Big 12 Showdown
Fourth-ranked Missouri begins the defense of its North Division title as it tries to win its first game at Nebraska in 30 years on Saturday night.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Missouri –10.5 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 88% of bets for this game have been placed on Missouri –10.5 (View College Football bet percentages).
The Tigers (4-0) had a bye last week, but still managed to move up two spots in the AP poll after top-ranked Southern California, third-ranked Georgia and fourth-ranked Florida were all upset.
Missouri, which is aiming for a chance to play in the BCS championship game, is using those losses as motivation.
"You have to expect anyone can beat anyone on any day and bring your A-game all the time," Tigers quarterback Chase Daniel said.
Daniel had an outstanding performance in Missouri's final nonconference game, a 42-21 victory over Buffalo on Sept. 20. The senior quarterback passed for a career-high 439 yards, two touchdowns and set a Big 12 record with 20 consecutive completions.
Through four games, Daniel has completed 101-of-133 passes for 1,412 yards, 12 touchdowns and one interception, and leads Missouri's spread offense that ranks second in the nation in both scoring (53.8 points per game) and total offense (595.5 yards per game).
In addition to Daniel, the Tigers are loaded with offensive weapons, as receivers Jeremy Maclin and Chase Coffman are averaging more than 90 yards per game, and Derrick Washington, who has rushed for two touchdowns in each of his first four games, is running for an average of 90.3 yards per game.
"They're good across the board," Nebraska (3-1) coach Bo Pelini said. "They have a good running game and a good passing game, but it starts with the quarterback. Then you throw in Maclin. You can't focus on stopping one guy or you'll get killed."
Although Pelini is aware of all the Tigers' talent, the first-year Cornhuskers coach says his team's goal is to keep them off the scoreboard.
"I've never gone into any game making concessions," Pelini said. "I won't start this week. We're going to play the best we possibly can. We're going to try and shut them out."
That will be quite a challenge for a defense that allowed 377 yards in last Saturday's 35-30 home loss to Virginia Tech. The Huskers are allowing an average of 19.5 points and 354.8 yards this year.
Nebraska had no luck in stopping Daniel last season, as he was 33-of-47 for 401 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Missouri's 41-6 home win.
The Huskers hopes things go better at home, where they've won 15 straight over the Tigers since Missouri's 35-31 victory over then-No. 2 Nebraska on Nov. 18, 1978.
Nebraska also looks to take advantage of facing a Missouri pass defense that ranks 112th in the nation, giving up 279.5 passing yards a game. Huskers quarterback Joe Ganz passed for 278 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in Saturday's loss to the Hokies, and is averaging 249.3 passing yards a game.
Missouri's rush defense, meanwhile, is ranked fourth in the Big 12 (99.0 ypg), and limited Buffalo to just 49 yards on 35 attempts in its latest win.
Nebraska running back Marlon Lucky had only 17 rushing yards on eight carries versus Virginia Tech after running for 103 yards on 15 attempts in the Huskers' 38-7 win over New Mexico State on Sept. 13. In last season's loss to Missouri, Lucky rushed for 67 yards on 17 carries and caught seven passes for 56 yards.
Nebraska went just 2-2 in conference games at Memorial Stadium last season, but has had no trouble in its conference home openers, winning 30 consecutive since a 24-21 loss to Iowa State in 1978.
[OL] Bryan Webb has quit the team. - Personal - 08/16/08
[DL] Andy Maples is expected to miss 4-6 weeks. - Foot - 08/16/08
[DE] Michael Keck has quit the team. - Personal - 09/03/08
[LB] Steve Redmond expected to miss entire season - MCL - 09/15/08
[OL] Andy Christensen upgraded to ? - Suspension Served - 09/24/08
[OL] D.J. Jones missed last game ? - Undisclosed - 09/13/08
[DE] Barry Turner out for the season. - Leg - 09/06/08
[DT] Kevin Dixon has been dismissed from the team. - Disciplinary - 08/07/
[DE] Pierre Allen missed last game, probable. - Foot - 09/23/08
[CB] Anthony Blue is out indefinitely - Knee - 08/30/08
[CB] Anthony West upgraded to probable. - Knee - 09/23/08
[S] Rickey Thenarse upgraded to probable, ? to start. - Shoulder - 09/23
[FB] Thomas Lawson missed last game ? - Appendix - 09/13/08
Top Trends for this game.
NEBRASKA is 39-22 ATS (+14.8 Units) in home games against conference opponents since 1992.
NEBRASKA is 54-33 ATS (+17.7 Units) in home games when playing on a Saturday since 1992.
NEBRASKA is 24-11 ATS (+11.9 Units) in home games in October games since 1992.
MISSOURI is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
MISSOURI is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
MISSOURI is 15-6 ATS (+8.4 Units) as a favorite over the last 3 seasons.
Head-to-Head Series History
NEBRASKA is 1-1 against the spread versus MISSOURI over the last 3 seasons
NEBRASKA is 1-1 straight up against MISSOURI over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons
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