Nebraska vs. Northern Illinois fearless prediction and game preview.
Nebraska vs. Northern Illinois Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 14
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Nebraska (1-1) vs. Northern Illinois (1-1) Game Preview
Why Northern Illinois Will Win
The program has done it before, going into Lincoln in Week 3 of the 2017 season and coming away with a 21-17 win. It’s a new era and a new coaching staff, but this is a good enough team under new head coach Thomas Hammmock to give the struggling and strange Huskers another run.
The Huskies couldn’t handle a strong Utah team in a 35-17 loss last week – there wasn’t much from the ground game – but Cal transfer QB Ross Bowers continues to be solid, and the defense after two games has been a brick wall on third downs.
On the flip side, Nebraska had a sleepy first game against South Alabama and followed it up with a collapse in an overtime loss to Colorado.
Sort of like the early part of last season, there’s a fumbling issue, there’s a pass defense issue, and once again, there’s a big penalty issue. If NIU doesn’t make any big mistakes, it should be able to wait for Nebraska to implode.
Why Nebraska Will Win
It’s like the switch hasn’t been turned on quite yet … but it’s coming.
The Huskers have the skill guys to put this away fast. Maurice Washington is a devastating back who hit a big home run against the Buffs, JD Spielman added 112 receiving yards, and despite the fumbling problems, Adrian Martinez started to breakout.
Northern Illinois can’t keep up if the Husker offense is on. The O has a huge problem on third downs, and the line hasn’t been able to generate enough of a push or keep lines – particularly Utah’s – out of the backfield.
On the other side, without Sutton Smith and some of the other key parts on last year’s defensive front, the Huskies don’t have the pass rush that was so dominant last season. Martinez will have time to work.
What’s Going To Happen
Nebraska will get up early, and then stall.
Northern Illinois will dink and dunk its way into the game, but it won’t be able to go on enough long, sustained drives to get over the hump. The Huskers will win, but it won’t be anything to inspire a whole lot of confidence going into the star of the Big Ten season.
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Nebraska vs. Northern Illinois Prediction, Line
Nebraska 26, Northern Illinois 17
Line: Nebraska -14, o/u: 54.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 2.5
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