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Big XII Championship Game

Oklahoma vs. Nebraska

Betting Line: Oklahoma -4

12/3/10

 

The Big XII Championship Game has been tough for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Last year they came up just short as big underdogs against Texas to lose 13-12. Their last win came in this game was in 1999. They have two wins overall and have appeared a total of 5 times. The Huskers will face Oklahoma this year. The Sooners have made it to this game 8 times, winning it a record 6 times. Nebraska was last seen beating Colorado, and the Sooners took out rival Oklahoma State in their last game. Let's take a look at how they match up!

This game will be played at Cowboys Stadium. Oklahoma is slightly better at scoring with 37.5 PPG compared to 33.8 PPG for the Huskers. Nebraska is rock solid on defense allowing 16.8 PPG compared to 22.1 for Oklahoma. The Sooners are a solid 7-4 ATS this year. The Huskers are worse at 5-6. Nebraska won last year's meeting 10-3 in a defensive struggle. Before that the Sooners took 4 straight from Nebraska, winning by an average of 20 points.

Much of the Huskers success this year is attributable directly to freshman QB Taylor Martinez. He is battling injuries to both of his feet and it isn't known if he will start. HC Bo Pelini gave a cookie cutter reply when asked who will play. He said "the QB that gives us the best chance." The other option is sophomore Cody Green. He played well against Colorado, but having to face the Sooners is a taking it to another level. Martinez will give them the best chance to win IF and only if he is healthy. It is possible and even likely that Pelini opts to use both in this game. ***Note - at the time of the posting of this article on Friday Martinez is listed as DOUBTFUL

In order to win this game and take the BCS Bowl berth that comes with it, the Huskers will have to ride the horse that got them here. That horse is gritty, hard, tough, dirty, nasty defense. CB Prince Amukamara is a big playmaker for this team. He's a First Team All American and a lock to go in the 1st round of the NFL Draft. His defense has shut down just about every team about outside of Oklahoma State this year. It will be Amukamara's job to set his sights on Sooners QB Landry Jones. If he can rattle him by shutting down WR Ryan Broyles it will go a long toward a victory. This defense has 17 sacks in their last 5 games. They will give Oklahoma everything they want. 

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QB Landry Jones played a pretty good game last week, but his 468 yards and 4 TDs were made less impressive by his tossing of 3 INTs. That is the most the sophomore has thrown all year. One of his best games came against Texas Tech when he passed for 5 TDs. The youngster is immensely talented and getting better all the time. He's got a big time weapon in junior WR Ryan Broyles who has 115 catches for 1,391 yards and 13 TDs this year. RB DeMarco Murray makes this a truly dangerous offense. He's a top caliber runner which he has proved by racking up 1,053 yards and 14 TDs this year. Look for the senior to bring his "A" game against Nebraska.

Oklahoma's defense is good, but not great. Top offenses like Oklahoma State have proved that. The Cowboys scored 41 on them last week. The Missouri Tigers racked up 36 points. The Aggies at Texas A&M picked up 33. It won't be impossible for the Huskers to score on them. Baylor is the only good offense they have contained this year and they gave them 24 points.

We intended on playing Nebraska here. The game shakes out as even, so getting +4 in a huge game like this, the last Big 12 Title game ever, is very tempting. However, Martinez has been such a big part of the Nebraska success this year. Without him, we just can't play this game. From a betting standpoint, the QB position is often overrated. Frequently, a team plays even better without their QB as everyone else steps up. That may happen here. There's still 21 other guys on the field that make up a "team". But we have to stay away here. Lean - Nebraska +4
 

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