NCAA Football News

Nebraska Football: 5 Players Poised to Break out in 2015

Nebraska football fans will have watched the College Football Playoff National Championship (which desperately needs a better name) and spent some time dreaming about what it would be like to see NU in that game. To get there, Nebraska will need some new stars, particularly to replace players like Ameer Abdullah and Randy Gregory.

Nebraska’s roster has plenty of talent for new head coach Mike Riley to use next year. Here are five players who could be breakout stars for Nebraska in 2015.

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Ohio State vs. Oregon: National Championship Game Against the Spread

Last week's inaugural BCS Playoff semifinals ensured that, for the first time since 2010, there will be a champion other than Alabama or Florida State. For Ohio State, it's been 13 years since its last title. For Oregon, a victory would give the school its first-ever championship. 

Let's take a look at how the game breaks down, with lines courtesy of Sports Information Traders:

 

BETTING LINE: Oregon -6; Over/Under: 75

Last Game: In the BCS semifinals, Oregon crushed Florida State 59-20 and Ohio State upset Alabama beating them 42-37.

The offensive fireworks should come out in this game, as Oregon ranks second in the nation in points per game and Ohio State ranks fifth. In their last two games, the Ducks have totaled 110 points while the Buckeyes have had 101 points. 

The betting trends are pretty solid for both teams, but one that stands out is that Oregon is 9-0 against the spread in its last nine games overall and have covered the spread in its last four bowl games.

Since losing to Arizona in their fifth game of the season, the Ducks have won nine straight—all in blowout fashion.

During their streak, Oregon has scored at least 40 points in each game and they are 21-6 ATS in its last 27 games after scoring more than 40 points in the previous game.

Meanwhile, OSU is a solid 9-2-1 ATS in its last 12 games facing teams from the Pac-12, but that trend will not continue.

The Buckeyes forced three turnovers in their win over Alabama—all on interceptions—but they will face Heisman-winning QB Marcus Mariota, who only had three picks all season to go along with 40 touchdown passes.

On the other side of the coin, the Ducks forced five turnovers in their win over Florida State and, in fact, led the nation in turnover margin. They will be facing OSU QB Cardale Jones, who is making only his third career start; while he has been solid in his short time on the field, he was picked off in the Alabama game.

OSU is 4-1 ATS in its last five games facing a non-conference opponent and, of course, the last one covering against Alabama was huge. 

While many of the betting trends—and these teams' offenses—may point to the over, in five of the last seven bowl games for Oregon the posted total has gone under. 

The last time these teams faced each other was in 2010, with Ohio State prevailing (and also hitting the under). Five years later, the stakes have been raised. 

 

All statistics obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted.

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