The Nebraska football team opens its season against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Thursday. Here’s everything you need to know about the game.
It’s a new era for Nebraska football and it officially begins on Thursday night. After months upon months of waiting to see whether Matt Rhule can back up what has been some great talk with great coaching, we’re going to get to see.
Unfortunately, the Nebraska football team isn’t going to be able to open Rhule’s season with a traditional cupcake. Instead, they’ll take on PJ Fleck and a team that is considered a contender for the Big Ten West title. For now, that’s a few leagues above where the Huskers are considered to be.
The uncertainty of what we’ll see on Thursday is just one of the reasons there’s so much excitement for this season opener.
Nebraska football vs. Minnesota odds, spread and total
The spread for the Huskers’ game against the Golden Gophers has pretty consistently seen NU as 7.5 point dogs. However, according to FanDuel, it has shrunk a bit and the Gophers are now just a touchdown favorite.
At the moment, the total for the game is surprisingly low, perhaps because Vegas doesn’t quite know what to make of the Cornhuskers revamped offense under Rhule and offensive coordinator Marcus Satterfield. NU and Minny are expected to score around 43.5 total points.
If you’re looking to just place a wager on who will win, Minnesota is currently -295 while the Cornhuskers are +235, meaning that if Jeff Sims and company are able to pull off an upset, you could take away a pretty penny.
Nebraska football vs. Minnesota betting trends
- Minnesota has hit the first half Game Total Under in 8 of their last 10 games at home
- Nebraska has hit the 1H Game Total Under in their last 4 games.
- Nebraska has only hit the 1Q Game Total Over in 5 of their last 22 games
- Minnesota has only hit the Game Total Over in 3 of their last 11 games at home
Nebraska football vs. Minnesota how to watch
Date: August 31
Game Time: 7:00pm
TV Channel: Fox
How to Watch: You can always watch on Fox, or the Fox Sports app if cable isn’t your thing. You can also use fuboTV in order to catch this and many other games over the long weekend.
Nebraska Football Record: 0-0
Minnesota Golden Gophers Record: 0-0
Nebraska football vs. Minnesota key players to watch
When it comes to players to watch in this game, it’s interesting to note that both teams are going to be breaking in quite a few new players. If they aren’t entirely new to their teams or college football, they are at least guys that haven’t seen a ton of action at this level.
Jeff Sims: This is a no-brainer for a number of reasons. The unrivaled starter for the Huskers is going to be leaned on heavily to have a much better season than he ever did at Georgia Tech. The coaches have talked about how well he’s run the offense during the spring, summer, and Fall camp. Now it’s put up or shut up time.
Thomas Fidone: The tight end is finally healthy. By all accounts, he’s been extremely tough to stop this fall. The Huskers are said to be looking at the TE being a big weapon on offense, and it would be great to see that start right away.
Cameron Lenhardt: The freshman defensive lineman has gotten a ton of praise of late. He’s expected to get a ton of playing time on Thursday. It will certainly be interesting to see his impact in his first college game.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Athan Kaliakmanis: Kaliakmanis isn’t “new” to the job but he doesn’t have a ton of experience as the Gophers’ quarterback. What playing time he did get wasn’t great, as he completed just 54 percent of his passes and had just 3 touchdowns to 4 interceptions. However, while he wasn’t perfect, he was effective last season against the Huskers when he completed 6 of 12 passes for 137 yards. The Huskers are going to need to bottle him up if they want to win.
Chris-Autman-Bell: It’s thought that the Gophers offense will be a little more passing-focused in 2023 and if they’re going to have success there, then Autman-Bell will have to have a big season. Injuries hampered the veteran last year but he has 125 catches and 1,970 yards in his career.
Danny Striggow: Striggow led the Gophers in sacks last season and he’ll be asked to put together an even better year this year as one of the best D’s in the country last year is replacing half its starters. He’s playing at edge rusher this season and Cornhuskers offensive line that hasn’t exactly been world beaters will need to find a way to keep him off Sims.
Nebraska football vs. Minnesota prediction and pick
It’s hard to have any idea what Huskers team is going to show up on Thursday. Will the excitement of a new era and players like Sims that are hard to scout lead to an offensive explosion? Or will the offense be hard to come by?
The smartest plays seem to be going hard on the under, especially with the offensive questions of Minnesota as well. My official prediction is Minnesota 20, Nebraska football 14.