Nebraska Football Predictions

Written by Vegas Top Cappers | July 31, 2013

2013 Nebraska Football Predictions

In what became a bit of a surprisingly successful regular season, the Nebraska Cornhuskers ended on somewhat of a downer, losing consecutive games in the Big Ten title game and in the Capital One Bowl to Georgia to finish at 10-4. But optimism is high in Lincoln for 2013, with a record-setting senior QB, a 1,000 yard rusher, an elite group of receivers and one of the best O-lines in the nation all returning. Head coach Bo Pellini embarks on his sixth season in the Heartland, and looks to improve on his overall 49-20 W-L mark.

QB Taylor Martinez is an experienced and skilled multi-purpose signal-caller, with impressive 2012 numbers (2,871 passing yards, 23 TD passes, 1,019 rushing yards, 10 TDs), and he has as many weapons at his disposal as any QB in the Big Ten. RB Ameer Abdullah (1,137 yards, 8 TDs) heads up a deep and talented ground game, which finished 8th in the nation with 253 yards per game. Look for freshman blue-chipper Adam Taylor to give the running game an added speed dimension, while WR Kenny Bell is the leader of a similarly deep and skilled wideout unit. Bell averaged 17.3 yards on his 50 receptions in 2012, finding the end zone 8 times. With All-American G Spencer Long back to spearhead what is probably the best O-line in the Pellini regime, this offense should provide plenty of fireworks (and points). The balance this unit has is almost unfair to opponents, and with a few minor tweaks, should easily rank among the NCAA’s leaders in nearly every offensive category.

The primary concern for Pellini and his coaching staff resides on the defensive side, which returns just three starters from last season. A tough early-season schedule against some high potent offenses (Wyoming, Southern Mississippi, UCLA) should be a good test to see how well the replacements have filled in. Although just three returnees are back, they’re spread out nicely, with DE Jason Ankrah, LB David Santos and CB Ciante Evans all available to provide excellent role models for their aspiring teammates. Evans has big-time potential, while Santos is the prototypical Cornhusker ‘backer, adept at both run-stuffing as well as able to drop into coverage.

Several heralded newcomers are eager to make their names known among the Husker faithful. Expect DE Randy Gregory, DT Vincent Valentine and S Charles Jackson, in particular, to become regular and productive contributors early on. Another weapon is expected to be PK Mauro Bondi, who opened eyes in spring practice with his leg strength and accuracy. To add yet another game-breaking aspect to the special teams play, both Abdullah and Bell are exceptional kick returners.

Despite Ohio State being the consensus front-runner in the conference this fall, Nebraska may be the best bet among the others for national accolades and rankings. The two aren’t scheduled to play in the regular season, which works in the Huskers favor, but as long-time conference observers are aware, the road to Big Ten supremacy is never a smooth path, and a pair of tough road games (Michigan, Penn State) may hold the key to how well the 2013 season turns out for this senior-laden bunch.

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