2012-13 Football Previews – (Big 10) – Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska fans expect a lot. Tom Osborne really spoiled the Cornhusker fans back in the 1990’s. The Huskers haven’t won a title since 1997, but Bo Pelini has done a good job coaching this team. The team has put together four straight seasons of at least nine wins.
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Big 10 Conference 2012-2013 College Football Previews: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Head Coach: Bo Pelini
2011 Record 9-4
Nebraska Gambling Odds from JustBet to win BCS Championship: +3,300
Nebraska Gambling Odds from JustBet to win Big 10 Conference: +300
Nebraska Team Page – Players Stats – Roster – 2012 Schedule –>
Still, this team was expected by many to come in and dominate the Big Ten in 2011. Simply put, it didn’t happen.
The Cornhuskers return seven starters on both sides of the ball in 2012, so expectations are high again in Lincoln. Nebraska’s season turned south last year when they were blown out at Wisconsin 48-17. Nebraska went just 5-3 in the Big Ten, and they were blown out by South Carolina in the Outback Bowl.
Nebraska needs to be better in 2012 if they want to compete for the Big Ten title.
Rex Burkhead is an extremely underrated running back for the Cornhuskers. Burkhead is a hardnosed runner, who does everything on the field well. He is a great blocker in the backfield, and he is also a great pass receiver. Burkhead even has three passing touchdowns in his career.
If he has another big season, he could finish as high as number two on Nebraska’s all-time rushing leaders list.
Even though the offensive line lost several starters from a year ago, I expect this unit to be very good. Junior Guard Spencer Long is one of the best linemen in the Big Ten.
Nebraska’s offense line coach has done a great job producing talent for the NFL, and he has plenty of good young big guys to build a strong front this year.
The defense was supposed to be great in 2011, and they were a major disappointment. Opponents constantly rammed it down Nebraska’s throat. Losing Jared Crick and LaVonte David can’t help in that area. The line is actually a bit undersized compared to most Big Ten defensive fronts. Nebraska has to be better against the run in 2012.
Losing Alfonzo Dennard and Austin Cassady leaves plenty of question marks on the secondary. The Cornhuskers have lots of young players on the depth charts here, but none of them seem to be standing out in offseason workouts. It will be tough for Nebraska to replace two high quality starters like Dennard and Cassady.
Key Player: Taylor Martinez
I made a special category here for the Cornhuskers, because that is how important Taylor Martinez is to this team. Some folks think he is great, while others think he is worthless. In truth, Martinez is an excellent runner who must progress in the passing game. Teams simply stacked the box on Nebraska last year and made them win with the pass.
In 2011, Martinez couldn’t do it. If the Cornhuskers are going to get somewhere in 2012, Martinez has to throw it better.
2012-2013 Nebraska Cornhuskers Football Prediction: 8-5
I don’t see Nebraska moving in the right direction anymore. It’s hard to imagine this team being better than last year, unless Martinez develops an accurate arm quickly. The defense doesn’t look very good, and the offense is too reliant on the running game.
The Big Ten did this team no favors with a rough schedule.
Look for a small step back for the Cornhuskers in 2012.
2012 Nebraska Schedule
9/1/12 3:30 PM ET SOMIS
9/8/12 TBD @UCLA
9/15/12 12:00 PM ET ARKST
9/22/12 TBD IDAST
9/29/12 8:00 PM ET WISC
10/6/12 TBD @OHIST
10/20/12 TBD @NWEST
10/27/12 TBD MICH
11/3/12 TBD @MCHST
11/10/12 TBD PENST
11/17/12 TBD MINN
11/23/12 12:00 PM ET @IOWA