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NCAA Football Game Preview: Michigan vs. Nebraska

Both Nebraska and Michigan are a game behind Michigan State in the Big Ten Legends Division with two games to go. A Huskers win keeps them alive for a spot in the inaugural Big Ten Championship Game, while Michigan must win this week and next and have MSU lose its final two games (highly unlikely considering Sparty faces Indiana on Saturday). Michigan is a 3.5-point college football bets favorite on for this one in the teams’ first regular-season meeting since 1962.

Nebraska is coming off an emotional 17-14 win at controversy-marred Penn State last weekend, as the Huskers jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the third quarter and held off a late push by the Nittany Lions in the fourth quarter. A week after tripping up at Iowa, Michigan regained its footing with a crucial 31-14 win over Illinois in Champaign. The Wolverines got a huge day out of Fitzgerald Toussaint, who rushed for 192 yards.

Michigan QB Denard Robinson will play despite a slightly sprained right wrist he suffered in Michigan’s win at Illinois. The injury occurred in the third quarter and kept Robinson out for the rest of the game after he rushed for 30 yards and two touchdowns. He threw an interception for the fifth straight contest before leaving, but backup Devin Gardner’s TD pass to Martavious Odoms put the game away in the fourth.

The Cornhuskers have struggled against mobile quarterbacks and no one who takes snaps is more elusive than Robinson. He, however, has struggled to have consistent success this season under Brady Hoke after flourishing last year with Rich Rodriguez. Robinson has lost three fumbles and thrown two interceptions the past two games.

Nebraska ranks eighth in the Big Ten in rush defense, allowing 161.3 yards per game, while Michigan averages 231.3 yards on the ground — 13th in the nation.

The Huskers counter with their own dual-threat quarterback in Taylor Martinez, who threw for 143 yards and ran for 56 more in the win at Penn State. Martinez has had his struggles through the air, ranking seventh in the Big Ten in completion percentage (57.7), while his seven interceptions are tied for second-most in the conference behind Robinson’s 13. RB Rex Burkhead is the first Nebraska running back to run for 1,000 yards in 10 games since 2001 when Dahrran Diedrick did it. Burkhead ran for 121 yards in last week’s win at Penn State.

The Wolverines are the winningest program in college football, and the Cornhuskers rank fourth. These two last played in the 2005 Alamo Bowl.

Sportsbook Advisor take: Seems like all the other “experts” are lining up to take Michigan -3.5 at home. Did I miss something? This line seems pretty accurate and the game could go either way in my opinion. Nebraska is ranked higher in the BCS and I have to take the team getting the points in this matchup.

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Saturday, November 19th, 2011 College Football Betting 2011

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