Head Coach: Bo Pelini 6th 49-20
“In a Word”…buzzsaw…seven starters return to the unit that led the Big Ten in total yards and scored a bunch of points brings a scary amount of experience back…especially with all the skill players back…Taylor Martinez and Ameer Abdullah in the backfield and WR’s Kenny Bell, Jamal Turner and Quincy Enunwa to throw to…this may be the best offense in the Big Ten…the O line has three starters back and is a very solid road grading unit…however they must improve the pass protection for Martinez…Spencer Long is back…his dominance may force him to switch sides of the line and bring some better stability to the left side and Pelini could move Brent Qvale over to the right…Cole Pensick will snap the ball and is a somewhat undersized center…but the depth in Lincoln is very similar to the depth ‘issues’ in Madison…get the big boys off the bus, run them to a buffet table, put a uni on them and list them in the two deep…they are ready to play upon arrival…they grow up big on the plains. Very little will stop the Corn when they have the ball…we will see if Taylor Martinez takes the next development in QBism…manage the game, let your system and playmakers do the heavy-lifting, make plays only when everything else breaks down and don’t commit turnovers…that is what I am expecting out of Martinez in 2013.
“In a Word”…Achilles….this unit could make the 2013 Huskers look a lot like the Joe Tiller-coached Boilermaker teams of the late 90’s and early 2000’s with all kinds of offense and just enough flashes of defense in a few moments to give its fans hope for a title run..the black shirts were 10th vs the run in 2012 but 1st vs the pass…if they want to contend in the Legends, that defense will have to get better at stopping the run…with teams like MSU, Iowa and Minnesota who will stop at nothing to run the ball and they are all improving at doing so…there is potential for the Huskers to get tripped up by one or more of those teams….the one caveat the Corn may still have is its pass defense…they were #1 vs the pass in the Big Ten last year and all the CB depth is back…they will likely be just as solid…but with a run defense that bad, how often will teams need to pass?…that’s why guys like T Thad Randle and Kevin Williams and their development are critical, but that chance just took a pretty big shot as the Huskers lost Williams for the season….even more so maybe the improvement of the DE’s like Jason Ankrah and Avery Moss. There is talent here..it is very raw and smallish…but the Husker fans hope that they can bulk up and get stronger…and folks, if you want to put on some weight and get stronger…there are few places to do so like Lincoln, Nebraska. If Bo Pelini wants to get the ever-growing monkey off his back, the defense needs to get better quickly…seems like I say this each and every season….and so far, it holds true.
Nebraska 2013 Schedule
The Corn won’t leave their home state until October 12th when they travel to West Lafayette…but prior to that..Nebraska hosts Wyoming, Southern Mississippi, UCLA, South Dakota State and Illinois for homecoming…after the aforementioned trip to Purdue, a bye week follows then a trip to Minneapolis. Northwestern then comes to Lincoln. The last four games will probably be the most challenging for Bo Pelini…as he takes his boys to Ann Arbor, then MSU comes to Nebraska and the final road game is at Penn State…the season ends the Friday after Thanksgiving with the Hawkeyes coming to Memorial Stadium. It is a schedule that should be W heavy for the first half with the only real challenge will be a three week stretch in which they get home games with the Wildcats and Spartans sandwiched around the game in Ann Arbor…probably two conference losses and a possible L to UCLA. All in all, it’s a very manageable slate with its challenging portions. But it seems very likely that another vintage Pelini season (9 win season with no landmark victories) is on tap.…I am just not sure the defense will be as good as it needs to be..
Nebraska Could’s Should’s and Will’s
Nebraska could roll into their home game on November 2nd vs Northwestern 7-0.
The Cornhuskers should be the best and most explosive offense the Big Ten.
The Black shirts will be in the Big Ten title hunt and out of it in a matter of a two week span in November.
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