Photo courtesy of Nebraska athletics
Roughly two months separate us from the start of Nebraska football.
Year No. 3 of the Scott Frost campaign has fans in Lincoln excited. Hopefully, expectations are controlled after last season’s 5-7 finish.
The Cornhuskers bring back roughly 15 starters from the 2019 season. The loss of JD Spielman will hurt, but the continual pursuit of getting that true ‘Husker football culture back is well underway. In a 12-part series, we’ll be giving an early-season preview of each game.
Naturally, it begins with the season opener against Purdue. The teams have split the eight all-time meetings with the Boilermakers winning the last two.
Purdue will come to Lincoln on Sept. 5. The Boilermakers finished 4-8 last season.
Why Nebraska will win
Nebraska opening the season at home is a huge plus. The Cornhuskers have the experience up front on the offensive line and that should be a strength all year long.
Pairing that offensive line with the playmaking ability of wide receiver Wan’Dale Robinson, running back Dedrick Mills, and quarterback Adrian Martinez is something special waiting to happen. The Huskers also possess the better linebacker crew and secondary. Watching two high-flying offenses with playmakers like this should result in an interesting game.
The key is secondary play and limiting mistakes. Nebraska should have the advantage in each category.
Why Purdue will win
Purdue head coach Jeff Brohm has posted a 2-0 record against Frost in head-to-head match-ups. Purdue possesses the weapons, especially at receiver, to knock the Cornhuskers off.
David Bell, Rondale Moore, Jackson Anthrop, Milton Wright, and company should keep the Huskers busy in the secondary all game long. Also, the Boilermakers will post one of the better defensive fronts in the conference this year.
Lorenzo Neal and George Karlaftis are a nasty 1-2 combo on one side of the ball. Martinez needs to restore confidence quickly in 2020, and if one team can wreck that at the point of attack, it is Purdue’s front.
The good news is that the Cornhuskers are strong at positions that line up across from Purdue’s strong points. When flipping the script, Nebraska has several areas to expose Purdue. Pair that point with Nebraska being at home and it will prove to be too much. Turnovers will be the key in this one and Purdue will commit one too many.
Prediction: Nebraska 38, Purdue 24