Preview magazines have been on shelves for a while now (with more to come). It’s about time to give Husker football’s foes a look over this summer before drilling down into their core come kickoff. Alas, the Pelini Bowl wasn’t meant to be as Bo’s brother Carl stepped down after being confronted about drug use.
Charlie Partridge is going to have to do as Carl’s substitute while we wonder what could’ve been.
Junior Jaquez Johnson will be leading an attack that put up just under 38 points per game in the Owls’ final four bouts. That’s not expected against their first two opponents as they travel to Lincoln, NE and Tuscaloosa, AL.
However, considering Wyoming got the drop on the Huskers last year, the employed Pelini’s defense needs to clamp down on Johnson and company early and often.
FAU may not match up with Nebraska and Alabama in terms of total talent, but they have enough weapons to keep things interesting. Sophomore running back Jay Warren showed big play ability, and with Jonathan Wallace gone, he’ll battle Tony Moore for the spotlight.
Another player who received All-Conference honorable mention last season is senior wide receiver Williams Dukes. A favorite target of Johnson’s, Dukes averaged nearly 16 yards per catch and snagged six touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Owls, tight end Nexon Dorvilus who hauled in the same number has departed.
On the other end of the ball, if Florida Atlantic is going to give the Big Red any trouble, defensive back D’Joun Smith is going to lead the charge.
A potential C-USA Defensive Player of the Year candidate, he chalked up seven interceptions in 2013, taking one to the house.
What does this mean for the Big Red? Smith likely gets paired up against Kenny Bell or Taariq Allen, allowing FAU’s coaches to throw packages at a young quarterback that they’ve never seen. Senior linebacker Andrae Kirk is another defender Tim Beck must account for.
Don’t take the Owls’ defense for granted. They may not prevent Nebraska from scoring, but they can (and will) force turnovers. It’s game one, everyone’s sloppy.
While the Huskers look to legacy Drew Brown to take over the…er…EARN the kicking duties, FAU calls upon a freshman of their own in Landon Scheer. Second team C-USA punter Sean Kelly is back to boot while defensive back Reggie Brown will have to be corralled on returns.
Bottom Line: Florida Atlantic’s not a team to look beyond. Frankly, the Huskers need to look at every team as equals. On paper, Nebraska’s defense should be able to hold the Owls for a two to three score victory. However, Wyoming was supposed to be a walk in the park last year, too.
Speaking of which, the Owls travel to Laramie, WY to take on Craig Bohl’s first squad on Sept 20. An intriguing side game if you’ve got another TV/stream available.
Be sure to like Husker Corner on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, snag the FanSided app (iOS) (Android) and subscribe to our newsletter below to keep plugged into Husker Nation from all over the globe.