Last season Nebraska played for their third conference championship game in four years under head coach Bo Pelini. Once again the Cornhuskers came up short in getting to a BCS game after getting run out of Indianapolis by Wisconsin.
Pelini’s team went 10-4 and 7-1 in Big Ten play, in his first six seasons in Lincoln his teams are averaging nine wins year. The Huskers return 12 total starters, eight on offense and four on defense this coming season.
This year’s team will lean on the offense which has the potential to lethal as the 1983 “scoring explosion” with eight of 11 starters back. Senior quarterback Taylor Martinez who’s been a four year starter for the Big Red looks to get that elusive title. Martinez is a dual threat having thrown for 2,871 yards with 28 touchdowns to 12 interceptions while rushing for 1,317 yards and 10 scores.
Junior running back Ameer Abdullah looks to fill the huge shoes left by Rex Burkhead who exhausted his eligibility. Fortunately for Nebraska with injuries last season they got a good look at Abdullah who finished with 1,137 and reached the endzone eight times while averaging five yards per carry.
Martinez will have plenty of options in the passing game with junior Kenny Bell who caught 50 passes for 863 yards with eight TD’s. Quincy Enunwa was second on the team with 42 receptions, 470 yards and one TD. Jamal Turner is the final part of the three prong receiving attack that had 417 yards and three TDs.
Known for the “Blackshirt” defense as mentioned will be the younger side of the ball having lost several players from last year’s team. Senior defensive backs Ciante Evans and Andew Green will lead the given their experience. Senior defensive end Jason Ankrah anchors the Huskers d-line which will have new faces beside him.
Last season Nebraska traveled to Pasadena losing 36-30 to UCLA which helped propel the Bruins season. Can the Cornhuskers get revenge on September 14 when they host UCLA at Memorial Stadium with kickoff at 9 am on ABC.
Huskers 2013 schedule: Aug. 31 v. Wyoming, Sept. 7 v. Southern Mississippi, Sept. 14 v. UCLA, Sept. 21 v. South Dakota State, Oct. 5 v. Illinois*, Oct. 12 @Purdue*, Oct. 26 @Minnesota*, Nov. 2 v. Northwestern*, Nov. 9 @Michigan*, Nov. 16 v. Michigan State*, Nov. 23 @Penn State*, Nov. 30 v. Iowa*
* = B1G Game