- 09/11/2013, 09:32AM ET
Mil Town Proud said 09/11, 09:32 AM
A previously discussed direct challenge, Kalbrecht and I will argue the outcomes of the following games:
UCLA (+4) at Nebraska
Wisconsin (+5 1/2) at Arizona St
Washington at Illinois (+7)
My picks for the games are UCLA, UW, and Ill, respectively.
I'll start with my decision to pick UCLA on the road at Nebraska. Really, this pick has more to do with my lack of faith in Taylor Martinez and the Nebraska defense.
Last year, Nebraska's defense was absolutely torched in four of their losses, giving up an average of 595 yards per game, in losses to UGA, UW, Ohio St, and these very same UCLA Bruins.
This year the Huskers barely held off Wyoming, 37-34 while allowing a ridiculous 602 offensive yards.
There's no team in the country as overrated as Nebraska.
UW at Arizona St is no doubt a tough match-up for the #20 ranked Badgers. Arizona St has a stout front 7, stout offensive line and solid running game. Basically the same things UW does well.
Edge to the Badgers because I feel their offensive line and deep stable of backs (White, Gordon, Clement) will wear down that ASU defense.
I'll touch more on Illinois pulling the upset at home.
kalbrecht17 said 09/11, 01:40 PM
I'll start with the Nebraska game. Personally I think this one will come down to which defense can generate a key turnover. On offense, the combination of Taylor Martinez Amir Abdullah and Kenny Bell should be able to move the ball on a UCLA defense that definitely isn't the strong point of this team. keep in mind the Nevada game was tight at half, until a blocked punt followed by a turnover on downs blew the game open.
The key is if Nebraska's defense can do anything at all to force Hundley into a turnover at some point. And that, surprisingly given their defensive woes, is one thing Nebraska has done well. Nebraska has already forced 6 interceptions, 2 of which have been returned for scores. keep in mind that Hundley played incredibly well in the win last year (which Neb basically imploded in) and that was at home. Now instead he has to go into one of the most hostile environments in college football for this one. I see multiple turnovers in his future.
Not to be overlooked is the advantage of homefield, the revenge factor, and the grief UCLA is facing right now. should be tight, but i see martinez correcting his mistakes in a tight win. Neb 41-UCLA 35
Mil Town Proud said 09/11, 03:17 PM
The problem with Martinez is that he disappears against quality opponents. The 2nd half against UCLA last year is one example, but his lines in these losses against "quality" opponents do not favor Martinez.
11-22, 176 yards, 3 INTs - UW
9-23, 122 yards, 1 TD - MICH
10-16, 116, 1 TD 1 INT - USCe
17-31, 179, 1 INT - UCLA
15-25, 214, 1 TD 3 INT - Ohio St
17-33, 184, 2 INT - UW
16-27, 204, 2 TD 2 INT - UGA
I omitted a number of underwhelming results as a freshman. Abdullah is no Rex Burkhead, and the UCLA defense has improved since last year, the same cannot be said of Nebraska.
UCLA 48 - NEB 31
As for Illinois, this one is more of a gut feeling, but I'm buying into the possibility that Bill Cubit's offense led by Nate Scheelhaase is ready to steal one from the visiting Huskies.
The Illini are riding high from last week's thrashing of favored Cincinnati. Scheelhaase scorched (70.3%, 312 yards, and 4 TD) a Cinci defense that isn't exactly a pushover through the air. And, though he hasn't shown it yet this year, Scheelhaase is a dangerous threat on the ground having run for 1500+ yards and 15 TDs in his career.
Illini 37 - Wash 34
kalbrecht17 said 09/11, 03:48 PM
Easy to throw out the bad Martinez stats but ignore his good ones as well.
17-29 2 tds plus 107 and a td rushing- UW
27-39 342 yds 4 total tds @NW
it just shows the offense hinges on him. i have confidence in him @ home. if it was at UCLA, i'd pick the other way. but Martinez definitely is better in Lincoln and that will be the difference.
Look plain and simple, Wash is the better team in this one. i think everyone needs to pull back the horses on the Illini. let's not forget this is a team just 2 weeks removed from barely beating the SIU salukis 42-34. meanwhile, Wash's resume holds an absolute dismantling of boise st. the worst loss in chris peterson's tenure there.
Wash's offense is legit. no doubt about it. the combo of Keith Price and Bishop Sankey should be moving the ball all day against a very bad Ill D.
so what this will come down to is the Ill O vs Wash D. during ill's massive 2 game winning streak (remember they were 2-10 last year) they have thrown for 727 yards while only rushing for 260. quite unbalanced. depending on Scheelhaase is never a solid option. if you're counting on him to win it for the illini, itll be a long night.
Wash 38- Ill 21
Mil Town Proud said 09/12, 02:33 PM
Hate to break it to you, but Brett Hundley is a legitimate Heisman contender, and he's going against a Cornhusker defense with 7 new starters this year. In fact, 9 players in Nebraska's front 7 rotation made their debuts over the last two weeks.
This young, inexperienced defense will be exposed in this week, as Martinez once again shrinks in the big game.
The Badgers - Sun Devils game is shaping up to be a throwback to old school, smash mouth football in an era pistols, spreads, glorified 7 on 7 drills. In this matchup, I like the team with the bigger hogmolies and deep stable of backs that has produced back to back games of three 100 yard rushers.
I'm not taking anything away from the Sun Devils, I think it will be a great game, but I think the Badgers will have a little more in the tank for this game.
As for the Illini, I'm taking a flyer on Illinois, and that the offense's dangerous versitility can propel them to the upset.
Of Illinois 500+ plus yards against Cincinnati, no single player had more than 65 rushing yards nor more than 75 receiving yards. Spreading the ball around is a good thing, and these may options will present problems to the Huskies defense.
kalbrecht17 said 09/13, 09:49 AM
Agree Hundley is legit. never said he wasn't. just that Lincoln is a tough tough place for a young QB to play and i could see him make 1 or 2 mistakes. they're secondary is where they've excelled at creating turnovers and i see them capitalizing on 1 or 2 bad throws.
Wash-Ill. Wash just has 2 much O for Illini to keep up.
The Badgers Devils game is my favorite matchup this week. Pits what the BIG historically excels at against what the west rolls with. To be honest, i think the badgers are OVERALL the better team, but this ones all about match ups. The Devils offense matches up perfectly against wisky in that they don't want to run the ball but rely on the big play through the air, an area where wisc is relatively untested with new starters in the secondary. Also Wisc has recorded 0 sacks to this point. I just see too many big plays given up.
On offense, UW should be able to run the ball. i have no doubt about that. but i really see them having issues passing the ball if they can't get yardage at some point. Sutton could wreak havoc on Stave and force him into TOs.
This one's either gonna be ASU about 34-24 or a coin flip in a 21-17 game. I'm gonna take ASU
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