The Nebraska Cornhuskers have won nine or more games in each of Bo Pelini’s first six seasons, which is one of the main reasons whey they’ll go over their regular season win total.
Nebraska is one of only three schools to win nine or more games each year from 2008 to 2013, joining the Alabama Crimson Tide and Oregon Ducks in that category, which is important to consider when looking over its regular season win total of 8 at Pinnacle Sports
The Cornhuskers haven’t captured a conference championship since 1999, but that may change with the recent news of Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller potentially being lost for the season with a right shoulder injury.
Pelini has compiled a dismal 2-10 straight-up record against top 10 opponents, but the program may go the entire year without facing such an obstacle.
Taking Care of the Football
The Cornhuskers are minus-23 in turnover margin the past two seasons combined, with most of that disparity being attributed to shaky quarterback play in the final six games of the 2013 campaign, as they turned the ball over 13 more times than their opponents over that span.
Sophomore signal-caller Tommy Armstrong needs to take better care of the football in passing situations—something that’s certainly possible with Heisman Trophy candidate Ameer Abdullah in the backfield.
Abdullah is a big reason why the squad welcomes back 94.2 percent of its rushing production from a year ago, as he ran for 1,690 yards on 281 carries.
Moving Past the Growing Pains
Pelini was often frustrated by the play of his defense in the early going last year, but the early-season growing paints subsided—leading to one of the Big Ten’s top units during conference play.
Junior defensive end Randy Gregory grew into one of the nation’s top pass rushers, as he finished with 10.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss.
Overall, the group returns 12 defenders with starting experience, including four players with 10 or more career starts.
There’s no question that the Cornhuskers should be 2-0 before making their first road trip of the season to take on the Fresno State Bulldogs. I believe they’ll catch that non-conference opponent out of the Mountain West at an opportune time, as it needs to replace star quarterback Derek Carr.
Nebraska needs to win that game to potentially go over its number comfortably, as it could be listed as a underdog in all four of its conference road games versus Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa.
I’m going to recommend that readers play OVER the regular season win total of 8, as Pelini appears confident heading into his seventh year on campus, which will allow his roster to play loose on the football field.
College Football Pick: Over 8 regular season wins