Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Maryland Terrapins Pick & Prediction NOVEMBER 11th 2023

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Nebraska may be headed in the right direction, but last weekend’s loss still got coach Matt Rhule fired up.

Either Nebraska or visiting Maryland will achieve bowl eligibility when they face off Saturday in Big Ten action in Lincoln, Neb.

The Cornhuskers (5-4, 3-3) had won three straight before a 20-17 loss at Michigan State. While claiming his program isn’t made up of “excuse-makers,” Rhule bemoaned officiating in his team’s close losses to Minnesota and Michigan State while getting in a dig at scandal-plagued Michigan, which beat Nebraska 45-7 in September.

“I feel bad for our players,” Rhule said Monday. “We’re sticking with 5-4, we own 5-4 (as a record), but we had one game where the team scouted us and we’ve had two games where replay was wrong.”

Replay officials did not intervene to review a called fumble on Nebraska quarterback Heinrich Haarberg at the end of Saturday’s game. Haarberg’s arm appeared to already be in a throwing motion, and had the call been changed to an incompletion, Nebraska could have had more time for a last-ditch play before the buzzer.

All the same, the Huskers possess their best record in seven years. One more win will make them eligible for a bowl for the first time since a nine-win campaign in 2016 led to a loss in the Music City Bowl.

Rhule said Nebraska is sticking with Haarberg, the team’s leading passer (967 yards) and rusher (477). He had two interceptions and lost a fumble against the Spartans.

Maryland (5-4, 2-4) has gone backward since a 5-0 start. The Terrapins have allowed 37 points per game during a four-game skid, exacerbated by last Saturday’s 51-15 drubbing at home to then-No. 11 Penn State.

“Of the four losses we’ve had, this one is one that is not even worth (players) watching the tape, because we came nowhere close to the standard that we have come to expect for our program,” coach Mike Locksley said Tuesday.

Taulia Tagovailoa was sacked six times, threw one interception and lost a fumble. Maryland’s 16 rushing attempts against Penn State netted a loss of 49 yards.

“Our inability to run the ball just comes with our inability to execute, and we’ve struggled with the interior part of our run game,” Locksley said. “… We’re going to work real hard this week to figure out how the best way is for us to run the football.”

–Field Level Media

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