The Nebraska Cornhuskers finished the 2015 college football season with a losing record (6-7), but their 37-29 victory over a good UCLA team in the Foster Farms Bowl has given us plenty of room for optimism going forward. Most of those losses came in heartbreaking fashion in close games, and now that this young team is growing up, a breakout season could be in order. Here's a game-by-game breakout of how we see their season playing out in 2016:
Week 1 - vs. Fresno State Bulldogs
Prediction: WIN (1-0)
Fresno State is supposed to be a fairly good team in the Mountain West this year, but the Huskers do have a distinct talent advantage.
Week 2 - vs. Wyoming Cowboys
Prediction: WIN (2-0)
Similar to Fresno, Wyoming is good enough to push Nebraska, but not good enough to pick up a road win over the Huskers.
Week 3 - vs. Oregon Ducks
Prediction: WIN (3-0)
Here's the first real challenge. Oregon is hoping to contend for a Pac-12 title, but have several key players to replace on defense and are breaking in a new quarterback in Dakota Prukop, a graduate transfer from Montana State. It will take time for the Ducks to break everyone in and really find a flow, making Nebraska the favorite in this one.
Week 4 - at Northwestern Wildcats
Prediction: WIN (4-0)
Northwestern is returning almost all of their key players on both sides of the ball, and this is a key battle in the Big Ten West race. This is a toss-up, but since the Huskers will be full of confidence after beating Oregon, I give them a close win.
Week 5 - vs. Illinois Fighting Illini
Prediction: WIN (5-0)
Illinois should make strides under new head coach Lovie Smith, but they're a long way off from contending. The Huskers will win this game easily.
Week 6 - BYE
Week 7 - at Indiana Hoosiers
Prediction: WIN (6-0)
Indiana hasn't been very good in quite some time, and with quarterback Nate Sudfeld now in the NFL, they have the challenge of breaking in a new quarterback. That means good things for Nebraska's defense.
Week 8 - vs. Purdue Boilermakers
Prediction: WIN (7-0)
Nebraska is looking for revenge after their embarrassing loss to Purdue last season, and they will come out playing inspired football against a lesser team.
Week 9 - at Wisconsin Badgers
Prediction: LOSS (7-1)
Camp Randall Stadium is always a tough place to play, as Wisconsin always plays at a different level at home. The Badgers should be a middling team in the Big Ten standings, but they certainly have the firepower to knock Nebraska from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Week 10 - at Ohio State Buckeyes
Prediction: LOSS (7-2)
The second tough road game in a row for the Huskers. Ohio State isn't just more talented, but they're also virtually unbeatable in The Horseshoe. Nebraska will suffer their second straight defeat in this one.
Week 11 - vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Prediction: WIN (8-2)
Minnesota's defense is pretty good, but they can't score. That's a problem.
Week 12 - vs. Maryland Terrapins
Prediction: WIN (9-2)
New head coach D.J. Durkin will have Maryland going in the right direction sooner rather than later, but they still have a long way to go. Nebraska wins in a blowout.
Week 13 - at Iowa Hawkeyes
Prediction: LOSS (9-3)
Iowa is clearly the favorite in the Big Ten West. They have more talent and experience than Nebraska, so while the Huskers should be able to keep it close, I see the Hawkeyes winning by 10 points.Back to the Nebraska Cornhuskers Newsfeed