Nebraska recruiting notebook: Brendan Radley-Hiles impresses at The Opening

Nebraska Football 2017 Match Preview Prediction and Players: Nebraska is one of the fascinating programs to me this year. I have no idea what to expect from Mike Riley’s Cornhuskers. With a turnover in virtually every unit — new quarterback, new starting running back, new Nos. 2-4 receivers, the new starting center, top two tacklers are gone on the defensive line and at linebacker, new starting safety/centerfielder — this program becomes Riley’s two years after he took over for Bo Pelini. The two-deep will be filled by either Riley recruits or Pelini recruits who have spent a majority of their careers under Riley.

Through two years, Riley has proven almost nothing. His first NU team was a dreadfully unlucky 6-7, losing six one-possession games with some of the worst turnovers luck in the country (minus-4.8 points per game). His second team was a wonderfully lucky 9-4, winning three one-possession games with some of the better turnovers luck in the country (plus-3.8 points per game).

Nebraska Football 2017 Match Preview and Prediction

Nebraska Football 2017

You could make a case that the 2016 team was worse than 2015’s. S&P+ did, ranking the Huskers 46th last year, 10 spots lower than their previous iteration. The defense improved, but an experienced offense got worse in categories not based on luck. It was a successful year, in that NU got back to the nine-win range it’d grown tired of (among other things) with Pelini. But the team was limited, as evidenced by any game against a good team.

Nebraska Football 2017, Riley is revered as one of the best people in football. He didn’t need long to heal some divisions caused by the cranky Pelini, and the first line on his résumé (“Built a consistent program at Oregon State”) will always be impressive. But he’s 15-11 in two years in Lincoln. Over his last seven years as a head coach, he’s 44-44. Over his final four years at Oregon State, he fielded one top-35 team. He has not yet done so in Lincoln. He’s lost back-to-back games four times at NU — Pelini did that four times in six years. And Riley’s projected to go 6-6 this fall.

Nebraska Football 2017 Match Schedule

S&P+ ranks Nebraska 42nd with a projected win total of 6.3. The Huskers are the projected favorite in seven games. The defense could go from good to very good if a new coordinator hire takes, but you could understand why the offense would be projected to stumble, given the returning production levels. Still, it’s not like another mediocre season is set in stone. Riley and offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf have their guys on offense now. They’ll start a quarterback they recruited (likely Tulane transfer Tanner Lee). The offensive line, which offered 33 starts to sophomores last year and had to start eight different guys, might be experienced and stable. Recruiting has been solid (two-year ranking: 22nd), so while the skill position corps is undergoing massive turnover, the replacements will likely be pretty touted guys.

It’s easy to see why projections would be skeptical, but it’s also easy to see the potential. The Huskers will likely start either 4-1 or 5-0 before welcoming Wisconsin — a team they nearly beat last year — to town. Momentum could drive a great year, or it could set up another “great start, mediocre finish” story like last year’s (and 2014’s, 2012’s, 2011’s, etc.). With almost no projected senior starters on offense and few outside of the secondary on defense, this could be when the seeds of success are sown. Or it could be the year that gets Riley on the top of Hot Seat lists heading into 2018. I have no idea. Source Link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *