Pick Miami Plus the Points vs. Nebraska College Football

Willie Bee

Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:55 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 17, 2014 2:55 PM GMT

There isn't a national championship on the line this week when Miami and Nebraska tangle on the college football betting card, but the matchup still holds plenty of intrigue.

The last three times the Miami Hurricanes and Nebraska Cornhuskers squared off, at least a share of a national championship was on the line.  That won't be the case this Saturday in Lincoln, however, nor will either team be playing for a national title later this season when Division I gridiron version of the Final Four gets underway.

That doesn't mean there isn't any drama to this contest; the first regular season matchup between the 'Canes and 'Huskers in nearly 40 years still has plenty riding on the outcome, including an opportunity for the ACC and Big Ten Conferences to curry a little extra favor from the playoff selection team when that time comes.

Memorial Stadium could set a new attendance record for this one, meaning 91,500 or so fans in the seats at Tom Osborne Field for the prime-time kickoff that will be carried by ESPN2 (8 PM ET).  The Cornhuskers are favored by an even touchdown on SBR's live college football odds, scoreboard wagers requiring a decision on a 58.5 point total.

This is, in fact, only the third regular season meeting between the Hurricanes and 'Huskers, the other six prior get-togethers taking place at one bowl or another.  The first collision took place in 1962 Gotham Bowl, Nebraska eking out a 36-34 victory at old Yankee Stadium.  Four of the other meetings took place at the Orange Bowl with the most recent clash in the BCS title tilt at the Rose Bowl where Miami cruised 37-14 to win the championship.

 

True Freshman Leading Hurricanes Offense
I'm not buying any of the talk about the recent arrest of quarterback Kevin Olsen being a distraction for Miami this week.  The redshirt freshman has been slowly but surely making his way out of Coral Gables since first arriving two years ago full of potential, and one has to think the team is used to any player's shenanigans once he begins a third suspension, as Olsen now is serving.

Al Golden knows he has bigger problems just getting past this game before having to deal with an Atlantic Coast Conference schedule where his 'Canes are already in a hole after dropping the season opener to conference newcomer Louisville.  Not having Olsen around could actually prove to be a positive, and Golden is more concerned now about his kicker, Matt Goudis, who is questionable for Saturday with a back injury.

Miami bounced back from the loss to the Cardinals with a pair of cupcake victories over Florida A&M and Arkansas State, scoring 41 points in each affair.  True freshman Brad Kaaya has shown flashes of excellence, but also been prone to throwing to the other team with five picks in three games.  He was brilliant last Saturday with four TD tosses, but will be facing a far better defense on the Nebraska side than what the Red Wolves offered.

 

Cornhuskers Seek 1st 4-0 Start since 2011
The same is definitely true for Nebraska this week when they face a Miami stop unit ranked eighth in the country allowing less than 260 total yards per game.  The Cornhuskers faced perhaps the worst Div-I defense a week ago, rolling up a balanced 562 yards against Fresno State to almost send the game past a 62 point total on their own in the 55-19 victory.

Redshirt soph Tommy Armstrong Jr. has done a solid job so far directing the nation's No. 5 offense (594.3 ypg), and could have one more familiar target in his wide receiver stable with Sam Burtch probable after missing the first two games.  But all of those yards came against the likes of Florida Atlantic, McNeese State and Fresno State, and the entire offense is going to have to make a quick adjustment to Miami's speed.

A wet day is presently in the forecast for Lincoln, the weatherman listing an 80% chance of rain and in the mid-70s at kickoff.  Check for updates before laying down your bet.

Some of the dampness could be the result of the tears in the eyes of unhappy 'Husker fans as I see an upset in the making. Take the Hurricanes and the points for your college football picks.

 

College Football Pick: Miami (FL) +7 at 5Dimes

Season: 14-9-1 (+4.10)

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