August 31: VS. Wyoming
Huskers lead series (6-0)
After taking a year off from the schedule Wyoming returns for the season opener. The Huskers will look to start off the season on a good note. The Cowboys struggled last season managing a lackluster four win season. Wyoming has a spread offense that could be challenging for a young Husker defense. The Cowboy offense is led by junior quarterback Brett Smith who threw for over 3,000 yards in 2012. This game could be close for a half due to the young inexperience on the defensive side of the football for the Huskers. With that being said though the Wyoming defense should wear down to Nebraska’s high powered offense. Look for a season opening win out of the Huskers in this one and a great opportunity to get some younger guys playing time.
All Time Record: Huskers lead series (6-0)
Game Prediction: Huskers win big
September 7: VS. Southern Miss
Huskers lead the series (3-1)
The Southern Miss Golden Eagles are visiting Lincoln for the second straight season. 2012 was a season to forget in Hattiesburg. Southern Miss went winless. Their miserable season including a 49 to 20 thumping courtesy of the Huskers. They have a completely new staff headlined by former Oklahoma State Offensive Coordinator Todd Monken taking the helm as head coach. Southern Miss has talent on the roster, the team is just two years removed from 12 win season. Like Wyoming,The Golden Eagles will test the a young group of Blackshirts. Despite an improved offense. The Golden Eagles chances are slim.. They do not have the look of a team that can keep up with the Huskers. Just like last years matchup, expect the Huskers to pull away in the second half. This should be another example of Nebraska’s offense wearing down the opposition.
Game Prediction: Huskers by a few scores
September 14: VS. UCLA
Huskers lead the series (6-5)
UCLA hosted the Huskers last year in what was the first year in a home and home series. In that game the Bruins were very successful on the offensive side of the football as they gained over 600 yards of offense in a 36 to 30 victory. This year the Huskers hope to get revenge on the Bruins for embarrassing them on national television. It won’t be easy to slow down a talented Bruin offense. UCLA has several returning starters on offense, including redshirt sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley who had a field day against the Huskers in Pasadena. The Huskers best chance to win this game is for Taylor Martinez and the Huskers offense outlasting UCLA in a shootout. scoreboard.
Game Prediction: Slight edge for The Huskers with home field advantage playing a part.
September 21: VS. South Dakota State
Huskers lead the series (2-0)
South Dakota State returns after a two year absence from Nebraska’s schedule. The Jack Rabbits may be an FCS team but they are a formidable.. South Dakota State played in the FCS Playoffs last season losing in the Championship Game to North Dakota State. The Huskers cannot repeat what they did in 2010 against the Jack Rabbits. Coach Pelini and staff would like to see a better overall performance than that of a 17 to 3 victory. I believe this game will be close for maybe a quarter at most, with the talent of the Huskers superior talent shining through. . Expect a blowout win for the Huskers in front of their ruckus home crowd.
Game Prediction: Expect a blowout win for the Huskers in front of their ruckus home crowd.
October 5: VS. Illinois
Huskers the all time series (7-2-1)
The Fighting Illini of Illinois was the worst team in the B1G last season. This year there might be a slight improvement, but chances are they will remain in the cellar. The spread offense will be led by senior quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase who is a dual threat. He could give the Blackshirts some problems as he fits the mold of quarterbacks that they have struggled with most. The Illini defense struggled mightily on defense last year against the strong teams like Ohio State and Michigan. The Huskers have an offense that is equal or even better than those two teams, so look out for the Huskers to light up the scoreboard.
Game Prediction: Over by halftime
October 12: @ Purdue
The Boilermakers lead the all time series (1-0)
The Huskers finally take to the road in their sixth game of the season. They travel to West Lafayette, IN to take on the Purdue Boilermakers. Purdue has a completely new coaching staff but they have an experienced football team. The Boilermakers are known for being stingy and tough to beat at home. Purdue has one thing working against them , a reputation of having an inconsistent defense. With a defense like that going up against an offensive juggernaut like Nebraska this game could get out of hand. Expect the Huskers to be in a tight one here and escape by a narrow margin.
Game Prediction: Huskers in a squeaker.
