Oklahoma vs. Nebraska, Saturday, September 17, 12 ET
There is the steadiness in one of these teams that you look for in any team. In the other team, they lost two of their first three games and their head coach has already been fired. Does that make their team respond well, or will they fall apart even further? So far, it looks like the money and line are shifting toward Nebraska making a game of it. I’m here to say: Not so fast.
Oklahoma has not faced any team with hope this season. They blew out UTEP by 32 points and then beat Kent State by 30. Quarterback Dillon Gabriel has looked solid, completing just over 70% of his passes and throwing for five touchdowns. He seems to have a strong connection with wide receiver Marvin Mims, who has almost 200 more yards than any other receiver on the roster and two touchdowns. Nebraska will need to make him a focal point if they are looking to have any chance in this game. They’ve allowed almost 285 passing yards per game. Running back Eric Gray has controlled the ground game well despite not finding the endzone yet. They’ve turned to Marcus Major to punch the ball in for the scores.
Nebraska fired Scott Frost before they would’ve gotten a discount on his contract. We know how a lot of these colleges refuse to spend extra money on something like that so they must’ve really wanted him gone. After expecting them to start the season 3-0, we find them down 1-2 and likely headed to 1-3. When a professional team fires a coach, we tend to look at the next game as an opportunity for a win because they usually want to show it was the coach’s fault and not the players’ fault. That’s not quite the way to look at it in college as there are different motivations. Nebraska hasn’t looked very good in any area this year, but defense is where they look worst. I am concerned they won’t be able to slow down this Sooner offense. Offensively, the team has had some success rushing but they allow so many points that they turn to Casey Thompson who has already thrown three interceptions.
I don’t believe that Nebraska, at home, and with a new coach is anywhere near as good as Oklahoma. I expect the Sooners to win this game by two touchdowns. There will still be turmoil within Nebraska’s squad and they are going to need to learn how their coach wants to do things. Even if they keep most of the playbooks and schemes, I think it puts them at a bit more of a disadvantage. Although this is the first real test on the season for Oklahoma, give me the team that is more stable and steady. Sooners -11 at -110.
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