Despite my criticism in the previous post, the Huskers are like the U.S., so powerful even a bad leader (Dumbya, Bo) can’t bring them all the way down. In front of a home crowd who expects a win and despite (instead of due to) Bo’s abuse I think they will be fired up. If they drop this game the season is over so I think the team will be motivated.
Arkansas State is getting press that it’s a worthy opponent, but with Oregon scoring 50 pts against it, just in a half – nope, don’t think so. This is a team that sometimes rises and plays over its head, but wait until it sees Memorial stadium and a crowd out for blood. [Note to self, bring headphones, the woman who sits behind me will be yelling, Kill Him, all day long, and, btw, she does mean that literally].
The only question is what offense will they bring. It’s hard to say but I think they’re steadily heading back to old conservative stuff so I expect a heavy run game. Against a non big-10 team the Huskers can probably just out-muscle and thus get back to predictable 3-yards-and-cloud-of-dust football. If Arkansas State’s backers are slow, then Taylor will have his I’ll-win-it-myself hero day of hustling around the end. Look for record amounts of rushing yardage.
Apparently Bo decided all he has to worry about playing is old-fashioned Big-10 teams so he bulked up and slowed down the defense but in this game he’ll want to prove he can play against the spread. So look for a bunch of defensive penalties and possibly a couple of cheap shots (lots of off-camera trash, too). The defense is tired of Bo’s yelling at them so they’re going to try to take out their anger on someone else. [Added: Just noticed ArkState rolled up 530 yards against Oregon, but don’t think that means much since Oregon has offense and just outscores opponents, so not exactly a powerhouse defense. I predict less than 300 yards (well below their 575 average) and at least one pick]
I’d put the spread at 20.