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Friday Forecast: No Nebraska, Still Some Interest

October 18, 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 seven weeks.

  • Brandon Vogel: 20-22
  • Erin Sorensen: 21-21
  • Greg Smith: 20-22
  • Jacob Padilla: 20-22
  • Derek Peterson: 16-26

No. 3 Clemson at Louisville (CLEM –24.0, O/U 61.0) 

Brandon Vogel: Last week I thought the Clemson line was too high, based on a ho-hum first half of the season, and the Tigers came out and ended Florida State before the first half was over. Did I learn my lesson? Nope. At least this time I’ll get the dog at home. Scott Satterfield has done one of the better jobs in the country in getting a broken program to a point where it could play good solid football in his first season. PICK: Clemson 38, Louisville 20 

Erin Sorensen: Give it up for Louisville and Satterfield. That team is much improved in 2019. I don’t think it’ll matter too much against Clemson, but that’s not a knock on Louisville. I just think Clemson will be too hard to stop. PICK: Clemson 45, Louisville 17 

Greg Smith: Last week Clemson finally looked the part even though it was against Florida State. I also am surprised by how competent Louisville has looked this season. Clemson wins but the Cards keep it close enough. PICK: Clemson 35, Louisville 20 

Jacob Padilla: Louisville hasn’t been able to defend a lick against any team with a pulse this season, and after last week the Tigers certainly have a pulse. The Cardinals have scored 103 points the last two weeks, but those games were against Boston College and Wake Forest. The talent disparity on both sides of the ball will be too much here. PICK: Clemson 45, Louisville 20  

Derek Peterson: I hesitated initially because the Cards are 4-2 and I like Scott Satterfield a lot and what Clemson put on film during the early parts of the season made it look more vulnerable than anyone probably would have thought coming in. But the Tigers, coming off a bye, absolutely roasted Florida State and Trevor Lawrence looked a lot more like the guy we all expected to see. This week he gets a Louisville pass defense that has allowed opposing quarterbacks to feast in three straight games. Lawrence should feast. Also, I’m like 33% against the spread so I’m just going to start going the opposite of what gut reaction says. PICK: Clemson 47, Louisville 21 

No. 16 Michigan at No. 7 Penn State (PSU –9.0, O/U 47.0) 

BV: Man, this is a big spot for Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan program. Lose here and the Wolverines are likely home dogs next week against Notre Dame and Michigan still has Michigan State and Ohio State in November. The Wolverines have to go 1-1 over their next two games and, well, I think that means going 1-0 against the Irish. I will take Michigan to cover, however, in a very defense-y game. That’s the only kind Michigan plays, but I do expect it to hem Penn State in a little bit. PICK: Penn State 24, Michigan 17 

ES: Michigan is already making me sad and this game isn’t until Saturday night. PICK: Penn State 28, Michigan 17 

GS: Penn State has quietly continued to build its roster over the years especially on defense. They have so many playmakers. Franklin has not fared well against Big Blue but I think he gets it done. PICK: Penn State 31, Michigan 14 

JP: This is a big game for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh. You know what that means. PICK: Penn State 27, Michigan 17 

DP: I really, really like what James Franklin has done with this Penn State team. PICK: Penn State 27, Michigan 20 

No. 12 Oregon at No. 25 Washington (ORE –3, O/U 49.5) 

BV: Oregon’s defense is great, and that’s great, but I’m still a little hesitant with the Ducks’ offense. They run the ball too much, which isn’t a thing you often hear, but with Justin Herbert available I’ve been a little surprised by how buttoned-up Oregon has been. Washington can play that kind of game. PICK: Washington 24, Oregon 23 

ES: I like Oregon by a lot here. And by a lot, I mean more than three. PICK: Oregon 27, Washington 21 

GS: I don’t know what to make of either team which is how I seem to always feel about Pac-12 squads. Give me Washington as Coach Pete finds some of his old magic. PICK: Washington 17, Oregon 10 

JP: Oregon has the better defense and the better quarterback. That seems like a recipe for victory. The Ducks lost their leading receiver in tight end Jacob Breeland (who also leads their rotation receivers in yards per reception) and that gives me some pause, but they should be able to figure it out offensively even without him. PICK: Oregon 24, Washington 17 

DP: Oregon practically blanked Colorado last week, but I think that has as much to do with Colorado as it does Oregon. And, even though Washington isn’t having the season it expected, I like the Huskies to keep things close at home for most of the afternoon. I just like Justin Herbert more to make plays late. PICK: Oregon 34, Washington 27 

Purdue at No. 23 Iowa (IOWA –17.5, O/U 48.5) 

BV: Iowa’s offense remains something of a mystery to me. The Hawkeyes rank 55th in predicted points added this season, which means they’re creating some value on a play-by-play basis, but just 104th in actual points per play (which means they’re not finishing strong enough). It only takes a couple such drives to make a comfortable win a win that doesn’t cover the line. PICK: Iowa 31, Purdue 14 

ES: Purdue has a lot of injuries, and important injuries. Jeff Brohm didn’t sound too optimistic this week about Rondale Moore’s (hamstring) status, so that’s not good. That also gives me some serious pause. I honestly don’t feel good either way I pick at this point. PICK: Iowa 40, Purdue 20 

GS: I never feel good about picking Iowa to put up a big number but It going to do it here. PICK: Iowa 38, Purdue 14 

JP: Iowa hasn’t scored more than 18-points against a Power Five opponent (Rutgers doesn’t count) this season, so covering 17.5 is a big ask, even as banged up as Purdue is at this point. Jack Plummer was really good last week against Maryland but was awful against Penn State, and Iowa’s defense looks a lot more like Penn State’s than Maryland’s. PICK: Iowa 28, Purdue 13

DP: Jake Plummer looked pretty darn good last week in a weird 40-14 win over Maryland, but there are two things working against the Boilermakers in this: they’ve had Iowa’s number the last two years and they’re without their three best players. Those two facts operating in unison, to me, spells loss. I just don’t trust Iowa’s offense enough to take the Hawkeyes over that number. PICK: Iowa 30, Purdue 21 

Indiana at Maryland (IND –5.5, O/U 59.0) 

BV: Yuck. That’s my gut reaction to this game (and why I lobbied for SMU-Temple, to no avail). But bowl eligibility might be on the line for the Hoosiers here. They’ve been the lower-ceiling-but-less-volatile team and that probably wins out. But if explosive Maryland shows up it wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Terps won outright. PICK: Indiana 34, Maryland 27 

ES: I want this game to just be a complete nightmare. I want it to get weird. And I think you have to take Indiana to cover. Sorry, Terps. PICK: Indiana 31, Maryland 24 

GS: Like Erin I’m really just hoping for a big bag of weird here. How about a good ol’ shootout? PICK: Indiana 45, Maryland 40 

JP: Indiana probably isn’t good but it’s a least competitive while Maryland is just broken (except for when it plays Rutgers). PICK: Indiana 38, Maryland 27 

DP: Maryland’s pass defense just got torched by Plummer to the tune of 400 yards and now has to contend with talented Hoosier youngster Michael Penix Jr., Maryland is without its starting quarterback in Josh Jackson and Indiana has a very feisty defense. I like the Hoosiers. PICK: Indiana 30, Maryland 24 

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