Nebraska Win Total Prediction
The 2018 college football season didn’t go as Scott Frost and the Nebraska Cornhuskers were hoping, but a rally toward the end has many expecting better things for 2019.
Frost saw the 2018 season start with six straight losses before Nebraska won four of its final six games to get to 4-8. Their last two losses were by a combined eight points against Ohio State and Iowa on the road. According to oddsmakers, the Cornhuskers come into the 2019 season with an over/under of 8 wins. The over is listed at -120, while the under is at +100.
Frost enters his second season as head coach at his alma mater. He spent two years at Central Florida, going 19-7 with the Knights. He had a losing record his first year (6-7), but came back with a 13-0 season in 2017 before moving to Nebraska.
Nebraska had a potent offense in 2018, as the Huskers were 26th nationally in total yards at 456.2 per game while scoring 30 points per contest. They had a great balance of run and pass, putting up 247.2 yards per game in the air and 209 yards per game on the ground. Frost utilized freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez last season and he showed a lot of promise by the end of the year. Martinez threw for 2,617 yards with 17 touchdowns and eight interceptions while rushing for 629 yards and eight scores. Nebraska does lose its leading rusher in Devine Ozigbo, but returns sophomore back Maurice Washington, who rushed for 455 yards and three scores as a freshman. The team also lost leading receiver Stanley Morgan Jr., but JD Spielman returns after catching 66 passes for 818 yards and a team-high eight touchdowns. Spielman will be a junior this fall. Up front, Nebraska should be solid, as three linemen return, as well as tight end Jack Stoll, who was third on the team in receiving.
Defensively, Nebraska was in the lower tier of college football. The Huskers allowed 31.2 points and 433.6 yards per game. They gave up nearly 200 rushing yards per contest as well while allowing 237.8 passing yards per game. Nebraska has 12 defensive players returning that had at least one start in 2018. Among the returning leaders is Mohamed Barry, who led the team in tackles with 112 while adding 11 tackles for loss. In the secondary, Dicaprio Bootle returns after racking up 15 pass break-ups in 2018.
Nebraska has a manageable non-conference schedule, as it hosts South Alabama and Northern Illinois while making a road trip to Colorado. When it comes to Big Ten play, Nebraska gets to host Ohio State, Northwestern, Indiana, Wisconsin and Iowa. The Huskers make road trips to Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue and Maryland.
The Cornhuskers have an advantage of having their toughest games at home this season. They get Ohio State, Northwestern, Iowa and Wisconsin all in Lincoln. Nebraska was playing as well as anyone at the end of last season and I think that momentum will carry over this year. Frost brings a lot of enthusiasm to the program and he showed at UCF that he can make a big jump in his second year. The Nebraska offense should remain very strong and I would suspect a second year under Frost should have the defense making some improvements as well. Given the Big Ten West isn’t a deep division, I like Nebraska to make the jump to about 9 wins this season. Martinez will be one of the most productive QB’s in the nation.
College Football Prediction: Nebraska Over 8 Wins -120