The Nebraska Cornhuskers are coming off a solid 2012 season, however you can bet that Nebraska wanted to end things on a higher note than they did. Nebraska fell to the Georgia Bulldogs in the Capitol One Bowl on January 1st, but their most crushing defeat of the season came at the hands of the Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship game, falling to the Badgers 70-31.
This season the Huskers should have one of the elite offenses of the Big Ten Conference, and if the Blackshirts can rebound after a shaky 2012 campaign, this team could once again make it’s way to the Big Ten title game.
The Huskers have one of the most electric quarterbacks in the Big Ten, if not the nation in Taylor Martinez. Martinez is just as much, if not more of a threat with his feet than his arm, which makes the play action pass deadly with this offense. The only question for Martinez is whether or not he can hold onto the ball. Husker fans know all too well that Martinez can be careless at times, carrying the ball too loose, and trying to force throws into tight spots, something he just doesn‘t have the arm strength for.
The backfield for the Huskers should once again be solid as Ameer Abdullah returns after rushing for better than 1,100 yards last season, and behind Abdullah is the capable Imani Cross.
The wideouts are solid for the Huskers as Kenny Bell is a legitimate deep threat and playmaker. Quincy Enuwa, while not the playmaker Bell is, has valuable experience and will play a large role. Another player I really like in this group is Jamal Turner, who along with Bell is a homerun threat and should see the end zone plenty this season for the Big Red.
In true Nebraska form, the offensive line should be stout once again for the Huskers. Spencer Long is one of the best in the nation at his position, and alongside him are returning starters Brent Ovale and Jeremiah Sirles.
Typically when you think Nebraska football you think of defense and their famed “Blackshirts”. Well, the past few seasons have been let downs for this unit, especially late in the year as the Huskers gave up 101 points combined in their final two games.
The defense as a whole for the Huskers returns just four starters from a season ago. The defensive line is a work in progress currently, but we do know that Jason Ankrah is solid, as well as Thad Randle, who also has experience for the Huskers.
The linebacking corps is also full of fresh faces with just Zaire Anderson returning with any kind of experience backing him up. The Huskers are excited about Courtney Love (no not that one), but it will be interesting to see what kind of impact he has for this defense early on.
Andrew Green returns at corner for the Huskers and is solid, but this unit will be challenged in the changing landscape of the Big Ten, and if the big boys up front aren’t able to get into the backfield and disrupt things a bit, the secondary could struggle.
The Huskers will be contending for the Big Ten title again, and despite the rise of the Wolverines under Brady Hoke, I have the Huskers meeting the Buckeyes in the Championship game.
Nebraska’s offense will be able to run with anyone in the Conference, and if the Blackshirts can play as good, or hopefully better than last season, the Huskers will be a tough out for anyone they meet.