Odds and Schedule
Nebraska comes into 2014 having six straight Four-loss seasons, which is an incredible feat to think about and it wouldn’t be surprising if they finished with that mark again. While their skill positions are filled, the Cornhuskers take a hit on the offensive line and secondary.
The Cornhuskers are listed at odds of 80 to 1 to win the National Championship and their over/under win total is 8.5. Those odds are available at 5 dimes sportsbook.
Tommy Armstrong Jr. is back at quarterback, although that doesn’t mean a whole lot for this squad except that he has experience. After Taylor Martinez dealt with injury after injury, it was Armstrong that started eight Games last year, finishing with an unsatisfactory nine TDs and eight INTs. The good news is that running back Ameer Abdullah (1,690 yards, nine TDs) and wide receiver Kenny Bell are back. Abdullah is an All-American and Bell has been one of Nebraska’s top receivers since he was a freshman.
However, the line loses five players that combined for 120 career starts. While only one starter returns, it is comforting that all of the projected starters for this year are all upperclassmen. If the line doesn’t lose a step, neither does this offense because they love to run.
Nebraska’s defense was much better in 2013 than in year’s past so hopefully they can improve on that, as they were often inconsistent. They gave up 38 points to Iowa at home, then only 19 to Georgia in the bowl Game.
All-Conference performer Randy Gregory is the one to know from the defense after racking up 19 tackles for loss in his first season out of junior college. They return plenty of experience at linebacker as well with Michael Rose and Zaire Anderson. Nebraska’s secondary lost some of their better players, but return two seniors to the lineup so the fall-off won’t be that much if there is any.
Nebraska and Bo Pelini had a tumultuous season last year that saw them go from Big Ten contenders to three Games behind Michigan State in first. This year should be a little more promising as they get to play in the West division. Unfortunately for them, their road Schedule isn’t pretty.
The Cornhuskers start with a solid (yet depleted) Fresno State squad in non-Conference road play, and then have to travel to Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa. All of those Games could easily be losses if Nebraska can’t get consistency from their quarterback. Other than that, Miami (FL) will be a tough draw at home and the rest of their home Games should be wins.
If Armstrong shows any improvement, we may get a taste of that in the first three Games because Nebraska should let him test his arm early on against weaker defenses. If he struggles, that could mean trouble against the Hurricanes in their Fourth Game. With a solid defense and running Game, the Cornhuskers are tough to beat, but without great QB play, can’t be considered one of the Big Ten’s best.
2014 Nebraska Football Schedule
Aug. 30 vs. FAU
Sep. 6 vs. McNeese State
Sep. 13 at Fresno State
Sep. 20 vs. Miami (FL)
Sep. 27 vs. Illinois
Oct. 4 at Michigan State
Oct. 18 at Northwestern
Oct. 25 vs. Rutgers
Nov. 1 vs. Purdue
Nov. 15 at Wisconsin
Nov. 22 vs. Minnesota
Nov. 28 at Iowa