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Week 11 – Penn State at Nebraska
Posted Nov 9, 2012

Week 11 Fearless Prediction – Penn State at Nebraska


Penn State (6-3) at Nebraska (7-2) Nov. 10, 3:30, ABC

Here’s The Deal: The conditions are a wee bit different this year compared to last year’s showdown – the game after the story broke at Penn State.

Nebraska has the Legends there for the taking, which might mean it has the Big Ten title there for the taking, needing to keep on winning or hoping for Michigan and Northwestern to slip a bit more. After winning three straight following the loss to Ohio State, the Huskers have been thrilling with a controversial last-second win over Michigan State last week coming off the heels of a strong win over Michigan and another late rally to beat Northwestern. The blowout loss to the Buckeyes and the early loss to UCLA have taken the team out of the national spotlight, but they’re showing great resolve and good toughness on the way to a possible championship.

Penn State has just three games left in its season, but it can do a fantastic job of playing the spoiler with Indiana and Wisconsin at home to close out this most bizarre of campaigns. The Nittany Lions bounced back from the loss to Iowa State by throttling Purdue with a sharp, crisp passing game, and now there’s a chance to be in line for the biggest win of the season with the possibility of finishing second in the Big Ten – at least in terms of the pecking order.

Why Penn State Might Win: The big problem for the Big Red has been turnover margin, ranking 106th in the nation and last in the Big Ten at a -1 on the year. There have been takeaways over the last few weeks, but they won’t likely come against a Penn State offense that’s been fantastic at holding on to the ball giving it up a mere eight times on the year. On the other side of the ball, there’s a chance Nebraska might be the perfect fit for a Penn State defense loaded with terrific linebackers. With star running back Rex Burkhead still hurting, the Husker attack isn’t all that complicated with Taylor Martinez needing to do a little of everything. Ameer Abdullah is doing his part, but as long as the Nittany Lion front seven is able to keep Martinez from rumbling free, Nebraska might be held in check. However …

Why Nebraska Might Win: Penn State had the linebackers and the defense to have kept Ohio State’s Braxton Miller under wraps, too, but instead the star quarterback ripped off 134 yards on the ground and two scores. Nebraska’s offensive line is finding a way to pave the way for the running game, but it was able to get Martinez, Burkhead and the ground attack going last year, too. The difference this season has been a defense that’s been fantastic against the pass, leading the Big Ten in pass efficiency defense, pass defense and sacks, which might be the perfect way to stop an offense that’s getting a shockingly great season out of …

What To Watch Out For: Matt McGloin. Has any player come up with a better season out of the blue? When he announced that he wasn’t going to transfer before the year, there were plenty of jabs and jokes going around – would any BCS conference team take him? With the new coaching staff came a real, live passing game, and McGloin has turned in a brilliant year throwing 18 touchdown passes and just three picks. Two of them came in two of the losses, and he has been air-tight the rest of the way, improving late with 327 yards and two scores against Ohio State and 321 yards and two touchdowns against Purdue. With two passing scores in each of the last four games, he has been one of the nation’s most effective quarterbacks.

What Will Happen: Nebraska will find a way to close. It’s still going to take a little work to get to the Big Ten championship, but the Huskers will take a huge step forward with a tough win over a Penn State team that’s not going to make any big mistakes. Martinez will have a few problems, but he’ll come through when need – again.

CFN Prediction: Nebraska 27 … Penn State 23
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Nebraska -7.5 O/U: 53.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Skyfall, 1 – Wreck It Ralph): 4