After Mike Riley’s introductory year as head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, his team is flush with young talent and is more experienced. The defense, a laughingstock of the 2015 season, now sports a linebacker corps that’s one of the deepest units on the team. The secondary has two separate coaches working with the cornerbacks and safeties to improve on one of the worst rankings in the nation last year.
The Huskers want to show everyone that 2015 was a fluke. They are intent on producing a steady season-long steamroller in which they flatten opponents, one game after another.
Fresno State, a two-time recurring opponent from past schedules, is up first — maybe it’s worth feeling a little bad for the Bulldogs.
The game starts at 7 p.m. local time under the lights, and Memorial Stadium will be full of Nebraska fans who’ve been starving for live action for months. The Huskers have been looking forward to decking players in the mouth who aren’t wearing scarlet and cream.
Let’s face it: Unless Nebraska suffers from a rash of injuries and maybe divine intervention that works in the Bulldogs’ favor, the Huskers are chalking up a win. However, Las Vegas says that the Big Red should not only crush the Bulldogs into dust, but by 29 points. It’s not really hard to tell where that logic comes from, either.
Fresno State head coach Tim DeRuyter signed three new coordinators for the upcoming season. Eric Kiesau, a former offensive analyst for Alabama who helped offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin increase the Crimson Tide’s tempo, will take over offensive duties. Lorenzo Ward takes over the reins of the defense after spending the past seven seasons as defensive coordinator at South Carolina. Dave Ungerer has taken over special teams plus running backs after holding the same dual spots at Utah State the past three years.
Should Nebraska fans expect much in the way of opposition from Fresno State? No. Why would they? The local scribes at the Fresno Bee have already written off the Bulldogs.
Thanks to everyone pointing out just how miserable this Californian football team is, the pressure’s on the Huskers to make Fresno State look as bad as billed regardless of this being the first game of the season.
The Huskers’ passing attack alone should be good for 28 points. Then consider what Nebraska can do on the ground behind captain-center Dylan Utter and a young but extremely talented offensive line.
This should be a scrimmage for the Big Red, an opportunity to fill up the stands and cause those in charge of pyrotechnics to bring a few more charges just in case.
Yes, the Huskers struggled in 2015. However, Riley and company are moving forward. They’re starting the season much like Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out begins your boxing career against a nervous nelly named Glass Joe who’s too timid to throw a punch.
The onus is on Nebraska to put Fresno State on the mat and give those who took Nebraska and the points a reason to celebrate. The Cornhuskers are a more solidified unit than their upcoming opponent. It’s time to look the part.