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Enemy Dispatch #8: Corn Nation Previews Nebraska

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The folks over at CN tell us what they think we should know about the Huskers.

NCAA Football: Northwestern at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

In preparation of the Big Ten’s return to the field, the B1G blogs got together and previewed our own teams. Each blog answered the same questions with the goal of informing the other B1G communities about what to watch for on the field.

My plan for these enemy previews is to share them in order of who Minnesota plays, with a summary of the remaining Big Ten teams at the end (since we don’t know who among the remaining East division teams we might see on Championship Saturday during the #BigTenBonusRound).

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Which enemy are we learning about this time?

To learn more about the Nebraska Cornhuskers we turn to Jon Johnston of Corn Nation.

List your team’s key departures (name, position, role)

  • JD Spielman, top receiver - transferred to TCU
  • Mohamed Barry – ILB – top tackler
  • Lamar Jackson – CB
  • The entire defensive line – Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, Darrion Daniels

List your team’s key returnees (name, position, role)

  • Adrian Martinez, quarterback
  • Luke McCaffrey, quarterback – A McCaffrey who will take over if Adrian falters
  • Wan’Dale Robinson, receiver, all-around explosion better than Rondale Moore
  • Cameron Jurgens, center
  • Dedrick Mills, top returning running back

List a few true freshmen or transfers that will make an instant impact (name, position, role)

  • Kickers – Nebraska had to rely on a kicker from the soccer club who tried out to finish out the season last year. Any kicker who can kick will win games this season. We brought in about 30 of them.
  • Omar Manning – JUCO Wide Receiver – big bodied, 6’4, 225 lb. Ranked best JUCO receiver in 2019.
  • Blaise Gunnerson, OLB – Nebraska needs OLBs like the country needs a Covid vaccine.
  • A receiver who has a pulse. Wan’Dale Robinson is the only returning receiver, so we will need to find pass catchers and how!

Brief overview of 2020 team (a couple paragraphs about expectations, how you think they’ll perform):

I don’t see this year as being as much about athleticism as about will. Who lead the fight to bring back Big Ten football?

Nebraska.

Nebraska wants to play this season more than anyone else besides Ohio State. That will go a lot further than most people think. It takes will to win. Nebraska has that will.

As a team, a group of athletes, Nebraska still needs to get more depth and a few more playmakers.

What’s your team’s biggest strength?

Despite the lack of a proven receiving corps, the offense will rise to be one of the best in the nation. The offensive line is much improved and finally has some depth. The quarterback position has great potential, as do the running backs.

What’s your team’s biggest weakness?

The defense needs to find some more playmakers and add some depth. Those pieces are slowing coming together, but they’re not close to being a championship-caliber defense. Hell, they’re not very close to being an average defense, but one can hope.

We need OLBs’ pretty badly, and we need defensive linemen. A good rush end or OLB would go a long ways to making this lousy defense average.

How does your fanbase feel about your coach and his staff?

Everyone who calls themselves a Husker fan knows that Scott Frost is the right head coach for this program. Those that don’t are social media trolls and angry people whom no one loves. They are being hunted down and dealt with as I speak.

Fans have some problems with the defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. The defense must improve. First, we need better players. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then we’ll need a better defensive coordinator.

Who is your team’s MVP this season and why?

Adrian Martinez will return to his freshman season form, proving that 2019 was the fluke performance as he rises once again to Heisman hype in 2021.

Predict your team’s record, its best win, and a potential surprise loss

A rational person might say 5-3. I am not a rational person. I see us at 8-1 with a lone loss to Ohio State to begin the season. The Buckeyes will annihilate everything in their path as they are the only team comparable to Nebraska with regards to will. The first week will look awful, then my beloved Huskers will bounce back, knocking off Wisconsin, then get some much-needed experience against Northwestern before surprising Penn State in Lincoln. The rest of the season will be more of the same, with predictions all around that Nebraska falls back into the losing column. It won’t happen.

Everyone expects Nebraska to lose now, so there is no such thing as an unexpected loss.

What else should we know about your team this year?

50% of the 155-man roster are freshmen and redshirt freshmen. There is a lot of youth, which is indicative of how badly Nebraska needed to turn over the roster. The Huskers are slowly rebuilding, but I expect them to surprise people this season.

Did I mention will?

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Thanks to Jon for helping out!

Poll

Based on what you read above, how much does Nebraska worry you?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    I’m sorry, I’m still a little confused how Scott Frost’s temper tantrum in August will propel the Huskers to victory.
    (111 votes)
  • 22%
    Not at all.
    (61 votes)
  • 10%
    Some.
    (29 votes)
  • 26%
    THE UNSTOPPABLE WILL OF THE HUSKERS CANNOT BE DEFEATED AND NEITHER CAN THEIR FANS WHO SHOULD BE THANKED FOR RETURNING BIG TEN FOOTBALL TO US.
    (71 votes)
272 votes total Vote Now