Nebraska football game-by-game preview

nebraska football

The Big Ten regular season is set to kick off in less than a month. Will this third iteration of the schedule bode well for the Cornhuskers? With Ohio State knocking at the door, it’s time to shape up or lose 63-3 again. This game-by-game preview covers Nebraska football and its 2020 campaign.

The 2020 Nebraska football schedule kicks off Oct. 24 at noon ET on FOX.

Nebraska at #6 Ohio State - Oct. 24

When looking at Nebraska’s schedule, you’d be convinced it was punishment for all the chirping it did over the past month. If you were asked to make a list of the toughest teams to open the season against, Ohio State should be at or near the top of that list. Ohio State will be no pushover. The Buckeyes lost to Clemson in the 2019 College Football Playoff semifinals. Led by Heisman finalist Justin Fields, this Buckeyes team is primed for a run at the national title.

Prediction: Ohio State 48, Nebraska 10

#19 Wisconsin at Nebraska - Oct. 31

Halloween will be even scarier as Wisconsin comes to town. Since joining the Big Ten, Nebraska’s record has been 1-8 against Wisconsin with the only victory coming in 2012 in Lincoln. Whether it’s a missed field goal or an overtime loss, the Huskers continue to find ways to lose to the Badgers. During the offseason, the Badgers lost star running back Jonathan Taylor to the NFL. Taylor rushed for over 2,000 yards of offense in 2019. According to BadgersWire, players who accounted for a total of 2,291 rushing yards, 1449 receiving yards and 37 total touchdowns either graduated or went to the pros. Wisconsin isn’t known for its high powered offenses. The Badgers’ strength has always come from the defensive side of the ball. Expect Adrian Martinez to look to the air. This game will be closer than expected, but the headaches with Wisconsin continue for the Huskers.

Prediction: Wisconsin 31, Nebraska 21

Nebraska at Northwestern - Nov. 7

Six of the last 11 meetings between these two teams have been decided by a touchdown or less with Nebraska winning by a field goal in last year’s contest. Nebraska holds the upper hand in the series 8-5. Northwestern, the Big Ten West champs of 2018, ended 2019 with a 3-9 record. The Wildcats scored 15 or fewer points in seven of those contests. The Huskers have the talent to blow this Northwestern squad out of Evanston, Illinois. Expect Nebraska to play down to the Wildcats’ level. It’s just another Northwestern vs. Nebraska game with the Huskers heading back to Lincoln with a victory.

Prediction: Nebraska 17, Northwestern 14

#10 Penn State at Nebraska - Nov. 11

These two teams only met four times since the Huskers joined the Big Ten with Nebraska winning three of those. This is a Penn State team that could very well win the East. All roads run through Ohio State and if the Nittany Lions want any chance at making the playoff, they will have to pull off the upset against their divisional rival. Nebraska will be playing with a chip on its shoulder this season. Penn State could very well overlook this game, and a scary scene could meet the Nittany Lions. I smell an UPSET! Socially distanced parties will take place in Lincoln, Nebraska on Nov. 11.

Prediction: Nebraska 34, Penn State 28

Illinois at Nebraska - Nov. 21

Nebraska has dominated the series with Illinois. Last year’s hard-fought victory over the Illini ended in a 42-38 victory for Big Red. Lovie Smith’s squad overachieved last year, ending 2019 with a 6-6 record and a win over No. 6 Wisconsin. Expect Illinois to continue to improve in 2020. Nebraska rides its moment after its upset win over Penn State winning in style.

Prediction: Nebraska 42 Illinois 28

Nebraska at Iowa - Nov. 28

From the outside looking in, this game might look like any other on the Nebraska football schedule. Ask any fan of the opposing schools and you’ll understand there is bad blood. Iowa dominated the series in recent times winning five of the last six. Since Scott Frost showed up in Lincoln, the Hawkeyes have only won by a combined six total points. This year may be a little shaky in Iowa City as offseason issues caused a rift between coach and player. Bill Moos will make a push to play this game on Black Friday. Nebraska has gotten tired of losing to the Hawkeyes. It’s a repeat of last year’s contest, but this year the good guys win on a field goal.

Prediction: Nebraska 24, Iowa 21

Nebraska at Purdue - Dec. 5

With Rondale Moore opting back in for the 2020 season, this Purdue team shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone. A possible darkhorse in the West? Purdue will be coming into this game after massacring Rutgers. The Boilermakers should be well-rested and dangerous. Nebraska may be looking ahead to Minnesota, and a possible trap game could be looming in West Lafayette, Indiana. On paper, this game looks like a toss up with two fast, high-scoring offenses shooting it out. The Big 12 will envy not having this game played in its conference. Let’s not play defense.

Prediction: Nebraska 57, Purdue 54

Minnesota at Nebraska - Dec. 12

Minnesota might be the team to beat in the West. After last year’s Cinderella season and a whooping of Auburn in the Outback Bowl, Minnesota will be ready to make a similar run in 2020. PJ Fleck will be running up and down the sidelines of Memorial Stadium as Rashod Bateman leaves the Huskers in the dust. Minnesota ruins Nebraska’s season finale and heads to Indy for a date with Ohio State for the Big Ten Title.

Prediction: Minnesota 34, Nebraska 21

Final Record: 5-3

It’s a step in the right direction for Nebraska football.