Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Wyoming Cowboys (Over 65)
Nebraska welcomes Wyoming to Lincoln as the fans in Husker nation celebrate the end of their eight month sports hiatus and cheer the return of the only thing they know – Nebraska football. The Huskers are in somewhat of a lull under head coach Bo Pelini, good enough to crack into the top 15 from time to time but not good enough to win the Big Ten. Last year’s team should mirror this year’s squad with an explosive offense and a black hole on defense. The Cornhuskers won the Big Ten’s Legends division a year ago but were obliterated by a decent, but not great Wisconsin team 70-27 in the conference championship game.
The Huskers return most of their key players on offense, specifically quarterback Martinez, running back Ameer Abdullah and wide receiver Kenny Bell. The defense only brings back four starters, however that may be a good thing coming from a unit that allowed over 27 points per game. Overall, Nebraska should be fine against mediocre competition and that would be quite a complement to their week one opponent.
Wyoming may not be expected to fight for the Mountain West title in 2013, but they do return an experienced receiving corps and a rock solid quarterback to run their wide open spread offense. With a defense and special teams unit that is expected to struggle, the Cowboys will rely heavily on their offense to keep them in games and hopefully do a better job at closing out close contests than they did in 2012. Wyoming went 3-4 in games decided by less than 7 points a season ago. They’ll have to score a ton to bailout their defense against the potent Husker rushing attack.
What will happen: Nebraska has previously rolled up points against weak non-conference teams under Bo Pelini. Nebraska should have no problem putting up 40+ points on a weak Cowboys defense. On the other side, look for the Huskers to use the tune-up against Wyoming to figure out who their key players are on defense. Returning only four starters from a year ago, this will be a learning experience for the new “blackshirts” defense. Wyoming has the experience to pick apart the Cornhuskers new secondary and will be able to score enough to keep the game interesting before Nebraska wears them down in the second half.
Key stat: The Huskers have managed to top 40 points in each non-conference opener under the team’s current coach.
Prediction: Nebraska 52 Wyoming 31
The Play: OVER 65
2013 ATS Record: 0-0