Friday Forecast: Do the Huskers Have Enough to Top the Hoosiers?
Photo Credit: John S. Peterson

Friday Forecast: Do the Huskers Have Enough to Top the Hoosiers?

October 25, 2019

Friday Forecast is back after a year-long hiatus last season. The Hail Varsity staff is picking the Husker game and five of the best non-Nebraska games each week. 

Here's how everyone’s doing against the spread after eight weeks of picks.

  • Brandon Vogel: 23-24
  • Erin Sorensen: 24-23
  • Greg Smith: 20-27
  • Jacob Padilla: 24-23
  • Derek Peterson: 21-26

Indiana at Nebraska (NEB –2.5, O/U 53.5) 

Brandon Vogel: The most efficient football team usually wins. In terms of overall efficiency—what you’re managing on offense minus what you’re allowing on defense—Indiana ranks 14th nationally. Nebraska ranks 74th. I’m not sure a bye week is enough to guarantee more down-by-down success. With the injury list still including some key names, though they may still play, I’m not that confident in Nebraska making up the difference through explosive plays. PICK: Indiana 28, Nebraska 20 

Erin Sorensen: I’m going to be honest. I want to take Nebraska here just to have the opportunity get ahead by a game on everyone else, but I don’t think I can. Let’s break down the numbers against the spread (ATS). The Huskers are 4-13 ATS over their last 17 home games, 1-5 ATS over their last six games and 5-16-2 ATS over their last 23 games. Indiana is 6-1 ATS over their last seven games and 3-0 ATS as the road underdog over its last two seasons. Sorry, Huskers. I wanted to take a chance, but I’d rather you just prove us all wrong if that’s what’s going to happen. PICK: Indiana 31, Nebraska 24 

Greg Smith: For most of the week I’ve felt this was going to be a rough game for Nebraska. I started to soften that stance later in the week but I’m going back to my gut. I am also a huge fan of Tom Allen and his coaching style. It’s so hard to pick Nebraska right now. PICK: Indiana 24, Nebraska 7 

Jacob Padilla: This line has bounced back and forth so many times, and my feeling about it has followed suit. Indiana is better than I realized. There's uncertainty on both sides, but the Hoosiers have had success moving the ball no matter who is at quarterback. Nebraska, on the other hand, has struggled even at full strength. I initially felt like Nebraska had a good shot in this game, but at this stage, it’s hard to pick the Huskers. PICK: Indiana 27, Nebraska 20 

Derek Peterson: A bye week is traditionally about getting healthy, getting rested, making a few small tweaks to prepare for later in the season. It is not for fixing offensive malfunction. I’m just not convinced all of the Husker problems can be fixed in a week and a half. I would prefer to be proven wrong because I’m dreading a week around here if NU does lose, but it’s hard to pick the Huskers right now. PICK: Indiana 27, Nebraska 17  

No. 9 Auburn at No. 2 LSU (LSU –10.5, O/U 59.0) 

BV: The TV gods may have done Auburn a slight favor by scheduling this for 3:30 p.m. rather than the classic LSU night slot. Does that help the Tigers’ (blue-and-orange ones) freshman quarterback navigate Death Valley better? Maybe a tiny bit. LSU has the worst defense of the serious playoff contenders, and it’s going to bite the Tigers (purple-and-gold ones) eventually. But not this Saturday. PICK: LSU 35, Auburn 24 

ES: I don’t trust Gus Malzahn not to make this game weirder than it needs to be, and I could see Auburn getting tricky with some things. I don’t think that means Auburn wins, but I could see them easily covering. PICK: LSU 38, Auburn 28 

GS: I’m going to keep riding LSU until they do me wrong. LSU big. PICK: LSU 42, Auburn 21 

JP: I think I’m all in on LSU at this point. Geaux Tigers. PICK: LSU 35, Auburn 21 

DP: One side has a defense susceptible to the pass. One side has Joe Burrow. But one of these big games for the Tigers is going to be close. PICK: LSU 34, Auburn 24 

No. 13 Wisconsin at No. 3 Ohio State (OSU –14.5, O/U 49.5) 

BV: It’s hard to blowout the Badgers, generally speaking, but the Buckeyes have made BLOWOUT their default setting this season. The loss at Illinois might help Wisconsin refocus here. The Badgers will make things as tough on Ohio State as anyone has to this point. And it still won’t be enough to win. PICK: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 21 

