Nebraska at Maryland
Time: 2 PM CST, Sat
Spread: NEB -5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Nebraska Cornhuskers is 4-6 on the season and just 2-5 in Big Ten play. It will travel to face an improved Maryland team as 5-point favorites in NCAA football odds on Saturday. The over/under is set at 62 total points, and the game will air at 2 PM (CST) on the Big 10 Network.
Nebraska enters this week’s game as losers of its last four games. It has fallen to Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin, and Indiana over that four-game skid. The Huskers have allowed 31 points or more to all four of those opponents, and its defense is proving to be problematic for it this season, as Nebraska allows about 30 points per game while scoring just under 26 itself. The Huskers have a No. 35 ranked rushing offense that generates 195 yards per game, but it gets just 222.5 from its passing attack, ranking No. 78 among FBS teams.
Nebraska largely has ridden the legs of No. 1 running back Dedrick Mills and dual-threat quarterback Adrian Martinez. Martinez has struggled with his throws (under 60 percent completion with seven interceptions), but he has been a dynamic rusher. He averages 4.3 yards-per-carry on his team-leading 113 rushes, along with having scored six touchdowns. Mills is good for 5.5 per while having rushed 107 times and he leads the team with nine touchdowns. The Huskers average 4.5 yards-per-carry as a team, with three others having added 100 or more rushing yards, including wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson’s 326 yards on 85 carries.
Robinson also leads the team in total receptions (40), while ranking No. 2 in yardage (453) and he is tied with two others for the lead in receiving touchdowns (2). JD Spielman is the top wideout with 760 yards and two touchdowns on his 39 catches, while tight end Jack Stoll ranks No. 4 in receiving yardage with 226 yards on 21 catches. Though Nebraska is not a pass-dominant team, it has scored nine touchdowns via the pass, and it has over 2,200 receiving yards on the season. The team has cycled through four placekickers with poor results: Nebraska has connected on just 7 of 15 field goals with six of those seven misses coming from within the 40-yard marker.
Though Maryland has been better this season, it is still just 3-7 and 1-6 in Big Ten play. The Terrapins also have lost its last five games, with three of those five losses coming to AP ranked Big Ten Teams (Minnesota, Michigan, and Ohio State). The thing that has held Maryland back this season is its mediocre defense. The Terrapins are surrendering 34.3 points per game while averaging 31.1 itself (-3.2 point differential). Maryland is not particularly strong via the pass, where it manages just 187 yards per game and ranks No. 106, but its rushing attack generates 172.0 per game and falls just outside the top-50.
Maryland is led by quarterback Josh Jackson and a trio of running backs that have all had relatively successful seasons. Jackson averages just under 50 percent completion, but he has thrown 11 TDs with just five INTs, while also has rushed 38 times for -70 yards— not great. But Javon Leake, Anthony McFarland Jr., and Tayon Fleet-Davis all average better than four yards-per-carry, with Leake, easily eclipsing that at 7.6 yards-per-carry on his 84 attempts. Leake and McFarland both have seven rushing touchdowns this season, while Davis has two, and Jake Funk and Tyrell Pigrome round out the top rushers with a pair of touchdowns to their credit as well.
WR Donate Demus Jr. has done most of the work for the receiving core. He leads in receptions (33), yardage (517), yards-per-catch (min. 10 catches, 15.7 yards-per-catch) and touchdowns (5). Maryland has scored 15 rushing touchdowns on the season. Tight end Tyler Mabry has just 12 total receptions, but he has been a red-zone target with three of those receptions resulting in touchdowns. Maryland has scored 21 TDs via the rush.