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Nebraska Cornhuskers at Kansas St. Wildcats

2008



In a Big-12 match-up, Nebraska travels to Manhattan to take on the Wildcats of Kansas State. Nebraska is at 6-4 overall, and tied with the Kansas Jayhawks at 3-3 in the North Division, just a game behind the 1st place Missouri Tigers. The Cornhuskers are bowl-eligible already, but probably have little chance of playing in the Big-12 championship, having already lost to Missouri. Kansas State is at 4-6 overall and needs to win out to have a shot at a bowl game. They are just 1-5 in conference play though, with a pretty tortuous schedule. The losses have been to powerhouses Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri, plus a tough 13-14 road loss at Colorado. The Wildcats can put points on the board though, as they have scored a combined 80 points in their last 3 games, which were vs Oklahoma, @ Kansas and @ Missouri.


Nebraska has had the luxury of playing 6 of its games at home this year, so this will actually be just their 4th road game, where they have gone just 1-2 so far. They are led on offense by QB Joe Ganz, who has completed an impressive 69% of his 332 attempts for 2830 yds, 19 TDs and just 9 INTs. Ganz spreads the ball around a lot, but his main go-to guy has been Nick Swift, who has caught 54 passes for 801 yds and 8 TDs. Behind him is another very capable receiver in Todd Peterson who has caught 50 passes for almost 600 yds, plus 2 TDs. A 3-headed rushing attack which includes RBs Marion Lucky, Roy Helu and Quentin Castille has combined for close to 1300 yds and 16 rushing TDs. Overall, the Huskers have scored 41 TDs on offense for the year and are averaging 33.6 pts per game.


On defense, its been a long time since Nebraska had a dominant shut-down unit like they used to field year after year. In conference games, they have given up 62 pts to Oklahoma, 35 pts to Kansas, 52 pts to Missouri and 37 pts to Texas Tech. The only team they have been successful in totally shutting down has been Iowa St., which only managed 7 pts. They are ranked around the middle of the conference, giving up 380 yds per game, including 140 ypg on the ground and 240 yds through the air, and 38 TDs overall. The Huskers will be missing a key player on defense this week as LB Cody Glenn has been suspended indefinitely. Glenn is 3rd on the team in tackles with 51, and has also had 6 tackles for loss, four quarterback hurries and four pass breakups.

Kansas State is coming off of a 41-24 loss at Missouri, but they were able to scorch the Tigers for close to 200 yds on the ground and around 360 yds of total offense. The Wildcats have a very capable QB in Josh Freeman, who has completed around 60% of his attempts for a little over 2550 yds, 15 TDs and 8 INTs. In a conference chock-full of outstanding QBs and WRs, Wildcat WR Brandon Banks ranks a very impressive 5th in receiving yards per game and total receiving yards. He leads the team with 57 receptions for 917 yds and 8 TDs. But 5 other receivers on the team have at least 20 receptions and 289 receiving yds, and those 5 have combined for another 1600 yds and 9 TDs.


QB Freeman is also a scrambler, as he leads the team in rushing yardage with 369 yds on 90 attempts and an incredible 14 rushing TDs. RBs Logan Dold and LaMark Brown have combined for almost 600 more yds and 7 more TDs on the ground. The Wildcats overall 41 offensive TDs are equal to the Cornhusker output.


On defense, they are giving up a boatload of yds on the ground, with an average of around 210 per game. And they are also giving up an average of 34 pts per game.


Both teams rank at the bottom of the conference standings in turnover margin, with 1.1 TOs per game on average.
Kansas State is reeling, having lost 5 of their last 6 games, and they would like a win badly. They also are looking for a little revenge, as Nebraska put up 73 pts on them about this time last year in Lincoln, and have won the past 3 match-ups in this series. Prior to that, Kansas St. had gone 4-2 SU and 6-0 ATS against the Cornhuskers. In the past 6 meetings in Manhattan, the Wildcats have gone 4-2 SU vs Nebraska. Kansas St is 9-4 ATS their last 13 games as a home underdog. Since 2004, Nebraska is 7-10-1 ATS and 6-12 SU in road conference games.


We probably wont see a whole lot of defense in this game, as both offenses are potent and the stop units are very generous. Kansas St has done well as a home dog in the past and they need a win more than the Huskers, at this point. Plus they are playing with triple revenge. I think were probably going to have a pretty competitive game so Im tempted to take the points, which are currently close to a TD. Ill take Kansas State here, expecting a high-scoring game of around 38-34 or so, either way. And maybe even put a little on the money line with the Wildcats to get the SU win. Kansas St +6 pts.

 

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