Fresno St Bulldogs at Nebraska Cornhuskers
Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Nebraska
Saturday, September 10, 2011, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: Big Ten Network
Opening Line: Nebraska -26 1/2
Current Line: Nebraska -28
Opening Total: 50
Current Total: 51
Opening Money Line: Nebraska -3500 / Fresno St +1700
Current Money Line: Nebraska -5000 / Fresno St +2500
Fresno St continues it’s tradition of “playing anyone, anywhere” as they travel to Lincoln to take on the mighty Nebraska Cornhuskers. The two schools have never met before. Fresno St is coached by Pat Hill, and is 0-1 this season after a 36-21 loss to California in San Francisco. Nebraska is coached by Bo Pelini and opened the season with a 40-7 beatdown of Chattanooga.
Fresno St allowed 3 first quarter touchdowns to Cal in the opener last week. However, the bulldogs blocked 2 extra points, and scored a touchdown of their own to be down by only 12 points at the end of the first quarter. It was 19-14 at the half but Cal ended up winning by 15 to cover the spread. Fresno struggled on offense with only 210 yards, including only 68 rushing yards. Fresno St gave up 6 quarterback sacks and had 2 turnovers. They had only 11 first downs and were 3 for 16 on third and fourth downs. Quarterback Derek Carr was 21 for 33 with 142 yards, one touchdown and an interception. He had 6 carries for -33 yards but those were the six sacks Fresno gave up. Running back Robbie Rouse had 17 carries for 86 yards and a touchdown, along with a catch for 8 yards. Devon Wylie had 5 catches for 75 yards. Josh Harper had a touchdown catch. Kicker Kevin Goessling missed his one field goal kick, but made all three extra points he tried.
Though Fresno gave up 413 yards to California there were some bright spots on defense and special teams. Fresno St forced 2 turnovers, including a fumble recovery in the end zone for a touchdown. They also blocked 2 extra points. The Bulldogs had 2 sacks as well.
Nebraska put on a workmanlike performance last week against Chattanooga in their first game as a member of the Big Ten. Nebraska won 40-7 but probably should have beaten that team by 60. They jumped out to a 23-0 halftime lead, but 3 drives stalled and ended up with field goals. The Cornhuskers had 364 total yards including 229 rushing yards. They turned the ball over twice in the win. Quarterback Taylor Martinez was brilliant running the ball but had a ho-hum day throwing the ball. He was 11 for 22 for 116 yards, with no touchdowns or picks. However, he had 19 carries for 135 yards and 3 touchdown runs, including one 43 yards and another 47 yards. Martinex was almost the whole offense though running back Rex Burkhead had 11 carries for 75 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Quincy Enunwa had 4 catches for 58 yards. No other receiver had more than 2 catches for the Cornhuskers. Kicker Brett Maher was 4 for 4 on field goals including a 50 yard kick. He also made all 4 extra points he tried. He also was the punter with 4 punts for a 52 yard average with 2 inside the 20.
Nebraska held Chattanooga to 230 total yards including 60 yards rushing. Nebraska had 11 tackles for loss and 3 sacks and forced a turnover. Cameron Meredith had 2 sacks and an interception for the Huskers.
Fresno St has covered 4 of the last 5 against Big Ten teams. The Bulldogs are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 road games and in the last 5 overall. Nebraska is 1-4 ATS against teams with losing records in the last 5, 2-9-1 in the last 12 as a home favorite, and 1-5 in the last 6 as a favorite.
Nebraska had what ESPN.com columnist Bill Simmons calls a “Milton Berle game” based on a crude anecdote about the legendary comedian. Google it if you don’t know the story. Basically, it means Nebraska did just enough to win last week against Chattanooga. This line seems a little high to me especially considering Nebraska hasn’t been covering at home recently. I think this game has a good chance to go under as neither offense is that great, and Nebraska is dominant on defense.
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