Nebraska football wraps up spring practices on Saturday with its Red-White scrimmage, and an omnipresent question lingering over the program: can the Cornhuskers recapture their past glory?
Brian Fremeau of Football Outsiders suggests fixes that could elevate Nebraska football back to its championship level.
Although appearing in the Big Ten Conference championship game last season, Nebraska has not actually won a league title — Big Ten or 12 — since 2001. The 2001 season also marked Nebraska’s last in a BCS bowl game.
Quarterback Taylor Martinez enters his fourth season as starter. Strides made in 2012 should continue for Martinez in 2013, if Omaha World Herald accounts of his current performance carry into the season.
The issue most pressing the Cornhuskers is regaining their defensive aggressiveness. Nebraska football was built on a foundation of tenacious defenses, known for their black practice shirts. While those days are not likely to return in 2013, there are several attainable measures of success for Bo Pelini’s defense, Corn Nation writes.
Big Ten Network is broadcasting the Red-White game at 3 ET, following a one-hour retrospective on the 1994 Nebraska football season.
Another program concluding its spring season on Saturday is Baylor, a dark horse contender in the Big 12 Conference’s 2013 championship race.
BU earned such designation with a strong finish to 2012, which included a Holiday Bowl rout of the UCLA Bruins. Lache Seastrunk is back, and he carries the momentum of an outstanding postseason into a potential Heisman candidacy.
Seastrunk will line up in the backfield with a new quarterback for the second time in as many seasons. Nick Florence is gone, leaving purported “freak of nature” Bryce Petty in the driver’s seat.
But Will Parchman of The Waco Tribune reports the Baylor quarterback competition is only heating up as spring ends.
Seth Russell and Chris Johnson will “[give] chase” to presumptive No. 1 Petty, Parchman writes.
TCU Horned Frogs
Not far from Baylor’s unwinding spring practice, new Big 12 rival TCU also puts the finishing touches on its workouts this Saturday. The lead story for Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs throughout the spring was the return of quarterback Casey Pachall. That doesn’t change in the Frogs spring game.
ESPN.com Big 12 blogger David Ubben wonders if there really is a quarterback competition between Pachall and his replacement, Trevone Boykin.
Boykin, a converted wide receiver, relieved Pachall when the latter was arrested last October. Pachall’s fulfillment of rehabilitation gained him reentry on the Horned Frog roster, while Boykin captained TCU to a 7-6 finish in its first Big 12 season.
TCU is better prepared for a competitive run in the conference, particularly with the addition of Nebraska transfer Aaron Green to the backfield.