Eric Francis/Getty Images
Anyone in the military loves a guy like Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead. He's a "grunt," which means he fights for every yard he gains and scores an "A+" in determination.
Like they did two weeks ago against Michigan State, the Cornhuskers face a highly-ranked defense. Penn State is the third-ranked scoring defense in the nation and it was their defense that carried them to victories earlier in the season when the Nittany Lions offense was malfunctioning.
Nebraska will lean on Burkhead (pictured), who is 49 yards short of 1,000 for the year, and quarterback Taylor Martinez. The key statistic is 250 yards. If Nebraska can rush for over 250 yards, they will win the game.
Penn State is a team in flux. Their legendary coach, Joe Paterno, was fired this week. Their interim head coach Tom Bradley has to prepare the Nittany Lions for a Cornhusker team that is tied for the Legends Division lead with Iowa and Michigan State.
One thing hasn't changed: Penn State controls their Big Ten destiny in 2011. They are the only undefeated team in conference play. They can lose tomorrow and still win the Leaders Division and play for the Big Ten title. They just have to beat Ohio State and Wisconsin on the road in their last two regular season games.
Penn State's equivalent to Rex Burkhead is running back Silas Redd. Redd has five consecutive games with over 100 yards rushing and 1,006 yards for the season to make him the No. 3 rusher in the Big Ten. (Burkhead is No. 4 in the conference.)
The Nittany Lions' hopes may rest upon the shoulders of quarterback Matt McGloin. His offensive line has given up only 11 sacks and need to give him enough time to hand the ball to Redd and pass the ball to wide receiver Derek Moye. Moye is No. 5 in the Big Ten with an average of 73.4 yards receiving per game.
I like the Nebraska defense if they're playing like they did in the win over MSU to shut down the Penn State offense. The win will give the Cornhuskers a tie for first place in the Legends Division with the Michigan State-Iowa winner.
Nebraska 24, Penn State 17