The Nebraska football team has a clear direction they must head in order to keep their bowl hopes alive for the first time in years.
With five games remaining, Nebraska football has a legitimate chance of going to their first bowl game since 2016.
For Husker fans, 2016 seems like such a long time ago. Mike Riley was the coach, and quarterback Ryker Fyfe started for the Huskers in a game in which Tennessee beat Nebraska.
Since then, fans have endured several coaching changes and disappointing seasons.
Sitting at 4-3, Nebraska football is bowl-eligible with just two more wins.
In the next two matches—Purdue and Michigan State, the Huskers have a legitimate chance of obtaining victories. The firing of Mel Tucker has caused problems and distractions for the Spartans.
After the Purdue and Michigan State games, the Huskers face Maryland, Wisconsin, and Iowa.
Maryland will be a tough match, but Husker fans should circle the Wisconsin game.
Nebraska has not beaten Wisconsin since 2012. There have been close games, but Wisconsin continues to serve as the thorn in Nebraska football’s side.
We can argue that a win against Wisconsin leads to a bowl game. What better way to achieve a bowl invitation than with a win against a recent foe who has consistently beaten you?
Nebraska must rely on their rushing game and powerful defense to receive a bowl invite. While quarterback Heinrich Haarberg has shown potential, he has also made poor choices in his passing game. With time and experience, this should get better.
What Nebraska football must concentrate on is its vigorous defense. The Huskers must pound the ball in the rushing game, relying on Haarberg, Anthony Grant, and Emmett Johnson. Ball security is a must.
Badgers hold the ticket for Nebraska football?
Despite the offense not looking great, Haarberg made an impressive throw to freshman Malachi Coleman in the win over Northwestern. Look for Haarberg to target Coleman more often.
By all accounts, Nebraska could fail to perform for the rest of the season and lose bowl eligibility. However, the opportunity is in their hands to succeed, and here, we must trust Rhule and his approach.
Keep your eyes on the Wisconsin game. We could see a different outcome if Nebraska football continues its current path centered on physicality and confidence.