Staff Game Predictions – Troy University
The Huskers take on Troy this weekend in their final tune-up before starting off their Big Ten schedule with Michigan on the 22nd at 11 AM.
Nebraska (0-1) will look to rebound from a sloppy loss against Colorado and right the ship for Scott Frost’s first win as a head coach in Memorial Stadium. Troy (1-1) lost a tight scoring affair with Fresno State in week 1 but rebounded last week to smash FCS opponent Florida A&M to the tune to 59-7
Can the Huskers manage to knock off the Troy Trojans in week #2? Our staff lays out their predictions below:
Derrick Stafford – Husker Cuz Cast Host
Head coach Neal Brown and the Trojans are coming to Lincoln for the first time since 2006 in which Nebraska won 56-0. They are a little better this time around. Brown is a young coach that after a 3-8 season in year one, has turned things around to the tune of 26-14. This includes an 11-2 mark last year with an upset win in Death Valley shocking the LSU Tigers 24-21. The Trojans have won tough games on the road for, a 4th best in FBS, 5 games.
However this year they are replacing a 4-year starter at quarterback. Junior Kaleb Barker had all of 13 pass attempts last year and comes into the Sea Of Red in his first ever road game as a starting quarterback. That is a tall order considering this fan base is like a pack of rabid wolves that haven’t eaten in a week and the place will be rocking. The offensive line for Kaleb hasn’t been great as they have given up 8 sacks in 2 games 3 of them against lowly Florida A&M.
The biggest question looming for Nebraska is will Adrian Martinez start or Andrew Bunch at quarterback? I think the offense will be ok either way especially if Bunch can throw for a “bunch” of yards. The big story will be how this front seven chews up that offensive line and how the secondary recovers from last week after giving up untimely breakdowns to Colorado. Let’s hope to see about 4 interceptions and another 7 sacks this week.
Offensive MVP – RB Greg Bell
Defensive MVP – CB DiCaprio Bootle
Impact Newcomer – RB Greg Bell
Score Prediction: 35-14 Nebraska
John Swedlund – Recruiting Analyst/Director Husker Hype
Nebraska stumbled in its adjusted season opener against Colorado last week and lost starting quarterback Adrian Martinez to a knee sprain. Expect the Huskers to rest him this week and turn to Andrew Bunch to lead the team at quarterback. I don’t expect the game-plan to change drastically from last week but watch for the Husker offensive line to set the tone early on with the running game. If the Huskers can get Ozigbo and Greg Bell going they may lean heavily on a very deep running back rotation today.
Frost is known for being aggressive and fans saw that against Colorado last week in their two fourth down conversion attempts and disregard for running off the clock late in the game. The biggest question for me isn’t how the offense or defense will fair, its will Frost stick to his aggressive ways again if the Huskers are in a close battle? It may be something Husker fans need to adjust to if so.
The blackshirts dominated the line of scrimmage last week against Colorado so look for continuous pressure from the front seven again this week to keep the Trojans uncomfortable. We should see another high sack affair if the defense can build off of last weeks performance.
Offensive MVP – RB Devine Ozigbo
Defensive MVP – DE Khalil Davis
Impact Newcomer – DB Deontai Williams
Score Prediction: 42-21, Nebraska
Justin Fielder – Husker Cuz Cast Host
The Colorado game ended in disappointment. However, there was a “Bunch” to be optimistic about as there are a “Bunch” of solid playmakers on this team. And yes, there is a Bunch starting at quarterback this weekend. (See what I did there?) With all of the uncertainty surrounding Adrian Martinez, it is likely that Andrew Bunch will make his first start in just his second game as a walk-on at Nebraska. The lesson here is that this game moves fast, and your number can be called upon at any time. Next man up! Be ready!
My thoughts on this game have more to do to what we have seen out of this Nebraska team than what it has to do with Troy. Against Colorado, the Huskers were plagued by many of the same things that we have seen in years past – slow starts, costly turnovers, drops, penalties, 4th quarter collapse, and clock management. Again, I think there are many positives to take away from the Colorado game, and the Huskers are closer to being really good than what they have been. First, they need to prove it. Against Troy, I think they can survive some of those mental mistakes, but this game is likely to be closer than what we want.
Offensive MVP – RB Devine Ozigbo
Defensive MVP – ILB Mo Berry
Impact Newcomer – WR Mike Williams
Score Prediction: Nebraska 35, Troy 27
GO BIG RED!
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