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Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Free Pick 10/26/13

Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1) at Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-2)

College Football: Saturday, October 26, 2013 at 12:00 pm (TCF Bank Stadium)

The Line: Minnesota Golden Gophers +10.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN HD

The Nebraska Cornhuskers head to Minnesota on Saturday to face off against the Golden Gophers.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are flying high after their upset win over the Northwestern Wildcats this past weekend.  The Gophers defeated the ‘Cats 20-17, handing Northwestern its third straight loss.  The Gophers managed just 299 yards of offense on the day against the Wildcats.  Minnesota has struggled through the air all season long, and while the Gophers weren’t electric by any means on Saturday, Minnesota still averaged a very impressive 8.8 yards per attempt.  Phillip Nelson led the air attack, completing 8-11 for 112 yards and a score.  Junior back David Cobb had an outstanding day for Minny against a depleted Wildcat front.  Cobb rushed for 103 yards on 20 attempts, averaging an impressive 5.2 yards per attempt on the day.  The Gopher defense has been questionable all season long, but on Saturday Minnesota held the Wildcat offense in check, holding Northwestern to just 328 yards of total offense. 

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Free Pick 10/26/13

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers had this past weekend off in preparation for the Gophers…and probably the Wildcats the following weekend.  Nebraska is playing excellent ball this season, and if it weren’t for an early season home loss to the Bruins, the Huskers would likely be ranked in the AP top 20.  The Huskers are currently ranked 14th in the nation in scoring offense, putting up an average of 39.4 points per game on the year.  The Huskers defense has been an issue this year, but last time out Nebraska did a solid job, holding the Boilermakers to just seven points on the day.  Nebraska is a ground and pound team; make no mistake about it, and it shows in their play calling as the Huskers are running the ball nearly 65 percent of the time, for an average of 5.3 yards per carry.  The ground attack is led by Ameer Abdullah, who is averaging 7.2 yards per carry on the year.  Look for more of the same from the Huskers against the Gophers on Saturday as Nebraska will run often against this Gopher defense, that is allowing an even four yards per carry this year.

The Huskers are 4-2 overall in their last six road games, but against the number Nebraska hasn’t done as well, going just 2-8-1 against the spread in their last 11.  The Gophers are 5-2 overall in their last seven games, and 2-4 against the spread in their last six games at home.

I’m going to back the Gophers here.  Minnesota matches up well with Nebraska and what they like to do.  The Gophers have arguably played a tough schedule than the Huskers, and still have a solid record of 5-2 on the year.  Both teams will try and pound the ball at the other, and the Gophers can hang with the Huskers on the ground.  Minnesota averages out to 4.3 yards per carry against the Huskers, while the Huskers average out to 4.6.  Advantage Nebraska, but the Gophers should be able to run with them.  The two teams here are about neck and neck through the air, and in overall points per play, the Huskers have a slight advantage of 5.7 to 5.3 against the Gophers. 

I do like Nebraska to get the win here, but getting double digits with a Minnesota team that has to be full of confidence right now looks like the way to go. 

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Minnesota +10.5

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