Ndamukong Suh may be gone to the NFL but the Cornhuskers will still get stronger in 2010 according to Al Dannity.
I could tell you why the visit of Idaho on September 11 will prove an interesting match-up. I could describe the clash of styles when the Cornhuskers’ defense takes on Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies but let’s be honest; this season is all about Texas.
It doesn’t matter if Nebraska starts 5-0 or 0-5, all eyes will be on Lincoln come October 16. The Longhorns barely got away with a controversial but legitimate 13-12 victory in the Big 12 title game last December. Cornhusker fans have become obsessed with avenging that loss. Nebraska’s imminent departure to the Big Ten only adds spice to what promises to be an explosive encounter.
The Blackshirts are back. The crowning glory of Nebraska’s return as a defensive juggernaut last season came in the Holiday Bowl. Arizona’s offense was like a rabbit in the headlights as the Huskers stomped the Wildcats 33-0. Expect more of the same in 2010 despite the departure of Ndamukong Suh. Defensive tackle Jared Crick and cornerback Prince Amukamara lead 7 returning starters on defense. College Football betting fans should pay heed to the depth of the Nebraska bench, allowing for plenty of rotation throughout a game.
Fixing the offense is Bo Pelini’s next big task. The Cornhuskers have 10 returning starters but quarterback Zac Lee remains a liability. He will have solid support in All-Big 12 running back Roy Helu and All-Big 12 wide receiver Mike McNeill. The offense will be largely built around the running game, with Lee occupying a game management role. All-Big 12 kicker Alex Henery returns and Henery will once again double up as the team’s punter in 2010.
Becoming a competent game managing quarterback is far from a stellar achievement but if Zac Lee can reach that level then the Cornhuskers will go 12-0. While I expect Lee to improve, I simply can’t see the signal-caller showing enough consistency under center to keep Nebraska perfect. Helu will carry this offense on his back but it will be the defense that ensures the Cornhuskers are a Top 10 team in 2010.
While I only briefly touched on it earlier, the Huskers trip to Washington promises a thrilling game of cat and mouse between the Blackshirts and Jake Locker. The Texas game will be a different kind of test as Nebraska looks to hunt down first year starter Garrett Gilbert. Both these match-ups could go either way.
For all the talent on defense, I can’t see Nebraska running the table. There are still too many questions on offense but a 10-2 or 11-1 season is well within reach. That should put the Cornhuskers back into the Big 12 title game and after that anything is possible.