Okay, 2012 is a HUGE year. We have 9 starters returning back on offense and 8 on defense, including our front four, and plenty of depth on both lines, which has been a problem in past seasons. Pelini has all of his recruits in place. The schedule is very favorable.
So what record will the 2012 Huskers have? Any predictions? And why does the idea of having Southern Miss come to Lincoln give me nightmares...like something horrible from the past?
Below are my lineup projections for next year.
QB - Taylor Martinez - Jr
RB - Rex Burkhead - Sr
WR - Kenny Bell - So
WR - Quincy Enunwa - Jr
WR - Jamal Turner - So / Jordan Westerkamp - Fr
TE - Ben Cotton - Sr
OT - Jeremiah Sirles - Jr
OT - Tyler Moore - So
OG - Andrew Rodriguez - Jr
OG - Spencer Long - So
OC - Cole Pensick - Jr
DE - Jason Ankrah - Jr
DE - Cameron Meredith - Sr
DT - Chase Rome - So / Jay Guy - So / Todd Peat - Fr
DT - Baker Steinkuhler - Sr / Thad Randle - Jr
LB - Will Compton - Sr
LB - David Santos - So
CB - Mohammed Seisay - Jr
CB - Andrew Green - Jr / Ciante Evans - Jr
SS - Daimion Stafford - Sr
FS - PJ Smith - Sr / Corey Cooper - So
NI - Justin Blatchford - Sr
Here's my way to early predictions (I'm nervous about Southern Miss as well) as far as next years probable losses:
1. Loss to Ohio State
2.Loss to Michigan
3.Loss to Southern Mississippi
Three reasons why I'm more optimistic about this team: 1.) Experience 2.) Depth 3.) Low expectations.
Yes we lost Crick, David, and Dennard, but Crick was out most of the season. David's loss hurts the most, and as far as Dennard, his loss hurts as well, but I think someone will step up. The fact is, by the end of next season, regardless of record, there will new stars we'll be talking about.
My concern is with the pass rush and overall play of the front four. It HAS to improve from this last season if this team is going to go anywhere. Right now, I don't see any player that will create fear or intimidation. Hopefully that changes.
Low expectations are good, because there is no pressure and Pelini teams crack under pressure.
Tomko, you are so right. I think David will be the biggest loss. He big for the front 4 was always in place side to side and helped a bunch in the passes. I was not too impressed with Crick when he played this year. I know he was double teamed but that never seemed to help free anyone up and he rarely found the ball or caused any chaos. Dennard played well but I don't think he was able to be a leader or help or influence those around him. I expectations are real low right now. This does not look like a very big or good class that will sign.
* Conference Games
9 wins again maybe 10.
My quick take:
USM - Narrow win.
UCLA - Win. Mora is new coach. They have unrealized talent.
Arkansas State - Win but don't underestimate them with Gus Malzahn as the new HC.
TBA - Win.
Wisconsin - Loss. BADgers still have great talent with return of Montee Ball but can be beaten outslide of Camp Randall.
OSU - Tough road loss. Could be a "W"
Northwestern - Win by a TD.
Michigan - Win. Most overrated team in the BIG.
MSU - Loss. Best team in the BIG.
PSU - Win
Minnesota - Win
Iowa - Loss if they can replace Coker. Win if they can't. This is a rivalry game and the Hawkeyes will be hungry. Always very tough in Iowa City.
Overall 8-4/4-4. Not good enough. Bo needs to get Rex some help by sharing 20%-30% of the carries.
Defense seems to be lacking a playmaker.
Special teams will be the strength of the team.
"Bo needs to get Rex some help by sharing 20%-30% of the carries."
Aaron Green was a highly recruited player and we had to steal Heard from West Virginia. Why do you think we did not play them very much? It almost felt like we wasted at least one of their red shirts. LSU rotates like 4 backs and Bama always had a solid 2-back rotation even with Ingram and Richardson. Oregon rotates backs as well.
I think we'd be better off adding some fresh legs in the mix, no offense to Rex. I can't imagine he can continue with this type of load and not get injured.
I agree Tomko.
It was crazy to see him getting 35+ carries. Those days are gone.
The great teams rotate 2 or 3 backs.