Wednesday, October 7, 2009

College football preview: Thursday night/week six

This week's slate of college football games begins with a Thursday night contest on ESPN which has huge implications on the Big 12 North race.

Nebraska at Missouri: Line – NU by 3. Prediction – MU by 2. Talk about an interesting game to figure out.

One, Nebraska’s Roy Helu leads the Big 12 in rushing and Missouri’s defense has looked susceptible to the rush. But, word out of Lincoln is that Helu hasn't practiced this week--the ol' "undisclosed injury/condition." There was a rumor on the message boards that a Florida-like flu virus had infected the Nebraska team.

Two, Missouri has overachieved thus far with its 4-0 record and freshman Blaine Gabbert has been better than advertised (he’s leading the conference in passing efficiency and has yet to throw a pick), plus the Tigers are playing at home. Is Gabbert ready to face a defensive-minded coach in Bo Pellini and his continually improving Black Shirt defense? How does Missouri's O-line contain NU's all-world DT Ndamukong Suh?

My key to the game—NU’s ability to control time-of-possession by running the football, thus keeping Gabbert and his receivers off the field. I know the line favors Nebraska and that a good friend, and avid Mizzou fan, expects the Tigers to lose by 11. In a close one, I’m going with Missouri by two.

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