Season Report Card: Nebraska Cornhuskers
The Nebraska Cornhuskers entered 2013 with high hopes of their first Big Ten Championship, returning a ton of offensive talent between quarterback Taylor Martinez and stud running back Ameer Abdullah.
Unfortunately they didn’t account for the defense, which got off to an incredibly slow start—thus beginning the calling of Pelini’s head in Lincoln.
But a win over a top SEC opponent in a bowl rematch with Georgia secured at least one more year for Pelini, while giving Husker fans some promise for the immediate future.
Here are Nebraska’s final grades for the 2013 season:
If it weren’t for the major injuries across the offensive line and to Martinez—who played in just one Big Ten Conference game—and the ridiculous amount of turnovers (28), Nebraska could have avoided a third or fourth loss. The Cornhuskers found a way to score 31.9 points per game, but were inconsistent down the stretch, coming up with 21.8 over their last five.
There were times where the blackshirts looked more like miniskirts, nearly blowing the season opener to Wyoming, handing UCLA 504 yards and 41 points, and letting Minnesota and Iowa’s average offensive units combine for 72 points in two losses. The defense did have some decent outings, showing strong against Michigan, Penn State and Georgia late. Young talent brings hope that there will finally be a turnaround in 2014.
Despite posting some of the lowest defensive numbers in program history, Pelini was just able to escape the school’s first time without reaching nine wins since 1968. Nebraska fans nearly shook the planet with groans when they learned he would be retained, so we’ll see where he is at the end of 2014.
Nebraska is far removed from its glory days of the mid-90’s, but nine wins is nine wins and that’s what it’s come accustomed to now. It’s going to take a lot more for it to come away with a Big Ten title.
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