Nebraska vs. Tennessee, 12/30/16 – Prediction
Written by: Jeffrey Stevens
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3 SU, 7-4-1 ATS) vs. Tennessee Volunteers (8-4 SU, 5-7 ATS)
NCAAF: Friday, December 30, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Line: Tennessee -4
The Nebraska Cornhuskers will take the field against the Tennessee Volunteers in this year’s Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tennessee on December 30th. Nebraska will be looking to end the year on a positive note after falling to Iowa 40-10 in their regular season finale on November 25. Tennessee will look to rebound from a 45-34 loss to in-state rival Vanderbilt on November 26th
Nebraska Blown Out By Iowa
After putting together a solid year, the Nebraska Cornhuskers fell in their last game of the regular season 40-10 in Iowa against the Hawkeyes. The loss cost the Huskers a chance to play the Pen State Nittany Lions for the Big Ten Championship. Nebraska went into the locker room at halftime trailing 20-3 and never seemed to get the ball rolling. They were out gained 217 total yards to 408 and only managed to pick up 90 on the ground.
Senior quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. finished the year with 2,180 yards, 14 touchdowns, and eight interceptions. Terrel Newby was the leading rusher on the team with 864 yards and seven touchdowns on 181 carries. Nebraska was able to find the endzone this season for an average of 26.75 points per game. They racked up an average of 207.9 yards through the air and 178.3 on the ground. On the defensive side of the field, the Huskers limited their opponents to an average of 22.7 points per contest while giving up 209.6 yards against the pass and 141.8 against the run.
Commodores Too Much For Volunteers
Tennessee had the opportunity to close out the season on a four game winning streak and a shot at a major Bowl bid. The only obstacle they had to climb was beating their in-state rival, Vanderbilt Commodores, something they have been able to do with ease in year’s past. The difference this season, Vandy learned how to play defense. The Vols took a 31-24 lead into the locker room at half time with just two quarters left to play. Vandy received the pep talk that turns dreamers into doers, and out scored Tennessee 21-3 in the second half for a 45-34 win. Tennessee looked smooth picking up 516 total yards in the game. But someone forgot to tell Vanderbilt they were no good at moving the ball, and they picked up 608 yards of total offense, 416 through the air.
Senior quarterback Joshua Dobbs tossed the ol pig skin around for 2,655 yards and 26 touchdowns this season while being picked off 12 times. He also was the team’s leading rusher, galloping for 713 rushing yards and nine scores on the ground on 139 carries. The Volunteers were able to put up an average of 36.3 points per game this season while moving the ball for an average of 234 yards through the air and 203.8 on the ground. The defense allowed their opponents to score an average of 29.3 yards per contest while giving up 226.1 yards against the pass and 234 rushing. They will have their hands full trying to force Nebraska to win the game putting the ball in the air for grabs.
- The total has gone under in 8 of their previous 10 games.
- 1-4 in their previous 5 games played on a Friday.
- 2-4 ATS in their previous 6 games.
- The total has gone over in 7 of their previous 9 games.
The Cornhuskers have the stronger defense on paper, but they have struggled the last couple weeks of the season. Tennessee has been better with the ball on offense this year and has played a more difficult schedule then Nebraska. The key to the game for the Vols will be keeping the Huskers running game in check. If the defense can do that, Dobbs will do enough to cover the spread. I like Tennessee in this one.
Pick: Tennessee -4
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