Not many people expect Northwestern to ride into Lincoln on Saturday and defeat 9-1 Nebraska, but, well crazier things have happened. It was only two years ago that Iowa State shocked the Cornhuskers on the very same field, a fact that Nebraska coach Bo Pelini assuredly reminds his team of whenever a massive underdog like Northwestern comes to town. But none of that is to say that the Wildcats are anywhere close to being inept; though they currently sport a record of 3-5, Northwestern has already knocked off Illinios this season and has hung close in losses to Iowa and Penn State. Pat Fitzgerald's guys can score with anybody (they're fresh off dropping 59 points on Indiana), so can you blame Northwestern fans for having a little hope?
For Nebraska fans, there is plenty of good news. They look to be the better team, they're playing at home, where they have yet to lose this season, and their defensive backfield is rounding into top form just as NU's Dan Persa, one of the top quarterbacks in the Big Ten, rolls into town.
As the secondary has taken shape, the pass defense has gotten better. Nebraska goes into the Northwestern game ranked 11th nationally and fifth in the Big Ten in pass defense.
(via Corn Nation)
The game may, at some point, get ugly, but regardless of who ends up winning, offensive fireworks are all but guaranteed.
Game date, time: 3:30 pm ET, Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
TV channel: Big Ten Network
Spread: Nebraska favored by 17½
Series history: Nebraska leads, 3-1
For more on this match-up, check out Sippin' On Purple, SB Nation's Northwestern Wildcats blog, and Corn Nation, SB Nation's Nebraska Cornhuskers blog. For more lines and odds, check out SB Nation's NCAA Football odds page.