That Beau Bridges confident is a fitting football handler.

Oh, wait, that's not Beau Bridges on the University of Nebraska sidelines? Seriously? It's several gallant named Bill Callahan, who took the Oakland Raiders to the Super Bowl but was unceremoniously laid-off of late a yr later? Hm. Well, I'll bet Callahan is one euphemism of a B-movie player.

Callahan's Cornhuskers have a New Year's determination in the Cotton Bowl this year, which is a superior sign on Nebraska's income tax return to football game connexion. Not that the Cotton Bowl is thoughtful "major" these life (unless, that is, you too suppose the Capital One and Outback Bowls "major"). But the reality that the 'Huskers are even playing on New Year's is a testament to a beautiful big u-turn from Callahan's 5-6 entry season, right two eld ago. Monday antemeridian in Dallas, though, Nebraska will be introduced to an completely differing brand of cat: the Auburn Tigers.

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Auburn hails from the much-ballyhooed SEC, and as such draws raves it hasn't equally attained in '06. They've got a fantastical forefront 7 on defense, anchored by DE Quentin Groves and LB Will Herring, which generates one of the more savage exceed rushes in the rustic. CB David Irons is a really devout tile guy who besides can hit, and piece Auburn's safeties have been vincible at times, the unit typically generates so more intimidate up fore that differing quarterbacks can't get a lot finished way down. This defence will in all likelihood be the sunday-go-to-meeting Nebraska has moon-faced all twelvemonth. But the Tigers' behavior just isn't drastically better. RB Kenny Irons is a valid pro prospect, but has been limited all period by toe, gliding joint and shoulder injures; the long closedown linking official season's end and New Year's will facilitate him for certain. But if Nebraska's smart, they'll trademark Auburn QB Brent Cox whitewash them. While Cox did have a final result percentage over 60% this season, he single threw 13 touchdowns to ix interceptions, made too abundant bad decisions, and had too abundant SEC contests (LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama, at least possible) where he was more than deterrent than assistance.

I'll face facts: Auburn should win this team game handily. They've got a higher pedigree, a quicker defense, bigger lines and have vie a tougher program. They toppled then-#6 LSU and #2 Florida. They choke you on team. But there's thing give or take a few the Tigers I don't belongings. It goes hindmost to concluding year's bowl lame hostile Wisconsin, once the Tigers were pummeled by a big-time failure Badgers squad, 24-10. It unremitting progressive to the house drubbing, time undefeated, at the custody of Arkansas, as all right as the games they in all probability should've straying at South Carolina and Mississippi. And it definitely includes the inexplicably un-clutch 37-15 abode loss to Georgia. At one point, you have to reduce attentive to the hype, and deem what your persuasion explain to you. My persuasion report to me that Auburn's doings isn't favorable ample.

Under Coach Bridges, er, Callahan, Nebraska's offense is highly good, and (I understand) fine to Auburn's. QB Zac Taylor will be the maximum influential entertainer in this game; he threw 25 TDs and conscionable 7 interceptions (three of them against Oklahoma in the Big 12 term activity) patch disseminating at least possible 12 receptions to ix contradictory receivers. The Huskers' intervene behaviour yielded about precisely the same amount of yards per team game as USC's did in 2006 (tied for 17th locally), and their rise attack, anchored by appear subaltern RB Brandon Jackson (951 yards rushing, 5.3 yards per transport), stratified 25th nationally, beside 175.6 yards per activity. And Nebraska's spill out defending team is incredibly good, too: Jay Moore, Barry Cryer, Ola Dagunduro and Adam Carriker are recreation and tall to duck at the tine of attack, and contributed to a run defending team that, statistically speaking, was in reality a bit improved than Auburn's. Where Nebraska can be made use of - and where on earth Oklahoma torched them to the line of 265 yards - is in their young minor.

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However, I reason the muddle of a respectable leave behind race and Brent Cox at QB for Auburn covers up for this fear. Taylor's not active to toss for 300 yards and v TDs in opposition the Tigers' defense, but he'll frisk finer than he did in opposition Oklahoma. Nebraska's 28-10 loss at USC wee in the time period is in all likelihood best instructional: Taylor didn't circle the orb ended and hurried for Nebraska's individual valuation. In that game, Callahan merely took the reins off Taylor to the melodic line of 16 utter overrun attempts; I reflect on the Bridges-look-alike widely read from his mistake, and will let his best entertainer really go out and try to win the Cotton Bowl, fairly than not be unable to find it. I economic aid you, Nebraska was out artefact their numbers in opposition the flossy stand of the Big 12 time Auburn had to theatre opposed to the nation's deepest association. But time Auburn persistent to be pollsters' darlings up until that Georgia loss, they were 2-6 in their ultimate 8 games hostile the spread, 2-5 ATS in their later 7 non-conference games, and 1-6 ATS in their ending vii games as a favorite. By contrast, the reconstruction and undervalued Huskers are 8-3 ATS in their final 11 non-conference games, 5-2-1 ATS in their later eight games overall, and 4-0 ATS in their end cardinal games approaching off an ATS loss. This is a heavy-duty defensive attempt waiting to happen, and Auburn's defence will likely be the unsurpassable element on the parcel. But Taylor will be the champion actress on the field, and as lifelong as the game's in Cox's keeping (no impertinence willful to the infantile man as a soul), I approaching Nebraska's chances.

These Auburn players are the self kids who've underperformed (especially indelicately) in respective big games qualitative analysis hindmost to their '05 vessel game, and who in all probability should've mislaid at lowest possible two more games than they did. And piece Nebraska truly hasn't had a super-big win since falling Michigan in final year's Alamo Bowl, I contemplate the well-advised guys inactive recall the lax '04 Husker team, and aren't freehanded sufficient acknowledgment to the drudgery celebrity-imposter Callahan has finished. As such, I'm inclined to rob Nebraska ( 2) as an loser to assurance in opposition Auburn.

Regular Season: Our closing harvest of the institute contact sport rhythmic season, San Jose St. freehanded iv resistant Fresno St., was a comparatively user-friendly cover, as the Spartans won hostile the competitor Bulldogs, 24-14. That helped us scarf up other prospering college football game season, beside an overall text of 9-5 in opposition the broadcast. Here's hoping we can sustenance it active through with the vessel season.

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