Point Spread: Nebraska -13. Over/under - 52.5
The Skinny: The Cornhuskers fell to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship, and then plummeted in the bowl selections. They face a Washington team that at 6-6 is barely bowl eligible. These two teams have already met this year, with the Huskies taking a home beating 56-21 in September.
Nebraska is a heavy favorite again, despite losing two of its last three in heartbreaking fashion to end the season. Close losses to Texas A&M and the Sooners landed the Cornhuskers in the Holiday Bowl for the second straight year.
Washington is just happy to have another game. The Huskies ran off three straight wins to close the season.
Nebraska's Edge: Running and pass defense; these strengths have carried the Huskers through the regular season. Nebraska will field the 10th best rushing game in the nation an attack that rolled up 383 yards the first time these two teams met. The Huskers' pass defense ranks fifth in the nation and feasted on Washington quarterback Jake Locker last time, holding him to 71 yards and two interceptions. The game ended any talk of Heisman consideration for the senior.
Washington's Edge: Running back Chris Polk comes in averaging 103 yards per game, and is fresh off a 284-yard performance against Washington State. He will be running into the weakest part of the Husker defense. Nebraska ranks 52nd against the run, and had issues stopping Polk early in their first matchup.
The Quarterbacks: Nebraska's Taylor Martinez has had a roller coaster of a freshman season. His exceptional speed dazzled the Husker faithful early, but injuries and some questionable judgment have led to his fall from grace in Lincoln. His costly interceptions and inability to avoid sacks in the Oklahoma game may have cost his team a place in the Fiesta Bowl.
Washington's Locker has endured a difficult season. He was being projected as a first-round pick when the season began, but thanks in part to his performance against the Huskers that hype quickly died away. Still, Locker had a respectable year, throwing for 2,207 yards with 17 touchdowns. He was injured in the Stanford game and was unable to go against Oregon, effectively ruining his chances to perform against the two best teams in the Pac-10.
NFL Prospects: Nebraska - CB Prince Amukamara; DE Jared Crick; LB Lavonte David; K Alex Henery. Washington - QB Jake Locker; LB Mason Foster, RB Chris Polk
Bowl history: Nebraska is 24-22 all-time in bowls, and has won its only two bowls with current coach Bo Pelini - including a Holiday Bowl win last year.
Washington has 14-14-1 bowl record, and has lost all three of its Holiday Bowl appearances. This is the Huskies' second bowl appearance under coach Steve Sarkisian.
Psychological advantage could go to Washington. The Huskies are just happy to be bowl eligible, and they have revenge as an added incentive. Nebraska is still licking its wounds after missing out on a BCS bid and getting passed over for Missouri to play neighboring Iowa in the Insight Bowl.
My early lean is Nebraska -13 but more thought is needed ????