Nebraska let a single individual rush for over 400 yards against it last Saturday in a stunning 24 to 59 loss to Wisconsin on the road last week.
For Minnesota, a respectable 24 to 31 loss to Ohio State at home and in the snow shows that the football program has definitely improved. Does Minnesota have a shot against a Nebraska team looking to make amends for a terrible performance?
Minnesota Golden Gophers at No. 19 Nebraska Cornhuskers
When: Saturday, Nov. 22 at 12:00 pm ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Betting Line: Nebraska -10.5
Analyzing My Minnesota Vs Nebraska Week 13 Expert Pick
Nebraska played about as badly as they are ever likely to play when allowing Melvin Gordon to rush for 408 yards and 4 touchdowns against it last Saturday. Gordon averaged over 16 yards a carry.
Football handicappers shouldn’t expect Minnesota to have the same success this Saturday in Lincoln, but the Golden Gophers are a talented bunch. Minnesota is averaging 358.4 yards per game. The Gophers rush for 223.7 while only throwing for 134.7. So, like Wisconsin, Minnesota depends a lot on how well they can run the ball down their opponents’ throats. The Golden Gophers are averaging 30 points per game.
On defense, Minnesota is allowing only 350.7 yards per game. This includes giving up a decent 152.7 yards per contest on the ground and only 22.3 points per matchup. It’s an aggressive defense, though, one that takes a lot of chances, which could give Nebraska rushers daylight. Ohio State QB J.T. Barrett ran for an 86 yard touchdown versus the Gophers due to Minnesota’s overly aggressiveness.
If Minnesota’s D is too aggressive this Saturday, Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah could get back on track in a big way. Abdullah has been fighting an injury, but he appeared to be getting back to his best form after rushing for 3.8 yard average against the Badgers in his last game. Improvement will definitely be expected from Abdullah and a Nebraska offense that averages 264.4 yards per game on the ground and 38.8 points per contest. Nebraska’s defense figures to get back on track as well. The Cornhuskers usually allow less than 370 total yards per game and less than 23.6 points.
When it comes to the trends, both of these teams are looking solid. Minnesota is 10 and 2 against the spread in their last 12 conference games, 8 and 2 against the spread versus a team with a winning record and 8 and 3 against the spread in their last 11 following an ATS win. Nebraska is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a loss of 20 points or more, 4-0-1 against the spread in their last 5 games following an ATS loss, and 5-2-1 against the spread in their last 8 games overall.
But the Cornhuskers are giving up way too many points in this game. Nebraska is not 10.5 points better than Minnesota. The Golden Gophers played exceptionally well against Ohio State in the snow last Saturday. They should play as well against Nebraska and figure to keep this one close.
Nebraska should win the game. But it won’t be as easy for the Cornhuskers as the point spread indicates.
My Week 13 College Football Expert Pick: Minnesota +10.5