October 21: @Minnesota
Gophers lead the all time series (29-22-2)
After the Huskers second bye week they travel to face the Golden Gophers of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The Gophers are improving greatly under Coach Jerry Kill. Last season the Gophers went to a bowl game for the first time in three years. Kill’s Gophers are expected to make another big jump this season. I still don’t see them challenging the Huskers here. In each of the last two matchups between Nebraska and Minnesota the Huskers have won by a combined score of 79 to 28. That tells us that the Huskers still have a talent gap over the Gophers. The Gophers are improving but they’re not all the way there yet.
Game Prediction: Huskers win by two or three touchdowns.
November 2: VS. Northwestern
Huskers lead the all time series (4-2)
Northwestern is the dark horse of the B1G and rightfully so after winning 10 games last season. The Wildcats capped off their season with a win over Mississippi State in the Tax Slayer Gator Bowl. I feel like this is the third toughest game on Nebraska’s schedule behind UCLA and Michigan. The Huskers must be careful here because we have seen the explosive Northwestern offense at work in the past two seasons. If the Huskers don’t see improvement from their young defense this could be a long game with a lot of points for the Wildcats. Northwesterns’ defense is experienced with several upperclassmen but they haven’t shown the strength to stop powerful offenses. In the last two seasons Nebraska and Northwestern games have been decided by a combined four points. Expect another exciting thriller this year with a game that could go either way.
Game Prediction: Huskers by a hangnail.
November 9: @ Michigan
Wolverines lead the all time series (4-3-1)
This is by far the toughest game on the schedule for good reason. Ann Arbor is a very tough place to play and this is the type of game that Coach Pelini and staff haven’t been successful with. Michigan has a solid defense and an offense that could put several points on the board. The Huskers greatest chance is to win the turnover battle and score points on Big Blue. The young defense will have been greatly challenged by this point in the season. This also is the biggest game for the season as the B1G legends division could very well be decided by this game.
Game Prediction: The Huskers face a tough challenge here. With this game being on the road I don’t see the Huskers pulling off the victory.
November 16: VS. Michigan State:
Huskers lead the all time series (7-0)
The Huskers have never lost to the Spartans in seven matchups. This year shouldn’t be any different. The Huskers and Spartans on paper seem to be close with talent but the Huskers have an advantage at some key areas. Offensively speaking the Spartans don’t measure up to what the Huskers have especially at the skill positions. The Spartans have a good defense but even they couldn’t stop the Huskers last year. In 2012 Nebraska ran for nearly 300 yards against the team who was thought to have the best defense in the B1G.
Game Prediction: Expect the Huskers to win by a couple of scores.
November 23: @ Penn State
Huskers lead the all time series (8-7)
The Huskers face another challenge here with a tough road environment in State College, PA. The Nittany Lions will be a formidable foe on the road but I expect them to struggle since they are so young. Since the team is in year two of NCAA sanctions, I expect them to struggle with depth. The Huskers may have may struggle at Beaver Stadium, but in the end they should handle this contest.
Game Prediction: Huskers win by a comfortable margin.
November 29: VS Iowa
Husker lead the all time series (28-12-2)
In the regular season finale the Huskers take on the Hawkeyes for the third annual Heroes Game. The Hawkeyes just barely managed to win four games last season. This year figures to be more of the same with the Hawkeyes having one of the most inexperienced offenses in the B1G. The defense always plays well under Coach Farentz, but they have had their struggled against the Huskers rushing attack. Expect the Huskers to hand the Hawkeyes a healthy dose of ground and pound.
Game Prediction: Huskers win easy.
Season Record Predictions
The best case scenario for the Huskers in the 2013 season is an 11-1 tied with Michigan for the legends division crown. If Nebraska loses in Ann Arbor to Michigan they wont play Ohio State for the B1G Championship in Indianapolis. Even though it will be another season without winning a conference championship the Huskers would make their long awaited return to a BCS bowl game. That game could be The Rose Bowl if Ohio State runs the table in 2013.
The worst case scenario for the Huskers in the 2013 season is going 8-4 and ending up finishing tied for third in the B1G legends division with Michigan State, with Michigan and Northwestern in the top two spots. The season starts with a 3-1 mark with a heart breaking defeat to UCLA in non conference. Conference play starts on a positive note but things fall apart to a loss at Purdue. After a win at Minnesota the Huskers could fall to Northwestern at home and Michigan on the road. The Huskers wrap up the season with three close victories against Michigan State, Penn State, and Iowa. The Huskers end up going to Florida for the third straight year. This time for the Tax Slayer Gator Bowl, failing to make a BCS Bowl again.