Top 10 Red Raiders
A once-proud program, Nebraska reached a new low last week as the Cornhuskers were ineffective defensively in their worst home loss in more than a half-century.
A road game against the nation's best passing offense doesn't figure to make things any better.
Seventh-ranked Texas Tech and record-setting quarterback Graham Harrell will try to take advantage of the reeling Huskers on Saturday, just as the Red Raiders did when they scored 70 points the last time Nebraska visited Lubbock.
Oddsmakers from Sportsbook.com have made Texas Tech -21 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 64% of bets for this game have been placed on Texas Tech -21 View College Football bet percentages).
The Huskers (3-2, 0-1 Big 12) allowed then-No. 4 Missouri to score at will in last Saturday's 52-17 home loss - Nebraska's worst defeat in Lincoln in 53 years.
While Missouri boasts the third-best offense in the Football Bowl Subdivision, Texas Tech (5-0, 1-0) ranks second - a billing the Red Raiders lived up to last weekend. In a 58-28 win at Kansas State that opened their Big 12 slate, they rolled up 626 total yards, including 490 through the air as Harrell threw for six touchdowns and broke Kliff Kingsbury's school record for career passing yards.
"I've had great receivers here and the offensive line has been great to me," said Harrell, who finished the game with 12,709 career passing yards. "I've played in 30-some games here and only been sacked around 30 times."
The senior has been sacked just once this season, taking advantage of the good protection by averaging more than 400 passing yards per game. In his last three games, he has thrown 15 touchdown passes without an interception.
"I would say he is the best (quarterback) in the nation this year," Texas Tech coach Mike Leach said. "If you lead the nation in passing, I would think you deserve some attention. It's not like he just does it once in a while."
It certainly helps having Michael Crabtree around. After easily leading the nation with nearly 2,000 receiving yards and 22 touchdowns last year, the sophomore wide receiver has picked up where he left off, with 564 yards and eight scores through five games.
Crabtree had nine catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas State.
Nebraska has had trouble holding down Leach's prolific offense in recent meetings. Texas Tech had lost all seven matchups against the Huskers prior to 2004, but the Red Raiders won 70-10 in Lubbock that year, then won 34-31 win in Lincoln the following season - the teams' most recent meeting.
The Huskers, who will be last FBS team to play their first road game, dropping their last four away from home in 2007. They have lost their last two games at home, allowing more than 200 rushing yards in each defeat.
Last weekend's Big 12-opening defeat was especially ugly for Nebraska, which fell behind by three touchdowns by halftime en route to its 10th straight loss to a top-10 opponent. The Cornhuskers allowed Missouri to score on eight of its 10 possessions.
"I'm not used to losing. I'm not used to getting beat soundly. It's my fault," first-year Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said. "Damn right, yes, I'm embarrassed. I apologized to the team. I apologize to the state of Nebraska. I apologize to everyone associated with Nebraska football."
The Huskers will have their work cut out for them if they hope to avoid their first 0-2 start in conference play since they lost their first two Big Eight games in 1968.
Defense wasn't the only problem in the loss to Missouri. Tigers quarterback Chase Daniel accused Nebraska of being a dirty team and spitting on him, and the club committed 14 penalties totaling 101 yards - its second time this season with at least 100 penalty yards.
"We need to play smarter," Pelini said. "Not only the personal fouls, but putting ourselves in first-and-15 and some of the things that happen there. We need to be more disciplined and take care of that aspect. Too many penalties."
Top Betting Trends:
All games in this series since 1992
TEXAS TECH is 4-3 against the spread versus NEBRASKA since 1992
NEBRASKA is 6-2 straight up against TEXAS TECH since 1992
3 of 3 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Games over the last 3 seasons
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.
All games played at TEXAS TECH since 1992
TEXAS TECH is 2-1 against the spread versus NEBRASKA since 1992
NEBRASKA is 3-1 straight up against TEXAS TECH since 1992
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL since 1992
Key Player Injuries:
[FB] Thomas Lawson missed last game doubtful - Appendix - 09/27/08
[OL] Andy Christensen is %27?%27 - Illness - 09/30/08
[DE] Barry Turner out for the season. - Leg - 09/06/08
[DT] Kevin Dixon has been dismissed from the team. - Disciplinary - 08/07/
[CB] Anthony Blue is out indefinitely - Knee - 08/30/08
[DB] Larry Asante is %27?%27 - Undisclosed - 09/30/08
[RB] Aaron Crawford is "?". - Toe - 10/01/08
[TE] Adam James is "?". - Undisclosed - 10/01/08
[CB] Pete Richardson is "?". - Hamstring - 10/01/08
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