The Nebraska football team opens practice on August 4th, with their opening game coming up September 1st. The Huskers first season in the Big Ten had some ups and downs and this year's schedule is tough.
Nebraska tied for second in the legends division, but were blown out by Wisconsin and Michigan, and lost at home to Northwestern, finishing 9-4. The Huskers open the conference season against the defending Big Ten champs from Wisconsin, and have road games at Ohio State, Michigan State and Iowa.
Former Husker and radio broadcaster Matt Davison was in Madison, Nebraska, Thursday night and says the Big Red should show improvement in their second year in the Big Ten.
"The schedule's the same in the league and so you're going to see a lot of those same coaches and players that you saw a year ago," said Davison. "The comfort level will be much better this year with our players and our coaches. Every game last year, you didn't quite know what to expect. You didn't know what you were going to get out of each team, what system they ran, what is was going to be like in that environment in that stadium. It's not going to be quite as new this year and I think that's going to help our squad."
I-back Rex Burkhead was a first-team all-Big Ten performer last year, running for over 1,300 yards with 17 touchdowns. Burkhead carried the ball at least 20 times in eight games last year, including a school-record 38 carries against Iowa.
Davison thinks it would be better for Nebraska if Burkhead isn't so busy this fall.
"If Rex stays healthy, which he usually does...he's so tough...I just think he's going to have a monster season. And the good thing about our offense is I don't think we're going to have to lean on him every single week for thirty carries. I think our skill position guys are really good this year. I think there's a lot of help around Rex Burkhead and that's going to help take some of the load off of him."
Nebraska opens the season at home on September 1st against Southern Mississippi before a road trip to UCLA in week two.
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