Nebraska Cornhuskers (1-0) at Colorado Buffaloes (1-0)
NCAA Football: Saturday, September 7th, 2019, at 3:30 pm (Folsom Field)
Lines and Odds: Nebraska -4 – Over/Under: 64.5
Free CFB Pick Nebraska Cornhuskers vs Colorado Buffaloes
The Nebraska Cornhuskers began their season off to a rocky start after escaping a surging South Alabama Jaguars team 35-21 last week. JD Speilman returned a punt for 76-yards to put Nebraska up 28-7, and the Jaguars mounted a comeback to cut it to 28-21 with the third quarter almost coming to a close. The Huskers scored a defensive touchdown seven seconds into the fourth quarter to go up 35-21 and finish the game on top.
Although it’s the record they wanted to begin Scott Frost’s second year as the Huskers’ head coach, it wasn’t pretty. Starting QB Adrian Martinez was 13-22 for 178 yards and one interception, and the running game couldn’t make up for the lack of production as they totaled only 122 yards on the ground. Running back Dedrick Mills rushed 15 times for 42 yards and two touchdowns, leading the way for the backs as he produced the only offensive touchdowns for the Cornhuskers. Nebraska’s offensive coordinator Troy Walters sees a much different type of energy from his team in practice this week and expects it to be on display in a crucial matchup on the road.
“Last week was just average, this week is much better,” Walters said. “The guys came out Monday with a great attitude. We put South Alabama in the past and came out Monday focused. Tuesday is a longer practice in pads outside, the guys pushed through that and had great detail. And today was even better. The guys should have confidence going into Boulder.”
The Colorado Buffaloes have the advantage of playing at home this year against the Cornhuskers as they look to knock them off for the second year in a row. The Buffaloes, on the other hand, didn’t come away with a clean victory last week against an in-state rival from the Mountain West Conference. Colorado State gained 505 total yards of offense against the Buffaloes while also scoring 31 points. Colorado was only able to notch two sacks against the Rams, and will have a lot trouble pulling out the victory against a much more talented team with the same results.
Quarterback Steven Montez had a great game for the Buffs through the air, going 13-20 for 232 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Alex Fontenot rushed for 125 yards on 19 carries and scored three touchdowns on the ground.
“I thought we looked good,” said Montez of the offense. “We looked really clean and I thought we ran things really well. We didn’t have a lot of foolish penalties, maybe we only had one false start, which is really good for us. If we can cut those down or just keep them where they’re at, that’d be really good. But I mean, no turnovers, which is another big checkpoint that we reached last week. I think if we could just keep doing those things, taking care of the ball and just keep running the offense at a very high level, I think we’ll be in good shape.”
Mel Tucker is in his first season as the Buffaloes head coach and is ready for the kind of energy the home crowd in Boulder can deliver.
“I don’t think of it that way, in terms of jitters and things like that,” states Tucker on his jitters leading up to the game. “Obviously I’m looking forward to playing at home. We’ve got a great venue, a great stadium, our fans are going to be loud. Our students are going to be into it. You know, Ralphie is going to be running a little bit faster. It’s really about our focus and our preparation leading up to the game. The game will take care of itself.”
Tucker is also aware of the magnitude this matchup brings to the table. It will be the 71st time that these two teams meet.
“I anticipate this one being probably the most intense because it’s the one that’s up next. And you’re only as good as your next game and that’s where your focus has to be. But, rivalry games, in my experience, are usually the hardest-hitting, cleanest football games that you’re going to play.”
Cover The Spread 365 CFB Betting Trends
- Nebraska is 0-7 SU in their last 7 games on the road.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Nebraska’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Colorado.
- Nebraska is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games against an opponent in the Pacific 12 conference.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Colorado’s last 6 games when playing at home against Nebraska.
- Colorado is 1-5 SU in their last 6 games against an opponent in the Big 10 conference.
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Colorado’s last 6 games against Nebraska.
Free CFB Prediction Colorado Buffaloes vs Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Buffaloes showed many holes on the defensive side against a weaker opponent, and giving QB Adrian Martinez a chance to get back into his freshman form is something they will try and avoid early on. The Cornhuskers were also responsible for five takeaways, three of them being interceptions, against the Jaguars last week and will try to keep the same momentum as they look to avenge last year’s home loss to Colorado.
Look for them to try and exploit Colorado QB Steven Montez’s weakness with his footwork in the pocket. Colorado will make noise soon with Tucker now at the helm, but Nebraska should win a close one as a statement for the second year of the Scott Frost ERA.