Nebraska Cornhuskers 2016 College Football Preview, Schedule, Prediction, Depth Chart, Outlook
Nebraska Cornhuskers 2016 Preview
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The Nebraska Cornhuskers finished last season with a record of 6-7 and will look to improve on that record in 2016.
Overview: Mike Riley and the Oregon State Beavers were on the wrong end of 6 games that were decided by 8 points or less. That is a tough way to lose games, but also means that they were only a few plays from having at least a few more wins. Nebraska avoids playing Michigan and Michigan State, but still has to play Oregon, at Ohio State, at Wisconsin, and at Iowa this season.
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Offense: Danny Langsdorf and the Nebraska offense averaged 32.8 points per game last season with 180 rushing yards and 266.9 passing yards per game. Tommy Armstrong Jr. threw for 3,030 yards with 22 touchdowns for Nebraska last season and will be the quarterback to begin this year. Terrell Newby was the leading rusher for the Cornhuskers last season with 765 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns, and will be returning for another year. Nebraska is set at the receiver position with Jordan Westerkamp (led Nebraska in receptions last season), Brandon Reilly, and Alonzo Moore. Nebraska returns 2 of their 5 offensive lineman and will need to protect Armstrong Jr. if they want to make a run at a Big Ten Title.
Defense: Mark Banker and Nebraska defense gave up 27.8 points per game with 109.8 rushing yards and 290.5 passing yards per game. Nebraska was torched through the air last season, so improving the secondary is critical. Nate Gerry (Safety) was the leading tackler last season with 79 tackles, 4 interceptions, and 7 pass breakups and will be leading the secondary along with Josh Kalu, who had 75 tackles, 3 interceptions, and 7 pass breakups. The linebacker position has depth and should be considered a strength for Nebraska, however it remains to be seen whom Banker decides to go with for game 1. The defensive line has major concerns this season as Nebraska lost 4 defensive linemen this off-season. The rest of the defensive line options are inexperienced.
Special Teams: Drew Brown will be the place kicker for Nebraska, after going 21-27 last season. Nebraska will be looking to find a new punter after the tragic passing of Sam Foltz, who was the best punter in the Big Ten last season. Returning should be an open race with Westerkamp, Morgan Jr., and Pierson El in the running.
Outlook: Nebraska should be much better than 2015 and will have a shot at winning the Big Ten West. We will find out a lot about Nebraska after their week 3 meeting with Oregon. I expect at least 8 wins out of the Cornhuskers this season.
Sept. 3 vs. Fresno State
Sept. 10 vs. Wyoming
Sept. 17 vs. Oregon
Sept. 24 at Northwestern
Oct. 1 vs. Illinois
Oct. 15 at Indiana
Oct. 22 vs. Purdue
Oct. 29 at Wisconsin
Nov. 5 at Ohio State
Nov. 12 vs. Minnesota
Nov. 19 vs. Maryland
Nov. 25 at Iowa