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Holiday Bowl

Nebraska vs Arizona

3* Key Release

12/30/09

Nebraska was one second away from pulling a shocking upset over the BCS Title Bound Texas Longhorns. While they are not playing in a BCS Bowl Game because of that one second, they still have had a solid year under Head Coach Bo Pelini, and the future looks bright for the Cornhuskers. Nebraska finished the year 9-4 with wins over Oklahoma and Missouri. It has been their defense that has carried them for most of the year led by All American DT Ndamukong Suh, and that defense is going to have to at their best against Arizona because their high powered offense can put up points in a hurry. The Wildcats finished the year up 8-4 including a win over USC to close out the year. Coach Mike Stoops has this program going in the right direction, and a win over a very good Big 12 team would help build so me momentum.


PRIMETIME MATCHUP

It is no surprise what the PRIMETIME MATCHUP will be in this ballgame. This game will be decided by who has the most success between the Arizona offense and the Nebraska defense. This Wildcat offense has been putting up some impressive stats this season. They are 4th in both scoring and total offense with 30 points and 408 yards per game. Their offense is led by QB Nick Foles who has almost thrown for 2500 yards this season and 19 TDís. While Foles is the leader this offense is much more then just a passing attack. They run a very balanced attack. They average 167 rushing yards to go along with their 240 passing yard per game. DT Ndamukong Suh and the Nebraska defense will have their hands full with the Wildcats balanced attack, but Nebraska has been up to the challenge all year.

The Cornhuskers are ranked 1st in the Big 12 in scoring defense allowing just 11 points per game and are ranked 3rd in total defense allowing 285 yards a game. The Nebraska defense is solid in every aspect defensively, but if you are going to attack them you have to do it through the air, and stay as far away from SUH as possible. The Huskerís are only allowing 88 yards per game on the ground, but are giving up 189 yards through the air. This is a case of picking the lesser of two evils, but in reality this Nebraska defense has no glaring holes.

THE FINAL VERDICT

This Nebraska defense showed the country what they could do in the Big 12 Title Game against Texas. They held QB Colt McCoy and the Longhorns to just 13 points and just 202 total yards in that game, and if it wasnít for a review that put one second on the clock Nebraska would be the Big 12 champs and would be heading to a BCS bowl game.

Nebraska has put up some very nice numbers on both sides of the ball. Their yards per point offensive number is 13, 12 in road games. Their defensive numbers are among the best in the entire country with a whopping 25 overall! Now that's a defense. Arizona's numbers are almost 14 offensively and 13 defensively. Very poor defensively and believe it or not, not as good as Nebraska's offensive numbers, although close.

Now, those numbers are meaningless if the schedule strength of the two teams is not similar. But when we compare the schedule strength of these two, we notice that they have played scheduled very close in strength. In fact, the numbers we use show Nebraska as having played a schedule a couple of points stronger than Arizona's.

This is no doubt the best matchup so far this year in the Bowl games. It should be a good game, but at the end of the day, Nebraska is the better football team and should win this game. We have lost some value here over the last day or two as this game moves from pk all the way up to -3. We pay the price here for not getting this play out to you sooner, but we still like it.

We're going to break our wager up, playing some at Nebraska -1 with high juice and playing some more at -3 +106.

3* Nebraska  (half at -1 and half at -3)


 

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