The Nebraska Cornhuskers, needing two wins to cement a Legends Division championship and play in the Big Ten Championship Game, host the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday at 2:30 CT. Television coverage will be available on Big Ten Network. As of Wednesday, Nebraska was a 20-point favorite over the Gophers.
After a four-game winning streak in non-conference play, Minnesota has struggled through its Big Ten schedule, going 2-4 in league play. Last week's 17-3 victory over Illinois gave the Gophers a sixth win, making them bowl eligible for the first time since 2009. Freshman quarerback Philip Nelson stands in line for his fifth start of the season despite throwing for just 78 yards in last week's game. Nelson has racked up 615 passing yards and six touchdowns in four appearances.
Nebraska sits atop the Legends Division at 5-1, but has Michigan close on its heels. The Huskers likely need wins over both Minnesota and Nebraska to assure a place in the league championship in just their second season in the conference. Junior quarterback Taylor Martinez has improved his passing statistics in all meaningful categories this season, throwing for more yards (2112) and touchdowns (19) than he did in the entirety of the 2011 season. Nebraska still relies heavily on the run, though, primarily through sophomore halfback Ameer Abdullah (942 yards, 8 TDs) and Martinez (770 yards, 8 TDs).
Game time, TV channel: 2:30 p.m. CT, Big Ten Network
Point spread: Nebraska is a 20-point favorite.
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