Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 8/13/12

2012 Nebraska Cornhuskers Football Quickview

2011 Record:  9-4

Head Coach:  Bo Pelini-  5th year   39-16

Returning Starters:   14    7-Offense  7-Defense

Nonconference Schedule Breakdown:  I think all games considered…this is right behind Michigan as the toughest nonconference schedule…opening with Southern Mississippi, who knocked Houston out of a BCS birth last year…is no gimme…then they go to UCLA who just hired Jim Mora (Playoffs?..no, not that Jim Mora) and he has UCLA buzzing about the recruits he’s bringing in and the stir he’s created about Bruin football…then the Corn gets Arkansas State who is by no means a walk in the park….they finally end their non-Big Ten slate with a relatively easy matchup vs Idaho State…each week they will have to answer the call…don’t be surprised if they get upended by one of these teams…but it shouldn’t happen.

Schedule Rank (in Big Ten) 1st hardest: The Corn gets no love from the Big Ten scheduling widget that cranks out the ‘who gets who’ jargon…they start their Big Ten portion of the schedule with the two most talented teams from the Leaders…Wisconsin then @ OSU…then a bye…in their last 6 games they have to navigate trips to Evanston, East Lansing and Iowa City…yeah…good luck Bo!..I don’t care how good you are…you are losing at least 3 Big Ten games…at least.

Who they don’t play in 2012:  Illinois, Indiana, Purdue

The Skinny:  sources are indicating that Corn QB Taylor Martinez has been working on his delivery and his mechanics and he looks much better and is more accurate….let me see how ‘improved’ he looks after the Big Ten schedule starts…we’ll see how he stands at the bye week..but Nebraska is bringing back some decent experience…they need to stop teams from running the ball..they were more designed to stop a passing attack or more of the finesse Big 12 teams…not teams like ELU, OSU or even Wisconsin…they just got beat up…so we’ll see how they adapt to life in the Big Ten this year..

Toughest Game in 2012:  November 3rd @ ELU…these guys open vs Southern Mississippi, then go to UCLA, then get a decent Arkansas State team, then a cakewalk with Idaho St..then host Wisconsin, travel to Columbus, get a bye week…travel to Evanston, get a night game at home vs Michigan…THEN have to go to East Lansing and play a team that Nebraska whipped up on last year?..can you say revenge for ELU?…zoinks!

Best Player:  HB Rex Burkhead…I love watching this guy run…you talk about a downhill runner that punishes anyone who tries to bring him down….great vintage Big Ten style of runner…he was just overused in 2011…because Martinez can’t beat anyone downfield…or at least he doesn’t scare anyone..

What MIGHT happen: The Corn loses one of its first 2 games…either vs S. Mississippi or at UCLA….that would put the Bruins back on the map huh?…going into Lincoln and beating Nebraska…

What WILL happen:  Nebraska, despite losing one of its first 2 games…finds enough pride and beats Wisconsin at homecoming in Lincoln the last Saturday in September…

What WON’T happen:  Nebraska wins the Legends division…they dodge no bullets as far as the Big Ten goes…they have to play everyone and the home slate is just as tough as the road games…not a chance they win the Big ten..

Why they won’t win the Big Ten: Other than the schedule?…they need a better throwing QB…they need to be able to find a HB that can give Burkhead a few series off each half…that may be the only factor that the Corn can actually do something about in 2012…the defense needs to be tougher up the middle.

Why they will win the Big Ten:  Burkhead gets 275 carries and gains over 2,000 yards, doesn’t get hurt & wins the rushing title in the Big Ten…AND Taylor Martinez throws only 5 INT’s and rushes for 750 yds and throws 15 TD’s and runs for 10 more…and the defense gets tougher up the middle.

Gotta know about the Cornhuskers:  Three ‘Nevers’ on the Corn road Big Ten schedule…they have never lost to ELU in East Lansing before (1-0)…and they have never won in either Evanston (0-1) or Columbus (0-2)…

BOLD Statement: Nebraska will be a very good team…maybe even better than last year…but won’t have the record to prove it…

Related articles 2012 Michigan Wolverines season preview

2012 Ohio State Buckeyes season preview

2012 Wisconsin Badgers season preview

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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