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

Nebraska vs. Northwestern 11/7/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Nebraska visits Northwestern on 11/7/2020 at 12:00PM.

Nebraska and Northwestern 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. Nebraska has a record of 0-1 this season. Northwestern is 2-0 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Nebraska Team Defense Preview

Nebraska has had 8 total defensive drives this season and they yield 7.25 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.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 Nebraska message boards are flights of fantasy. Passing plays make up 39.66% of their opponents’ play calls.Their opponents favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

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.Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 3.56 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. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

This is not a disruptive Defense and they get pushed over way too easily. Perhaps they are too vanilla with playcalling. 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 9 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 4.78 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Nebraska is not a team that runs many plays per drive. The offense is either prone to faltering and struggles to notch first downs or extremely explosive, we will need to find out a bit more to get answers. Any defense is in for a challenge with Nebraska, 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.Nebraska passes the football 39.53% 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. 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 3.32 yards per carry. This offensive line may be underappreciated, even though the running backs get the attention. The Nebraska coaching staff really deserves credit for how they prepared this offensive line, but they could be a little bit better! The offensive line and running back corps deserve a lot of credit for gashing defenses with their running game like the way they have this season. They have an explosive running game and they are capable of breaking big yardage runs on First and Second Down. This puts a lot of pressure on Linebackers and Safeties.

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.

Northwestern Team Defense Preview

Northwestern has had 19 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 5.11 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Northwestern is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Northwestern opponents pass the football 72.16% of the time.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Northwestern 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. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 1.85 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. This is a team that is getting gashed too much for the tastes of their base. Linebackers are not stopping the bleeding well enough. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Northwestern has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Getting more granual into the front seven and their ability to cause trouble, they are just average in this regard. Northwestern has shown themselves to be better at stopping the pass than the run this season.

Northwestern Team Offense Preview

Northwestern has had 19 total drives this season and they generate 7.26 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 Northwestern. Northwestern is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Passing plays make up 33.33% of their play calls.They favor running the ball as opposed airing it out.

Northwestern 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. Northwestern can take credit for 2.6 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. When it comes to getting to that second level where linebackers have not crashed down on the line of scrimmage, they are getting stopped with ease. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Northwestern has bullied and controlled defenses this season, defenses have not been able to dictate what this offense is able to do to them. Opponents should consider a containment strategy. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Northwestern is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Nebraska Roster

The Players to Watch for Nebraska

Adrian Martinez QB 6-2 220

This season, Adrian Martinez has put up 105 yards and 0 touchdowns. He has thrown 0 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 138.8thus far this season. Adrian Martinez has thrown 0 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Adrian Martinez has 85.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 80.39 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 13.0 times this season, which puts him in the 56.27 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Dedrick Mills RB 5-11 220

This season, Dedrick Mills has 25 rushing yards on 9 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 1 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Dedrick Mills picked up 0 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 0 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 49 yards. He caught the ball 6 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Casey Rogers DL 6-4 300

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Nebraska, Casey Rogers has 4 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 24.65 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 33.46 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Marquel Dismuke S 6-2 215

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 7 tackles which puts him in the 47.27 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 35.61 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Marquel Dismuke as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 40.81 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Dicaprio Bootle CB 5-10 195

Considered 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, Dicaprio Bootle had 5 tackles which puts him in the 42.19 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 0 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 37.55 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Dicaprio Bootle as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 38.66 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Northwestern Roster

The Players to Watch for Northwestern

Peyton Ramsey QB 6-2 220

This season, Peyton Ramsey has put up 342 yards and 1 touchdowns. He has thrown 1 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 133.4thus far this season. Peyton Ramsey has thrown 1 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Peyton Ramsey has 73.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 75.29 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 19.0 times this season, which puts him in the 64.71 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 1.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Isaiah Bowser RB 6-1 220

This season, Isaiah Bowser has 155 rushing yards on 48 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 1 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Isaiah Bowser picked up 21 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 4 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 1 receiving touchdowns this season.

Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman WR 6-2 203

This season, Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman picked up 86 yards. He caught the ball 9 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jordan Butler DT 6-2 316

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Northwestern, Jordan Butler has 2 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 28.42 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 36.61 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Joe Spivak DL 6-0 300

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Northwestern, Joe Spivak has 4 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 0 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 24.65 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 0 times this season, which put him in the 33.46 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Brandon Joseph DB 6-1 192

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 Northwestern, Brandon Joseph had 11 tackles which puts him in the 58.82 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 1 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 79.41 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Brandon Joseph as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes last season, which puts him in the 96.9 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Nebraska vs. Northwestern Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Nebraska 19 Northwestern 27

Spread Pick: Northwestern -3.5 -108 5Dimes
Moneyline Pick: Northwestern -165 5Dimes
Total Pick: Under 54.5 -116 BetOnline