Nebraska vs. Miami
Time: 3:30 PM Sat, Sept 19, 2015 (ABC)
Spread: MIA -3
M/L: MIA -160; NEB +140
Betting odds courtesy of Bovada
The Nebraska Cornhuskers rebounded from its week 1 loss to BYU by defeating South Alabama 48-9 last Saturday. This week, the Cornhuskers will be 3-point underdogs to the Miami Hurricanes in a matchup to air on ABC at 3:30 PM EST.
The Cornhuskers lost that matchup to BYU on a hail mary pass from Tanner Magnum to Mitch Mathews. It was the first Nebraska loss in a season opener since 1985 and ended the nation’s longest opening win streak of 29.
QB Tommy Armstrong Jr was 24 of 41 with three TDs and one INT while amassing 319 yards, but BYU passed for 379. Terrell Newby and Imani Cross combined for 77 yards on 17 carries, but only Newby reached the end zone (once). Jordan Westerkamp caught seven passes for 107 yards and a TD, and Brandon Reilly caught five passes for 70 yards.
Armstrong Jr threw for 2,695 yards last season with a 53.3 percent completion ratio, but he could up that significantly this season. He’s also throwing for over eight yards per attempt for the first time in his NCAA career, and his raw QB rating is 79.6, which is significantly higher than last year’s 59.2. It is early, but he has thrown five TDs to just one INT, and Armstrong could be good enough to lift this Cornhuskers team to an upset victory in Week 3.
Newby has rushed for 241 yards on 38 carries this season, to outclass all other backs significantly. He has three TDs on the year and is good for 6.3 yards per carry, and only Armstrong has more than 10 carries outside of him, though he has been good for just six yards on his 11 carries. Reilly and Westerkamp have combined for 20 receptions and 279 yards, but only Westerkamp has scored (two TDs).
Miami is 2-0 but has yet to face any real tests after knocking off Bethune Cookman 45-0 in Week 1 and FAU 44-20 in Week 2. Brad Kaaya has thrown for 460 yards on 62.7 percent completions while averaging 7.80 yards per attempt. He has three TDs on the year and no INTs and a 145.0 passer rating. Joseph Yearby has led the way in the backfield with 186 yards on 24 carries, while Mark Walton has 127 yards and a team-high four TDs.
The Canes have scored seven rushing TDs and just three via the pass, though the team has three WRs with 100-plus yards on the year, including Yearby functioning as a dual-threat back. Yearby has 105 yards on five catches and has one of the three receiving TDs. Michael Badgley has hit 4 of 5 FG this year, but he did miss an easy one from within 30 yards, though he is 1 of 1 from 40 yards and further.
Expect Miami to cover the 3-point spread and likely win by at least a full TD. The Hurricanes will ride Kaaya to a 3-0 record before going on to play a tough Cincinnati team next week and Florida State on Oct 10.