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Firsthand Look: Corn Nation previews Nebraska

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Here’s what SB Nation’s Nebraska site wants us to know about the Buckeyes’ first opponent

Iowa v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

In preparation of the (super weird) 2020 college football season, the Big Ten blogs of SB Nation joined forces, providing each other with previews of our respective teams. We all answered the same questions with the goal of informing our opponents what they’re up against this season.

Here’s what Corn Nation’s managing editor, Jon Johnston, had to say about Ohio State’s first 2020 opponent, the Nebraska Cornhuskers.


Overview of the 2020 Cornhuskers

“I don’t see this year as being as much about athleticism as about will. Who led the fight to bring back Big Ten football?

Nebraska.

Nebraska wants to play this season more than anyone else besides Ohio State. That will go a lot further than most people think. It takes will to win. Nebraska has that will.

As a team, a group of athletes, Nebraska still needs to get more depth and a few more playmakers.”

The team’s key departures

JD Spielman, top receiver — transferred to TCU

Mohamed Barry, ILB — top tackler

Lamar Jackson – CB

The entire defensive line – Carlos Davis, Khalil Davis, Darrion Daniels

The team’s key returnees

Adrian Martinez, quarterback

Luke McCaffrey, quarterback – A McCaffrey who will take over if Martinez falters

Wan’Dale Robinson, receiver — all-around explosion better than Rondale Moore

Cameron Jurgens, center

Dedrick Mills, top returning running back

True freshmen or transfers that will make an instant impact

Kickers – Nebraska had to rely on a kicker from the soccer club who tried out to finish out the season last year. Any kicker who can kick will win games this season. We brought in about 30 of them.

Omar Manning – JUCO Wide Receiver – big bodied, 6-foot-4, 225 lb. Ranked best JUCO receiver in 2019.

Blaise Gunnerson, OLB – Nebraska needs OLBs like the country needs a Covid vaccine.

A receiver who has a pulse. Wan’Dale Robinson is the only returning receiver, so we will need to find pass catchers and how!

Biggest strength

“Besides will?

Despite the lack of a proven receiving corps, the offense will rise to be one of the best in the nation. The offensive line is much improved and finally has some depth. The quarterback position has great potential, as do the running backs.”

Biggest weakness

“The defense needs to find some more playmakers and add some depth. Those pieces are slowing coming together, but they’re not close to being a championship-caliber defense. Hell, they’re not very close to being an average defense, but one can hope.

We need OLBs’ pretty badly, and we need defensive linemen. A good rush end or OLB would go a long ways to making this lousy defense average.”

How does your fanbase feel about your coach and his staff?

“Everyone who calls themselves a Husker fan knows that Scott Frost is the right head coach for this program. Those that don’t are social media trolls and angry people whom no one loves. They are being hunted down and dealt with as I speak.

Fans have some problems with the defensive coordinator Erik Chinander. The defense must improve. First, we need better players. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then we’ll need a better defensive coordinator.”

The team’s MVP

Adrian Martinez will return to his freshman season form, proving that 2019 was the fluke performance as he rises once again to Heisman hype in 2021.”

Predict your team’s record, its best win, and a potential surprise loss

“A rational person might say 5-3. I am not a rational person. I see us at 8-1 with a lone loss to Ohio State to begin the season. The Buckeyes will annihilate everything in their path as they are the only team comparable to Nebraska with regards to will. The first week will look awful, then my beloved Huskers will bounce back, knocking off Wisconsin, then get some much-needed experience against Northwestern before surprising Penn State in Lincoln. The rest of the season will be more of the same, with predictions all around that Nebraska falls back into the losing column. It won’t happen.

Everyone expects Nebraska to lose now, so there is no such thing as an unexpected loss.”

What else should we know about your team this year?

“50% of the 155-man roster are freshmen and redshirt freshmen. There is a lot of youth, which is indicative of how badly Nebraska needed to turn over the roster. The Huskers are slowly rebuilding, but I expect them to surprise people this season.

Did I mention will?”


Thanks to Jon of Corn Nation for giving great insight on Nebraska ahead of the season opener. You can follow him on Twitter here and make sure to visit Corn Nation for complete coverage of the Huskers.