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Pac-12 Game Preview: UCLA vs. Nebraska


Both the UCLA Bruins and the Nebraska Cornhuskers are coming off big wins heading into their match-up today, but the Huskers are the ones with something to prove, as they look to avenge their loss to UCLA in Los Angeles from a year ago.

“They’re coming into our house, and we owe them,” Nebraska players said coach Bo Pelini told them before he walked out of the locker room following the team’s 56-13 win over Southern Miss last week, according to ESPN.com.

Of course, Nebraska players probably didn’t need a reminder of the 36-30 defeat to truly get inspired for revenge. After all, they did allow 653 yards of total offense that day – the second most against the Huskers in school history.

However, the game is in Lincoln this time around and Jonathan Franklin – who rushed for 217 yards for the Bruins in the teams’ previous meeting – will not be there to gash the Huskers defense. He’s now suiting up for the Green Bay Packers, which Nebraska fans are more than thankful for.

Franklin may be out of the picture, but UCLA’s offense looked just as dominant in their 58-20 win over Nevada two weeks ago. Junior running back Jordan James seemed to pick up right where Franklin left off, rushing for 155 yards and a touchdown on just 21 carries. Sophomore standout Brett Hundley also looked sharp, as he completed two-thirds of his throws for 274 yards and two scores, while rushing for two more TDs as well.

With one of the strongest and most balanced offenses in the land, it’s almost assured that UCLA will get its points – whether it be by air or land – so the question is: Can Nebraska keep up?

The Huskers certainly held their own in the teams’ prior meeting and they’ve looked solid with the ball in their hands so far in 2013, averaging 46.5 points in their two victories. However, they did almost fall to Wyoming in their opener and overall, haven’t been as impressive – as far as the eye test goes – early in the season.

Despite several advantages, the Bruins are not on the favorite line today, presumably because they are on the road. Still, it’s surprising that odds makers are giving the Huskers the edge, which makes this spread – even as thin as it is – fairly juicy for those confident enough in the Bruins’ high-powered attack. The Huskers couldn’t slow UCLA down last year and even though they’ve had a full year to prepare for the Bruins again, I don’t see things changing much this time around.

Take UCLA to cover +3 on the road today.

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