern 17 Nebraska - 77% ————— Bleacher Report Nebraska 31 - Northwestern 24 ————— Big Red Wrap-Up Mike’l Severe: Nebraska 30 - Northwestern 20 Damon Benning: Nebraska 30 - Northwestern 17 ————— More to come...
  12. I'd love that to be the case. NW offense is almost 2019 bad, and their defense isn't a typical NW defense. And special teams aren't great either... not as bad as our trainwreck, but 94th ain't good. Plz win.
  13. Right after the game winning FG by Sparty, my 11 year old got off the couch and headed to bed. I could tell he was upset, and when he turned around, it was everything he could do to not burst into tears. He said "Dad this sucks, why do we always lose like this?" I told him "Buddy, the things we love the most, also hurt us the most." He said "yeah, you're probably right." Why am I sharing this? I really don't know... But we're flying up for the Northwestern game this weekend, and my 8 year old gets to go to his first game, and my 11 y/o gets to go to his 2nd (1st was Iowa in 2015... yeah....) and they could not be more excited. Please football gods.... let us win.
  14. 2021 Game 5 “Expert” Picks: Nebraska @ Michigan State (-5) ————— CollegeFootballNews.com Why Nebraska Will Win Really … has Michigan State beaten anyone who’s any good? It’s an underground hipster theory about Alabama’s win over Miami to start the season – Miami might not be any good. Bama is obviously amazing, but it might not be Alabama like everyone thinks it is, at least based off that win. Michigan State beat the Canes. It also beat a bad Northwestern team and Youngstown State … oooooooh. The Huskers aren’t playing all that poorly. The Illinois game looks more and more like a loss that would’ve been avoided if the Fordham game came first to work out some of the kinks, and the 23-16 loss at Oklahoma might have been – relatively speaking – among the best games yet under Scott Frost. Why Michigan State Will Win The balance on the Spartan offense has been almost perfect – 791 rushing yards, 769 yards through the air. It’s finding ways to move the ball as needed, it worked out the passing game timing against Youngstown State, and it’s been able to run well in all three games so far. The O has been better than expected, and the defense has been a rock so far against the run. Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez is throwing well, and he leads the way in rushing, but the MSU D will take its chances with the ball in the air. As long as Martinez isn’t hitting the big home run with his legs, the Spartans should be okay. What’s Going To Happen Nebraska is playing better overall lately, but Michigan State is just too sharp, too balanced, and playing with too much confidence in all phases. Like the Oklahoma game, the Huskers will hang around and make it competitive, but they’ll come up just short when the chances are there to take over the momentum. Michigan State won’t exactly break it open late, but they’ll get the big fourth quarter drive to put it away. MSU 34 - Nebraska 20 ————— ESPN FPI MSU - 73.4% ————— DRatings MSU 28 - Nebraska 24 MSU - 62.7% ————— ESPN Bill Connelly SP+ MSU 27 - Nebraska 24 MSU - 55% ————— AP - Ralph Russo That bad loss in the opener at Illinois might be obscuring some real improvement by the Huskers MSU 27 - Nebraska 24 ————— Sporting News The Spartans continue to roll with Kenneth Walker III and a punishing rushing attack, and Nebraska is coming off another emotional loss against Oklahoma. The Huskers are 9-2 all time against the Spartans, but we're trusting the better team. MSU 30 - Nebraska 20 ————— Big Red Wrap-Up Mike’l Severe: Nebraska 27 - MSU 23 Jay Moore: Nebraska 24 - MSU 20 ————— CBS Sports Dennis Dodd: MSU Tom Fornelli: MSU Chip Patterson: N Barrett Sallee: MSU* David Cobb: MSU Shehan Jeyarajah: MSU Jerry Palm: MSU ————— USA Today Jace Evans: MSU Paul Myerberg: N Eddie Timanus: MSU Erick Smith: MSU Heather Tucker: MSU Scooby Axson: MSU ————— Dallas Morning News Scott Bell: N Chuck Carlton: MSU Corby Davidson: N Josephy Hoyt: MSU Ric Renner: MSU Selby Lopez: MSU Kevin Sherrington: MSU Brett Vito: MSU New Scruggs: MSU ————— Athlon Sports Kevin McGuire: MSU Steven Lassan: MSU Ben Weinrib: MSU ————— 247 Sports - Spartan Nation I think this is going to be a battle. I do. I think this one's going to be a big one, but I am not a person that looks down on Scott Frost. I know things are difficult, I know it's not gone as smoothly as everyone wants, but I think you saw a lot from them with that Oklahoma fight and with the absolute best environment and college football being what Nebraska is. I think at the end of the day on a last-second field goal, the Huskers win. Nebraska 20 - MSU 17 ————— Lincoln Journal Star Chris Basnett: MSU 23 - Nebraska 22 Parker Gabriel: Nebraska 23 - MSU 21 Clark Grell: MSU 30 - Nebraska 23 Nate Head: MSU 24 - Nebraska 20 Steven M Sipple: MSU 27 - Nebraska 24 ————— Lansing State Journal Las Vegas had the wrong underdog in MSU’s first two matchups against power-five conference programs. I think Vegas has it right in this one, with MSU a five-point favorite over the Huskers. It’s not that Nebraska can’t cause MSU some problems. But if you’ve watched these teams play through the first few weeks of the season, and trust your eyes, there’s no way you’re picking Nebraska. The Spartans have been balanced, dynamic, disciplined and dangerous offensively. The Huskers have lacked that discipline and efficiency. If these two teams are who they’ve been, the Spartans should win. MSU 31 - Nebraska 21 ————— Husker Extra This line started at a field goal and moved up quickly to five. What do the sharps know? I think I like Nebraska here in a close win, for once. Tough MSU crowd to deal with though. Nebraska 24 - MSU 21 —————
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