The Nebraska Cornhuskers had an interestingly up and down season, winning some nice games, but also dropping at least one that boggled the mind for the way they lost: UCLA. Okay, so let's look at...
How They Did
|9/7||Southern Miss||W 56-13|
|9/21||South Dakota State||W 59-20|
|10/12||@ Purdue||W 44-7|
|10/26||@ Minnesota||L 34-23|
|11/9||@ Michigan||W 17-13|
|11/16||Michigan State||L 41-28|
|11/23||@ Penn State||W 23-20 OT|
|1/1||Georgia (Gator Bowl)||W 24-19|
With all of the comments surrounding Bo Pelini's future in Lincoln, and the tape-recording incident, Nebraska's season wasn't terrible. Sure, Georgia was missing...everyone, but SEC fans everywhere are so full of themselves, they believe that their worst roster is still going to be better than everyone else in the country. And if Pelini was so turrible, the university wouldn't have extended his contract through 2018 when they had a clear out.
Versus Michigan: Nebraska was up 10-0 through the end of the first quarter until Michigan scored 13 unanswered points to take the 13-10 lead with 8:08 to go in the fourth quarter. The Huskers then went on a 14 play, 75 yard drive that took 6:05 off the clock before Tommy Armstrong, Jr. threw a 5-yard pass to running back Ameer Abdullah to seal the 17-13 victory.
Armstrong passed for 139 yards on 11 completions, but it was the 26-yard completion to Kenny Bell on a 4th-and-2 that extended the game on the last drive. Abdullah rushed for 105 hard-fought yards on 27 carries, for a 3.9 per rush average.
When Michigan had the ball: for the second game in a row, Michigan's net rushing yards were in the negative; this time it was -21. Derrick Green was the team's leading rusher...with 11 yards...on 8 carries...for a 1.4 ypc average. Also for the second week in a row, Devin Gardner was sacked seven times. He did pass for one touchdown to Devin Funchess, but don't expect any highlights, there aren't any.
Best Win: Uhhhhhhhh...Georgia? Everyone was hurt, even QB Aaron Murray couldn't escape injury (or some pretty unsportsmanlike comments). Again, SEC fans are pretty arrogant about believing that they are better than everyone everywhere at all times, regardless of roster situation, so this must be the best win on the Nebraska schedule. They beat everyone else they should have beaten...even that close one to national powerhouse Wyoming.
Worst Loss: UCLA, but not because UCLA was bad; they finished 10-3, after all, and lost games they "should" have lost (Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State). Nebraska was up 21-3 in the second quarter, but couldn't score a single point the rest of the way, and allowed the Bruins to score 38 unanswered points. Let's say that again: 38. Unanswered. Points. There's bad defense and then there's...well, whatever the hell that was. UCLA's Brett Hundley apparently decided, unlike Nebraska, that games last longer than 30 minutes, so he threw for 294 yards and three TDs to complete the thrashing.
Outlook for 2014
The oft-maligned Taylor Martinez is now gone, and I'm sure that half of Nebraska's fanbase is thrilled, while the other half will miss him. Taking his place will be either Tommy Armstrong, Jr. and/or Ron Kellogg III. The two of these young men combined for 1,885 yards, 15 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions. Running back Ameer Abdullah has been fantastic in Lincoln and has decided to return for his senior season. With Imani Cross remaining in the backfield with Abdullah, the Cornhusker running game should still be the driving force for this team. As for the defense, I'm sure that everyone in the Big Ten is hoping for the defense that "showed up" for the UCLA game comes back this year. [EDIT: Ron Kellogg has, in fact, graduated and will not be a factor in 2014.--P]
Do they play Michigan in 2014?
No. With the realignment of the conference into what I like to call the Corn-Fed Division and the Cake-Eaters Division, Michigan's second Novemeber opponent will be Northwestern.