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Michigan State Spartans vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Preview and Prediction

Connor Cook

Connor Cook

After what can easily be considered the most disappointing loss in a long time for Nebraska football, the Cornhuskers have a chance to instantly redeem themselves as they take on the No. 7 Michigan State at home.

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If the Huskers topple the Spartans, it likely knocks Michigan State out of any talk for a College Football Playoff appearance and could give Big Red fans at least one bright spot to point to for 2015.

Michigan State at Nebraska

Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET (Saturday)
Network: ESPN
Spread: Michigan State -6

Three Things to Watch For

1.Tommy Armstrong

Ryker Fyfe took Armstrong’s place versus the Boilermakers and we saw the result. Even though he managed four touchdowns, he equaled that number in interceptions. Simply put: Nebraska cannot win with No. 17.

For the Huskers to have any chance at pulling the monumental upset, Armstrong’s going to have to lead the charge, banged up or not. The good news is that No. 4 has athleticism that Fyfe does not and if he has to run, he can make it count.

2. Connor Cook

I picked this game as a loss during the preseason and this guy is the primary reason why. Easily the best quarterback Nebraska will be facing the season, Cook has all of the potential to shred a Cornhusker secondary that’s been all over the place.

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If Nebraska wants to keep him in check, they have to affect him. That doesn’t necessarily mean sacking him, but forcing him to make poor throws or giving him no other option than to throw the ball away. If the Blackshirts can’t stop (or at least slow) Cook, it could be a long day for Husker fans.

3.The Turnover Margin

Ah yes, where all good upsets (or butt-kickings) are made. If Nebraska’s going to shock the world, it needs to strip the ball, pick Cook off and most importantly make sure they keep the pigskin when it’s their turn to hold onto it.

Purdue took advantage of Nebraska’s gifts. The same thing could happen in the Huskers’ favor, but it needs to start early. If Nate Gerry ever wanted to pull a pick-six out of his hat, the first quarter of this game would be the time.

Final Analysis

Alright, let’s be real. I don’t think Nebraska wins this game. If they can’t tackle Purdue, they’re not taking down the Spartans, but that’s logic talking.

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The reason that we all love this sport should give the Huskers hope. Logic doesn’t always matter.

This is a night game in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere with great fans and a ton of talented recruits on the sidelines. Anyone can upset the best in that environment. It’s going to take some serious luck, because even I can’t predict a victory.

Three words for the Big Red (and I think I echo much of the college football world): Prove me wrong.

Prediction: Michigan State 38, Nebraska 23

— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to follow Brandon on Twitter @eightlaces and like his Facebook page.