Big Red 2019-20 Football Review

The Cornhuskers are ready to become something more in Frost's second year

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Big Red 2019-20 Football Review

Hayden Cole, Staff Reporter

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As we head into Week Two of the 2019 College Football season the hype swarming around Scott Frost and the Nebraska Cornhuskers is almost overwhelming. The Cornhuskers are starting off the year ranked in the Top 25 at #24. It might seem a little surprising to see a team that failed to make a bowl game last year, start in the Top 25. Nebraska ended off the year last year with a 4-8 record in Frost’s first year as head coach. Scott Frost, heading into his second year as head coach, is receiving a lot of attention because when he was with the UCF Knights he brought them an undefeated record with an impressive Peach Bowl victory against at the time Top 10 ranked Auburn Tigers 34-27. So there is no doubt that the Huskers want to do the same in Frost’s second year. 

On offense, the Huskers are lead by sophomore Adrian Martinez. In his freshman year he showed high amounts of potential as he threw for 2,617 yards, 17 touchdowns on only eight interceptions. He also had a 139.5 passer rating and had a  64.6% completion percentage. Like the whole team, Maritinez is receiving a lot of hype as he is third in Heisman odds only behind sophomore superstar Trevor Lawrence and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It might be a little tough though with the loss of top receiver Stanley Morgan Jr., but he will have targets to throw to in Junior speedster JD Spielman and incoming Freshman Wan’Dale Robinson.

On the defensive side of the ball, the Huskers are lead by senior linebacker Mohamed Barry. Last year, he led the team in tackles with 112 and 55 of them were made all by himself. He also had 2 sacks. The Nebraska defense last year was mediocre at best, but this year the Huskers are expecting a lot of improvement. Though the defense won’t be a top defensive unit in the country, they will get the job done and make stops so the high flying offense can put points on the board.

Nebraska played Sun Belt members, South Alabama Jaguars. The Huskers took the game at home with the score of 35-21, not the kind of result that the fans are looking for. Nebraska came into the game as -36.5 point favorites and only won by 14. It was not a good start to Frost’s second year, but there was a lot to take out of it. Other than the defense and special team out scoring the offense, freshman Wan’Dale Robinson looked very good and showed a lot of potential. He ran for 21 yard averaging 5.2 yard per carry, he also received for 3 receptions for 33 years average of 11 yards per catch. Another take away from the game was the defense, they played well the whole game and dug our offense out of a big hole. The Blackshirt defense came up with five important turnovers that made the difference. 

In Week Two, The Cornhuskers face old rivals Colorado Buffaloes. These two teams faced off last year in Frost’s first game at Nebraska, but the Buffaloes ruined the moment and won with a last minute score 33-28. The game this year will be at Colorado, but the Buffs started off the year last year 5-0 and was ranked as high as #19. But they failed to win another game from that point on. This game will be a good measuring point for the Huskers if they want to say they have any chance to contend for at least a Big 10 title. 

Then the Huskers face the Northern Illinois Huskies. A game with Illinois will open up Big 10 play for the Huskers. At this point the Huskers can easily be undefeated and most likely be ranked in the Top 15. 

A game against Ohio State at home is going to be the toughest game of the year. The Buckeyes are ranked #5 in the country and are in a new coach situation with the retirement of Urban Meyer. Ryan Day will be taking the coaching job this year for the Bucks. This game will probably on College Football Game Day and be the main event. Even though the Huskers are at a disadvantage based on rankings, Nebraska has a very good chance to win this game. If the Huskers are undefeated by this match-up, then a when against the Buckeyes will put them, in most cases, in the top 10 and maybe top five. 

The next four games for the Cornhuskers include Northwestern, Minnesota, Indiana and Purdue. All games are winnable here for the Huskers. The Huskers then take on the currently #19 ranked Wisconsin Badgers at home. The Badgers have taken the last seven games including one Big Ten Championship game in 2012. Things should be different this year as Nebraska is favored in this one. The Huskers then take on Maryland on the road, then they face their rival Iowa Hawkeyes. 

The Hawkeyes are coming off a 9-4 year with an Outback Bowl victory against the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The Hawkeyes are losing their top two air threats in Noah Fant and T.J Hockenson all going to the NFL, each were drafted in the first round. But they bring back senior quarterback Nate Stanley. Iowa has taken the last four contests, but the Huskers are ready to turn that around at home. 

Frost’s second year was a lot of promise and a couple of early games will prove if Nebraska can contend for a Big 10 championship of maybe even a national title. But until then we have to see how this team plays one game at a time, but there is no doubt that this year’s team is going to be exciting to watch.

 

Nebraska Dedrick Mills (26) scored two big rushing touchdowns against South Alabama Saturday

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