clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Football: Who Are The Players Nebraska Cannot Afford To Lose In 2014?

New, 32 comments

There are obvious answers, but then again, there are some that Nebraska simply cannot lose this year in order to win the Big Ten West and make it to Indianapolis.

Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

So, for the last two seasons, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have had preseasons that had a lot of hype. We all remember the '12 campaign that had Rex Burkhead, and last year with a Senior Taylor Martinez that finally knew the offense.

And then the injury bug bit hard on the Huskers.

Both Rex and Taylor were injured in their respective season openers, and while they tried to come back from what they suffered from, it never really worked out for either. Rex's injury was a blessing in that Ameer Abdullah learned to blossom and become the runner that he is now.

On the other hand, when Taylor went down, it showed a crispy thin line at Quarterback that seemingly was not fulfilled by either Ron Kellogg or Tommy Armstrong. Yes, both of them won games, but at the same time, the offense was never really the same thing that was advertised in the preseason.

It's easy to say someone like Ameer Abdullah or Randy Gregory is indispensable in their roles on this team. But, who else would be difficult to lose to injury? I asked, and you responded.

Interesting answer here, and I kind of agree. We have heard all Spring & Summer that Lewis, the transfer from Colorado who had some legal issues, has a nasty streak and can play like the 90's Pipeline group. If someone like Lewis goes down for a extended time, who would step in? David Knevel's 6'9" frame? Dwayne Johnson? There's a few younger guys that would have the size, but would they be game ready?

Many people have stated about Tommy Armstrong. Only one (protected tweet, can't embed) said Johnny Stanton. As he played decent and went 7-1 as a starter last season, Armstrong has only lost 2 football games in his last three seasons of playing in HS in Texas and in the Big Ten. If he goes down, you have Stanton and Ryker Fife as backups, and as much hype as they have gotten, would you be perfectly confident in a QB that hasn't faced any true fire yet?

The senior statesman of the Cornerback situation was mentioned as well. And with good reason, Mitchell has been touted as a leader in a Secondary that, while young, is also full of potential. Losing Mitchell means you get a lot more of Byerson Cockrell, Jonathan Rose, Boaz Joseph, Trai Mosley, Josh Kalu.... Heck, even having Mitchell isn't going to solve a lot at CB, but it'll help the learning curve for the younger kids.

Mike is very correct in this one. Drew Brown is expected to be in the fray immediately for the Kicking role at Nebraska, with the way that Mauro Bondi showed some iffyness in the Spring. Remember, Bondi was beat out by Pat Smith last season, and Smith was on the one year Grad plan. Not only is Brown a legacy, but he also kicked for one of the best Texas HS teams last season. If he follows his brother Kris's plan, Nebraska will have another great kicker. But if he happens to go down? A shaky situation gets shakier, and with a road schedule full of snakes, who knows what happens if a FG to tie/win comes to fruition.

With the way that Michael Rose came on through the back half of the season, this is another one that flies under the radar till it actually happens. Josh Banderas and David Santos seemed to struggle in this role last season, Rose took the MLB by the reigns with 17 tackles vs. Iowa. When you set the Freshman record for tackles at Nebraska with 66, you have something right.

We all know injuries happen, and it's not a great thing. However, if Nebraska can stay something resembling healthy heading into that November run, there's no telling what could really happen and how far this team could go.

Do you have a name we haven't mentioned above? Tell us who and why in the comments below.