When the No. 20 Nebraska Cornhuskers travel to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans, they will be facing one their toughest tests of the college football season.
Despite the Spartans' disappointing 2012 so far, the team’s defensive unit is one of the most dangerous in the sport and will push the Cornhuskers to their limits.
Nebraska will be attacking with its own stellar rush offense that will likely wear down Michigan State’s front seven and eventually steal the victory.
No matter what the final score is Saturday, this is too good of a game to miss.
Who ya got?
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, Mich.
Watch: ABC and ESPN 2
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via Covers)
Over/Under: 44.5, Spread: Michigan State (+1)
With Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead possibly sidelined for this game, the offensive prowess for the Cornhuskers will be down. Add in the tough defense played on both sides, and betting the under here and taking Nebraska for the win is the right move.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
Taariq Allen, WR, Questionable
Rex Burkhead, RB, Questionable
Niko Palazeti, FB, Questionable
Jairus Jones, S, Questionable
While the Cornhuskers are the only team in this game playing for Top 25 and possible BCS bowl glory, the Michigan State Spartans are trying to spoil Nebraska’s party. With both teams coming from the Big Ten Legends division, these conference rivals know each other well and will use that familiarity to their advantage.
This battle is very personal for these programs.
Nebraska Player to Watch: Ameer Abdullah, RB
While there is no doubting that the loss of star running back Rex Burkhead at times this season has hurt the Cornhuskers, Nebraska is not letting the star's nagging injury issues keep them down.
Especially with a young back like Ameer Abdullah not only filling the role as starting RB, but outshining Burkhead at times. With 716 yards and eight touchdowns on just 129 rushing attempts, Abdullah has stepped up big for the Cornhuskers since taking the starting job.
Even if Burkhead does return to the lineup this week (he is questionable with a knee injury), Nebraska will use the veteran as a complement to the stellar running of Abdullah. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.
Michigan State Player to Watch: Le'Veon Bell, RB
Spartans junior running back Le'Veon Bell has been the workhorse for Michigan State in 2012, amassing 1,061 yards and eight touchdowns on an amazing 247 carries so far.
With a tough matchup against the Cornhuskers, the Spartans will once again lean on their stellar running back to help the team control the clock, move the chains and get over the Nebraska hump.
While the Cornhuskers have done well shutting down their opponent’s pass offense, there have been glaring weaknesses in stopping the run. The Spartans will ride Bell all day and will keep the game close because of his tough running.
Prediction: Nebraska 17, Michigan State 10
When Nebraska and Michigan State meet Saturday, it won’t be the conventional college football shootout that fans would expect from these schools. This will be a classic defensive battle with plenty of rushing plays and timely scoring.
With all considered, the Cornhuskers are just too talented to lose to the Spartans in Week 10.
Nebraska is a deeper team at almost every position, and while this game will be close throughout, the Cornhuskers will steal the win in the fourth quarter by wearing down the Spartans.
Michigan State has the home-field advantage and could turn the tide at any moment with a huge play, but they are just overmatched this week.
Either way, this game is going to be too good to miss for even the most casual college football fan.
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