The Nebraska Cornhuskers appear in the Franchise Top 25 at number 22.
Scott Frost’s inaugural campaign leading his alma mater did not go to plan, yet the expectations for Nebraska are high around the nation.
Quarterback Adrian Martinez returns for his second season running Frost’s explosive offense. In his true freshman season, Martinez threw for 2,617 yards on 64.6 percent completions, and added another 847 yards on the ground.
“He’s number four right now on the Vegas Heisman Trophy board,” Scott Callahan of Husker Online told the MMM Ranch. “He’s going to put up monster numbers.”
“They’re very excited to see what he is going to do now a year into it.”
Martinez looked especially dangerous down the stretch last season, as the Cornhusker offense averages 36.6 points per game in their final six contests of the season.
With tight end Jack Stoll and receiver J.D. Spielman returning, Martinez should have plenty of targets across the field to produce.
“This will be Speilman’s third year as a starter. He has about 900 yards as a freshman, and 1,000 yards as a sophomore, so he’ll be the feature guy,” Callahan said.
Offensive line play improved for the Cornhuskers under Frost last year, but the team only returns 45 starts across the front line to start this season.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers claim the 22 spot in the Franchise Top 25 Countdown. https://t.co/kn1GVsBHVl
— The Franchise Sports (@FranchiseOK) July 25, 2019
The Blackshirt Defense appears to be on the road to recovery.
After one of the worst defensive seasons in Nebraska history under Bob Diaco in 2017, Erik Chinander joined Frost from UCF and led his defense to immediate improvements.
The defense returns six starters, but also returned quality depth at every level that saw playing time last season.
Linebacker Mohamed Barry returns as the leader of the defense. Earning third team all Big 10 honors last season, Barry tallied 112 tackles with 2 sacks and 9 tackles for loss.
Dicaprio Bootle was also an all Big 10 third team selection for Nebraska at corner last season. Bootle led the team with 15 pass break ups last season.
Four out of five defensive lineman from last year’s rotation also return for Chinander, and Nebraska will add the services of former Oklahoma State Cowboy Darrion Daniels in what should be a solid unit.
“They’ve been able to get some good lineman on the defense to get back to the Blackshirt feel,” Callahan said.
Nebraska’s schedule should allow the dream resurgence in Lincoln to become reality.
The non-conference schedule is highlighted by a Big 8 reunion with Colorado in Boulder.
Nebraska hosts both Northwestern and Wisconsin in matchups which should shape the Big 10 West this season, and the Cornhuskers will also play hosts to Ohio State at the end of September.
Catch up on the rest of the Top 25: