Nebraska Football Players Running Against Minnesota
Photo Credit: John Peterson

Huskers a Road Favorite over the Gophers

October 10, 2021

One week from today, Nebraska’s 2021 football season will be two-thirds over. It will feel strange given that it’s only mid-October, but that’s what a Week 0 game followed by seven more in a row gets you. The Huskers will have eight games under their belt before the first bye week of the season.

But, before the break, a trip to Minnesota for an 11 a.m. kickoff. The Huskers opened as a 3-point road favorite at Circa Sports. The total started at 50.5.

Nebraska (3-4, 1-3) came up just short, yet again, of what could’ve been a narrative-changing win against No. 9 Michigan on Saturday. The Huskers averaged 7.2 yards per play against a Wolverine defense that hadn’t allowed more than 5 in any of its five wins to open the season. But, a late Adrian Martinez fumble––the only real stain on an otherwise spotless second half for the quarterback––gave Michigan a short field and the game-winning field goal.

All four of Nebraska’s losses this season have come by one score or less. That’s part of the reason the power ratings remain high on the Huskers. In ESPN’s SP+ ratings Nebraska dropped just two spots from last week to No. 24. The Football Power Index ranks Nebraska 22nd, down a spot following the loss to Michigan but still the only team with a losing record in the FPI top 25.

SP+, which ranks Minnesota 38th, would have this game as a virtual pick’em. FPI, which has the Gophers 55th, would favor Nebraska by nearly 5 points.

Minnesota (3-2, 1-1) is coming off a bye week. The Gophers beat Purdue 20-13 in West Lafayette on Oct. 2 despite being out-gained by 154 yards. Minnesota enters Saturday allowing 2.83 yards per rush, third in the Big Ten and 13th nationally.

Since coach PJ Fleck arrived in 2017, Minnesota is 5-3 against the spread and straight up when it is coming off a bye. Nebraska under Scott Frost is 2-4 straight up and 4-2 against the spread when its opponent has a rest advantage.

Kickoff in Minneapolis is at 11 a.m. The game will be carried on ESPN2.

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