Time: 12:00 p.m. ET; TV: FOX | Location: Memorial Stadium | Lincoln, NE
Oklahoma: AP Top 25: 6 | Coaches Poll: 6 | SP+: 5 | PFF: 8
Nebraska: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 51 | PFF: 67
Oklahoma: Questionable: OT Wanya Morris, DB Lawrence Key
Nebraska: Out for Season: OL Nouredin Nouili | Questionable: TE Thomas Fidone II | Travis Vokolek
Having written about the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Scott Frost twice this week, it’s fitting to start in Lincoln on Saturday, where the Huskers take on their old school rival, the Oklahoma Sooners. Some may wonder if the Frost firing might spur on the Cornhuskers (understandable), especially for a big game like OU. But I’m not sold. I’d imagine this team has to be exhausted.
Unlike many that played in Week 0, the Cornhuskers haven’t had a week off. It is crazy when you consider they played across the Atlantic Ocean to start the season. Then you throw in the emotional toll and pressure they’ve dealt with thus far.
They have to be looking forward to no game next Saturday. Who needs an off week more than this group? This is also when you’d make a coaching change if you wanted the best results.
In the Sooners, Nebraska will face the best offensive and defensive units they’ve squared up against all season. It’s not even close.
OU brings a deep and talented secondary and a pass rush led by defensive end Reggie Grimes (four sacks) that should pressure Casey Thompson into some mistakes. The quarterback has four touchdown passes to three interceptions and has been sacked seven times this season, including five in the past two weeks against North Dakota and Georgia Southern (combined 8-15 in 2021).
B1G Bets (1 Unit):
Last Week: 3-2; Season: 7-3 (+4 Units)
Oklahoma Sooners OVER 38.5
The more significant mismatch comes when the Sooners have the ball. Running back Eric Gray is averaging 6.7 YPC, and when backup Marcus Major (7.7 YPC) checks in, the running game doesn’t skip a beat.
Teamed up again with offensive coordinator Jeff Lebby, quarterback Dillon Gabriel has completed over 70 percent of his passes and is averaging over ten yards per pass with five touchdowns in 51 attempts. Wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. is off to an All-American start with ten grabs for 244 yards and two scores.
The Nebraska defense has been inept, especially up front, as they’ve recorded two sacks in three games while allowing 5.7 yards per carry. That’s against an FCS offense, and FBS units ranked 93rd and 103rd in SP+. OU is fifth.
AUBURN TIGERS UNDER 23.5
Money Line: Penn State -140 | Auburn +115 | Total: 48
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET; TV: CBS | Location: Jordan-Hare Stadium | Auburn, AL
Penn State: AP Top 25: 22 | Coaches Poll: 23 | SP+: 14 | PFF: 12
Auburn: AP Top 25: NR (40) | Coaches Poll: NR (41) | SP+: 30 | PFF: 35
Penn State: Out: DE Zuriah Fisher | Questionable: TE Jerry Cross, TE Theo Johnson
Auburn: Out for Season: No injuries reported.
Penn State (-3) is the better team, but I can’t trust that offense at Jordan-Hare Stadium. But I like how the Nittany Lions’ defense matches up against a shaky Tigers offense.
In hopes of replacing T.J. Finley, Auburn brought in former Texas A&M quarterback Zach Calzada. Finley won the job, but with one touchdown pass to three interceptions against Mercer and San Jose State, I doubt he’s earned more confidence from the coaching staff.
The Tigers are unproven on the interior of their O-line, which spells trouble against mammoth defensive tackle P.J. Mustipher. It’s going to be tough sledding for the Tigers.
We’ve been on the Wolverines in the first two weeks (game vs. Colorado State, first quarter vs. Hawaii). Like last week, we don’t love the game line but expect Michigan to crush it in the first half.
Everyone is starting to catch up on how much a juggernaut this Michigan offense is, and their offensive line is still finding itself. J.J. McCarthy has all the tools, and while he still has to prove himself against higher-caliber defenses, the Huskies aren’t them.
Michigan scored touchdowns on six of eight first-half drives against Hawaii. Expect more of the same this week. As for the defense, they’ve allowed zero first-half points this season, another trend that should continue against UConn.
Time: 2:00 p.m. ET; TV: ESPN+ | Location: High Point Solutions Stadium | Piscataway, NJ
Temple: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 125 | PFF: 118
Rutgers: AP Top 25: NR | Coaches Poll: NR | SP+: 70 | PFF: 72
Temple: Questionable: TE David Martin-Robinson
Rutgers: Out: DE Mohamed Toure, LB Moses Walker | Questionable: QB Noah Vedral, RB Aaron Young, TE Matt Alaimo
In the early going, Rutgers looks to be improved. How much? That’s unclear, and for this week, it doesn’t matter too much. Temple is a bottom 10 team in FBS, and the Scarlet Knights have proven to be a reliable bully team.
The worst three teams they played last season—Delaware, Indiana, and Temple—Rutgers won each game by at least 32 points, including 61-14 over the Owls. Last week they took care of Wagner 66-7.
Evan Simon has given Rutgers University competent quarterback play (72% passing, 0 interceptions), and they’ve rushed for 540 yards and eight TDs (5.6 YPC) through two games. Greg Schiano’s teams always play hard and physically, with sound defense.
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