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Revisiting My 15 Preseason Predictions for the 2023 Nebraska Football Season - Through Six Games

NCAA Football: Nebraska at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Well we are three games in, a quarter of the season, and it is time to revisit my 15 preseason predictions.

Each prediction will get a outlook or verdict of some type.

If you would like to see what I wrote about each prediction back on August 31st then you can find that here.

I revisited my predictions through three games here.

15 Smaller Predictions

Nebraska Will Win the Turnover Battle for the First Time Since 2016

Outlook: Still Not Looking Good.

The good? Nebraska moved up in the turnover margin rankings. The bad? The turnover margin has actually gotten worse.

Nebraska has moved from 128th to 126th in turnover margin. They are currently losing the battle by seven turnovers instead of six.

Jeff Sims Starts Every Game but Won’t Finish Every Game

Verdict: Wrong.

Jeff Sims sustained a high ankle sprain in the loss to Colorado so Heinrich Haarberg got the start. Haarberg has started every game since.

Nebraska Will Fair Catch a Kickoff at Least Once

Outlook: Unknown.

As I said, according to Matt Rhule, they will not fair catch a kickoff. It’ll either fly into the end zone or they will return it. My prediction is that the B1G teams are going to force his hand at some point.

It has not happened yet though.

Nebraska Will Be Bowl Eligible Before Black Friday

Outlook: Unknown.

Currently sitting at three wins after beating Illinois. They need to find three wins in the remaining five games. This stretch of Northwestern, Purdue and Michigan State is a great opportunity.

Kemp Will Lead the Team in Receptions but a Tight End Will Lead in Touchdowns

Outlook: It’s Looking Good.

Billy Kemp is currently leading the team in receptions with twenty. He’s also leading in yards with 219. Thomas Fidone is currently leading the team in touchdowns with three.

I don’t see why this can’t happen.

Especially if Haarberg continues to play as he’s roommates with Fidone.

Defense Will Carry Nebraska Through First Six Games

Outlook: Boom. Same.

Maybe I should have said “through the entire season” because that’s kind of what it is looking like right now.

This offense is pedestrian at best but this defense could be the best defensive unit we have had since 2010.

Brian Buschini Will Not Be the Only All-Conference Player

Outlook: Kind of Confident but Buschini needs to make some plays. .

I feel confident that there will be multiple all-conference players from the defensive until. Right now I’m thinking Nash Hutmacher, Quentin Newsome and Luke Reimer (get healthy please).

Nebraska might get some others to make a case.

Now what about Buschini? Right now he’s averaging 41.7 yards per punt. That is not going to get it done.

He still has six games of conference football to make an impression.

Nebraska Will Fail to Close out Games in the 1st Half of the Year

Outlook: It’s 50/50.

They failed to close it out against Minnesota.

However, I would say they closed it out against Illinois (though a fumble by Grant sure did not help). Now Illinois is not a great team but that was likely a game Nebraska loses in years past.

So they went 1-1 in closing games out through the first six games.

Nebraska Will Make the Plays to Close Out Games in the 2nd Half of the Year

Outlook: Unknown.

We aren’t to to the second half of the season yet, but as I am writing this, Nebraska lost it’s first and second string running back and Anthony Grant apparently has fumbling issues. That sure doesn’t help.

Heinrich Haarberg appears to be growing up a bit before our eyes. However, with the continue losses of offensive players to injuries it’s going to be difficult to keep this one up.

One of the Freshman Wide Receivers Will Break Out by the End of the Year

Outlook: Still a Possibility.

Malachi Coleman played 57 snaps against Illinois. He had his first catch.

Jalen Lloyd appears to make appearances and Jaidyn Doss apparently has a chance to be the best of the bunch. He had a broken arm and is working his way into the offense. I have a thought that he might get some chances this season to make some big plays.

A True Freshman Will Play Meaningful Snaps for the Offensive Line

Outlook: Not Looking Great.

Unless there are some injuries, I don’t think this is going to happen.

Tristan Alvano Will Have an Opportunity to Kick a Game Winner at Memorial Stadium

Outlook: Unknown.

Well his field goal percentage is not great as he’s 3/7. He has four more games at Memorial Stadium this season. Wouldn’t it be sweet to see him kick a game winner?

Heinrich Haarberg Catches a Touchdown Pass

Outlook: Probably Not Happening.

Coaches have already made comments about all that is being put on Heinrich Haarberg physically and mentally. Are they going to ask him to catch a touchdown pass? I’m guessing not at this point.

Somebody Not Named Nash Hutmacher or Ty Robinson Will Lead the Team in Sacks

Outlook: Looking Good.

Right now the team leader in sacks is Jimari Butler with 3. The two behind him are Luke Reimer and Cameron Lenhardt.

Nash Hutmacher is sitting there with 1.5 so this can change quickly.

A Running Back Will Lead the Team in Rushing but Not By Much

Outlook: Looking Better.

Right now Haarberg has 352 yard rushing and Anthony Grant 280. I think Grant will pass Haarberg by the end of the season.

Just hold on to the ball.

One More Small Prediction: 2023 Season Win/Loss Prediction

  1. Minnesota - Loss (Correct)
  2. Colorado - Win (Incorrect)
  3. Northern Illinois - Win (Correct)
  4. Louisiana Tech - Win (Correct)
  5. Michigan - Loss (Correct)
  6. Illinois - Loss (Incorrect)
  7. Northwestern - Win
  8. Purdue - Win
  9. Michigan State - Win
  10. Maryland - Loss
  11. Wisconsin - Loss
  12. Iowa - Win

Final Prediction: 7-5.

Outlook: Unknown.

Right now as they sit 3-3, there is a reasonable chance that Nebraska can find a way to win four of the next six games. With the schedule they could go 6-0 or 0-6.

This is fun right?

Going forward I feel pretty good for the rest of my predictions. But as I said, they could lose them all.