Nebraska vs. Minnesota Prediction, Game Preview

    Nebraska vs. Minnesota prediction and game preview. The Cornhuskers look to improve to 3-4 as they travel to Minneapolis to take on the Golden Gophers.

    October 13, 2015

    Last year, Minnesota (4-2) beating Nebraska (2-4) 28-24 turned out to be a huge part of the Big Ten West season. That was part of an ugly run of Nebraska football, losing seven of the last ten games. It’s a huge game for both teams in the divisional pecking order – check out the Nebraska vs. Minnesota prediction and game preview.

    Nebraska vs. Minnesota Game Preview

    Broadcast

    Date: Saturday, Oct. 17
    Game Time: 3:30 pm
    Venue: TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
    Network: ESPN2

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    Why You Need To Care

    Nebraska might be four plays away from being 6-0, but it’s 2-4 – you are what your record is. This is turning into a historically awful start for a program looking to make this a special year after firing Bo Pelini for not being able to take the program to a whole other level – among other things. Lose this, then you’re talking about the worst start to a Husker season since going 1-9 in 1957. Win this, and with Northwestern up next and Iowa still to play, there’s still time to catch fire, go on a run, and yeah, actually win the West. Lose, and then Northwestern and Iowa look daunting, and facing Michigan State won’t help, either.

    Minnesota hasn’t been good, but it’s 4-2 and coming off a 41-13 blasting of Purdue. This isn’t anywhere near the same team compared to last year’s, and the season could fall off the map in a hurry with a loss. After this? Michigan, at Ohio State, at Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, and needing to win two of the last five against them with a loss this week.

    Why Nebraska Will Win

    Don’t let the Purdue game fool you – the Minnesota offense still isn’t working. Yes, the running game was great, and yes, Mitch Leidner was efficient and effective with the passing attack, but the Gophers are struggling to put points on the board against decent defenses. Nebraska has a decent defense. The Huskers might be 106th in the nation in total defense, and the secondary has been a hot mess, but Malik Collins and the run defense have been terrific. No one has run for more than 150 yards yet on the Husker D that’s allowing just over three yards per carry. Minnesota needs to run to win – that’s going to be a problem.

    Why Minnesota Will Win

    What the hell has happened to the Nebraska passing game? Even with the return of De’Mornay Pierson-El, and even with some decent targets to play around with, Tommy Armstrong has struggled. Playing the Illinois and Wisconsin defense have had something to do with it, but Armstrong has completed 21-of-59 passes for just 234 yards with a touchdown and a pick over the last two games. Minnesota’s secondary is rock solid, ranking 15th in the nation and ninth in pass efficiency defense – the Nebraska air show isn’t going to take off this week.

    Player Who Matters

    No one expected much out of Shannon Brooks. The 6-0, 206-pound Atlanta native came to Minnesota as just a recruit, without any fanfare, and he didn’t do much over the first three games. He started turning heads against Ohio with 82 yards and two scores on just ten carries, and last week he took over with 176 yards and a score on just 17 carries, highlighted by a 71-yard dash. He’s got the speed, and he has the running mate in fellow freshman Rodney Smith to help share the load.

    What’s Going To Happen?

    Is Nebraska going to finally catch a break and finally get over the hump, or is this just the way the team is going to roll this year? Nebraska is a far better team than Minnesota with a far better offense, but the Gopher defense is set up the right way to pull off the home win. Nebraska will once again figure out how to lose.

    Nebraska vs. Minnesota Prediction

    Final Score: Minnesota 24, Nebraska 20, Line: Minnesota -2, o/u: 46.5

    Must See Rating: 5: Trojan War – 1: The Muppets … 3

    MORE: College Football Bowl Projections After Week 6

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