ES: Go crazy, Buckeyes. PICK: Ohio State 31, Wisconsin 14 

GS: I think this line should be higher. OSU is the best team in college football this season. Wisconsin can be had obviously thanks to Illinois. The Buckeyes will be fired up and get a big win behind Justin Fields. PICK: Ohio State 45, Wisconsin 17 

JP: I was very much looking forward to this game… and then Illinois happened. Now I’m worried that Ohio State will make the Badgers look like they have everyone else they’ve played this season. The Buckeyes haven’t given up more than 10 points since a season-opening 21 to Florida Atlantic and they’ve only scored less than 40 once (34 against Michigan State). They’re legit. PICK: Ohio State 35, Wisconsin 17 

DP: Ohio State is going to make life miserable for Badger quarterback Jack Coan, who is nothing more than an OK quarterback. Wisconsin has the best offensive player on the field in Jonathan Taylor to make it so the Badgers aren’t blown out, but I don’t see Wisconsin getting enough from its passing game to keep up with Ohio State. PICK: Ohio State 33, Wisconsin 20 

Liberty at Rutgers (LIB –7.5, O/U 44.5) 

BV: Of all of the stunning indictments of Rutgers football over the past four or so seasons, this might be the most stunning. The Scarlet Knights are a touchdown underdog at home to a team in its first season as a full FBS member. Liberty is actually doing a few good things on the football field, which is more than you can say for Rutgers but I’ll at least give the Knights a shot at covering. Everything about this just makes me sad. PICK: Liberty 24, Rutgers 21 

ES: Give me Rutgers (against the spread) or give me death. Maybe both are the same. PICK: Liberty 24, Rutgers 20 

GS: This is a shocking line until you realize it’s Rutgers. They are dreadful. PICK: Liberty 21, Rutgers 10 

JP: Oh Rutgers… I really don’t want to pick Liberty for very non-football reasons, but I can’t justify picking the Scarlet Knights to win a football game in 2019. PICK: Liberty 24, Rutgers 14 

DP: Rutgers’ offense stinks beyond repair, but that defense showed some brief things early on last week against Minnesota that are translatable. If this group is feeling disrespected by its home dog status to Liberty, I think Rutgers can do enough to cover here. Related: It’s #SetTheExpectation day in New Jersey. PICK: Liberty 27, Rutgers 24 

Tulane at Navy (NAVY –3.5, O/U 56.5) 

BV: Not sure enough people have realized it yet, but Navy’s really good. Again. The Midshipmen have playoff-caliber efficiency on both sides of the ball. They won’t make the playoff, of course, but they’re executing at a high, high level. Tulane isn’t far behind. (The AAC this year is good and delightful.) PICK: Navy 35, Tulane 28 

ES: I want Tulane to win this one. I don’t think they will, but I’d like it if they would. Oh well. PICK: Navy 31, Tulane 27 

GS: I didn’t realize Navy was this good. Like everyone else I’m really intrigued by the game. Triple option forever. PICK: Navy 28, Tulane 21 

JP: Tulane has been fairly stout against the run this season, but nobody has been able to shut down the Navy rushing attack. I think the Green Wave will put up a fight, but Navy is the better team. PICK: Navy 31, Tulane 28 

DP: Tulane has the best uniforms/logo in football. Navy has the triple option. This game is going to be lovely. Give me Navy. PICK: Navy 32, Tulane 27 

Miami at Pitt (PITT –5.5, O/U 49.0) 

BV: I can’t get a read on either of these teams. Every week it looks like Miami is offering some value, and every week it looks like Pitt is a little overvalued. And every week both teams seem to prove, “No, we’re valued correctly.” That gives me two options, I guess: Admit defeat and get on the right side of this for once, or, two, just keep stubbornly doing what I’ve been doing. (Never admit defeat.) PICK: Miami 24, Pitt 20 

ES: I guess go Pitt? PICK: Pitt 27, Miami 20 

GS: Things are getting uncomfortable for Manny Diaz and the ‘Canes. I thought they’d be better than this. Pitt isn’t great but they are better than Miami. PICK: Pitt 24, Miami 17 

JP: Miami has one win against a Power Five team, and it’s against one of the two teams who have beaten Pitt this year: Virginia. I’m not entirely sure what to make of that. Still, there’s no way I’m taking Miami to win. PICK: Pitt 28, Miami 17 

DP: Miami ain’t good. PICK: Pitt 31, Miami 24 

  • Never miss the latest news from Hail Varsity!

    Join our free email list by signing up below.

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap