The Minnesota Golden Gophers begin their final road trip of the season against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. The Cornhuskers were disappointed with their conference record, but finished on a high-note by beating the Georgia Bulldogs in a Gator Bowl.
2013 Record: 9-4 (5-3 Big Ten)
2013 Offensive Statistics: 31.9 points scored per game, 412.4 total offensive yards per game, 215.7 rushing yards per game, 196.7 passing yards per game, 29 turnovers, 17 sacks allowed
2013 Defensive Statistics: 24.8 points allowed per game, 370.8 total offensive yards allowed per game, 156.2 rushing yards allowed per game, 214.6 passing yards allowed per game, 18 turnovers forced, 39 sacks
Head Coach: Bo Pelini (58-24 in six seasons as a head coach, all at Nebraska)
Key Offensive Players: RB Ameer Abdullah, WR Kenny Bell, TE Cethan Carter, RB imani Cross, WR Jordan Westerkamp
Key Defensive Players: LB Zaire Anderson, S Corey Cooper, DE Randy Gregory, CB Josh Mitchell, LB Michael Rose, LB David Santos
Outlook: The good news is that a lot of last season’s key parts are back. The bad news is that their starting quarterback and four starting offensive linemen are gone.
The Huskers are expected to rebound and challenge for a spot in the Big Ten title game. Inexperience at quarterback and on the offensive line may be the reason they fail to match those expectations.
The strength of the Huskers is going to be their defense. They have a few of the conference’s best at their positions in Gregory, Santos and Cooper. Gregory is a candidate to be the conference's defensive player of the year and one of the top picks in the 2015 NFL draft.
The Huskers could win the West Division title, but a lot of things need to right for it to happen.