College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Minnesota vs. Nebraska 12/12/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Minnesota visits Nebraska on 12/12/2020 at 12:00PM.

Minnesota and Nebraska face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Minnesota has a record of 2-3 this season. Nebraska is 2-4 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Minnesota Team Defense Preview

Minnesota has had 49 total defensive drives this season and they yield 5.35 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive opponents run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Offensives should lick their lips given their inability to stop anyone, this is one of the worst defenses in the country. The Defensive Coordinator coaching search threads on Minnesota message boards are flights of fantasy. Minnesota opponents pass the football 47.71% of the time.Opponents typically have some form of run/pass balance against them.

This is a pushover defense. There is not enough push from the Defensive Line and not enough imagination from the Defensive Coordinator to cause chaos in the backfield.How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Minnesota can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 3.3 yards per carry. Sorry to say this about this front seven, but the best way to make an average offensive line look good is for them to face this horrid front seven. Running backs should look forward to this porous defense filled with poor tacklers who take terrible angles. Long breakout runs against this Defense are far too common. This is a very porous rushing defense that is incapable of preventing a situation where their safeties chase down a running back or quarterback.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. This front seven is simply unable to make an impact, something must change or else the problems will repeat. Minnesota is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Minnesota Team Offense Preview

Minnesota has had 50 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.9 plays per drive. When you are among the best at plays per drive, you are certainly a team that aims to wear down the opposition with a high play count or with long, physical grinding drives that eat up a lot of clock. We need to find out more here when it comes to Minnesota. Any defense is in for a challenge with Minnesota, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Minnesota passes the football 37.97% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Move the pile forward, falling forward, making progress, ensuring north-south running, smart Quarterback reads, well-adjusted alignments to ensure leverage, and an offensive line that is getting a great push forward are cornerstones of this offense. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 3.35 yards per carry. This is an elite offensive line when it comes to generating a push for the running game. They know how to create creases for running backs to break loose. Playing 7 in a box may not be enough for opposing defenses, this is a great O-Line. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Minnesota this season. Minnesota is among the best in the country at keeping defensive front sevens at bay. Opposing defenses need their secondary players to step up and cause trouble in order for this Offense to be disrupted. Minnesota has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Nebraska Team Defense Preview

Nebraska has had 67 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 6.25 plays per drive. The struggle is real. Nebraska cannot find a way to get opposing offenses off the field. Three and outs are not common and if the team needs a three-and-out late in a game to get the ball back, it is just not happening.Nebraska has shown an inability to stop defenses from converting on 4th Downs and they let opponents get into manageable 3rd Down situations where an RPO may be especially deadly. Nebraska opponents pass the football 46.54% of the time.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Nebraska opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. How effective are opposing offensive lines given what we know about their ability to force negative yardage rushing plays? Nebraska can take credit for holding the offensive line of their opponent to 2.82 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average defense when it comes to how offensive lines control or fail to control them on the ground. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

This Defense has had average success disrupting the flow of the opposing offense.. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Nebraska is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Nebraska Team Offense Preview

Nebraska has had 65 total drives this season and they generate 5.71 plays per drive. Nebraska runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Nebraska has shown a capability to be explosive on first and second down to avoid third downs and has converted well (relatively) on 3rd and 4th Down situations. Nebraska passes the football 43.40% of the time.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Nebraska is not doing anything particularly special as far as their ability to avoid negative yardage plays on the ground. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Nebraska can take credit for 2.81 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is a team that is rather above-average when it comes to gashing defenses. The threat of the run should force opposing to play more honest and assignment defensive football is a must. They feature a relatively average explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play, but it is not something to count on from them.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Nebraska Offense this season. Front sevens of opposing defenses are causing a lot of problems. Nebraska has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

The Minnesota Roster

The Players to Watch for Minnesota

Tanner Morgan QB 6-2 215

This season, Tanner Morgan has put up 1033 yards and 4 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 131.2thus far this season. Tanner Morgan has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Tanner Morgan has -35.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 5.09 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 18.0 times this season, which puts him in the 50.77 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 0.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Mohamed Ibrahim RB 5-10 210

This season, Mohamed Ibrahim has 817 rushing yards on 155 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 13 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Mohamed Ibrahim picked up 56 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 8 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Rashod Bateman WR 6-2 210

This season, Rashod Bateman picked up 472 yards. He caught the ball 36 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Boye Mafe DL 6-4 265.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Minnesota, Boye Mafe has 16 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 4 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 82.04 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 93.64 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 1 fumbles this season.

Tyler Nubin DB 6-2 205.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Minnesota, Tyler Nubin had 29 tackles which puts him in the 77.3 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 31.97 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Tyler Nubin as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 37.97 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

The Nebraska Roster

The Players to Watch for Nebraska

Adrian Martinez QB 6-2 220

This season, Adrian Martinez has put up 689 yards and 2 touchdowns. He has thrown 1 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 135.9thus far this season. Adrian Martinez has thrown 1 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Adrian Martinez has 268.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 90.74 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 53.0 times this season, which puts him in the 83.02 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 4.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Dedrick Mills RB 5-11 220

This season, Dedrick Mills has 155 rushing yards on 47 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 3 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Dedrick Mills picked up 33 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 6 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Wan’Dale Robinson WR 5-10 185

This season, Wan’Dale Robinson picked up 341 yards. He caught the ball 39 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Ben Stille DL 6-5 295.0

The leading tackler among Defensive Ends for Nebraska, Ben Stille has 24 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 3 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 76.3 percentile among Defensive Ends. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 2 times this season, which put him in the 80.93 percentile among all Defensive Ends in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Marquel Dismuke S 6-2 215.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Nebraska, Marquel Dismuke had 39 tackles which puts him in the 88.18 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 96.51 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Marquel Dismuke as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes this season, which puts him in the 37.97 percentile among returning secondary position players this season.

Cam Taylor CB 6-0 205

Considered the leading tackler among Cornerbacks for Nebraska, Cam Taylor had 22 tackles which puts him in the 78.47 percentile among Corners. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss this season, which puts him in the 91.5 percentile among Corners. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, this season he was able to take them down 0 times this season. Cam Taylor as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes this season, which puts him in the 81.59 percentile among Corners this season.

Minnesota vs. Nebraska Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Minnesota 36 Nebraska 40

Spread Pick: Minnesota +10.5 -107 5Dimes
Moneyline Pick: Nebraska -355 5Dimes
Total Pick: Over 59.5 -116 Pinnacle Sports