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

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

Well we are through an entire season. Sometimes I feel dumber after making any predictions at all.

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. Here it is through six games. Here it is through nine games.


15 Smaller Predictions

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

Outlook: FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL FAIL.

Second to last in the entire country. What a failure. Sitting at negative 17 for the entire season.

Penn State, on the other hand, was first in the country at plus 19. That is a 36 “turnover margin” difference.

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

Verdict: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Not only did Jeff Sims not start every game but he looked like one of the worst quarterbacks we have ever seen in a Nebraska jersey. He obviously had talent, but something never clicked with Sims and then he got injured.

When he had a couple chances to spell Haarberg the first thing he does is turn the ball over twice.

Nebraska Will Fair Catch a Kickoff at Least Once

Outlook: Nope.

There were not a lot of chances for Nebraska to return a kickoff this season. Most of them went into the end zone.

Nebraska Will Be Bowl Eligible Before Black Friday

Outlook: Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

In my revisit after nine games I said that I wouldn’t be surprised if they finished the season at 5-7 or 8-4. Well with three games left, with that “revisit” Nebraska was sitting at five wins.

They struck out all three times.

So no they did not become bowl eligible before Black Friday. Far from it.

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

Outlook: Boom. Finally hit one.

Billy Kemp lead the team with 35 receptions and 310 yards. Thomas Fidone was second in both categories but ended up leading the team with four touchdowns.

Woof.

Jalen Lloyd was second on the team with three touchdown.

Defense Will Carry Nebraska Through First Six Games

Outlook: Boom.

They did. Unfortunately they carried the team for the entire season. What an opportunity for Nebraska that was squandered.

Brian Buschini Will Not Be the Only All-Conference Player

Outlook: Buschini likely no. However the Nebraska defense hit on a couple.

In my nine week “revisit” I thought Nebraska would get 3-5 all-conference defenders. They only ended up getting one. It was Luke Reimer who got a third team all conference nod. However, with that said Jimari Butler, Omar Brown, Isaac Gifford, Tommi Hill, Nash Hutmacher, Quinton Newsome and Ty Robinson all received honorable mentions.

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: Nope.

We know what happened so I will take the opportunity to say that we are not cursed. Saying you are cursed takes the responsibility out of your hands. What happened is that, in the case of Iowa, we had a quarterback with very limited experience throw an interception to a defensive lineman who dropped into coverage.

That’s not cursed. That’s just a good call by Iowa and an unfortunate learning moment for Chubba Purdy.

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

Outlook: You Could Argue, but I’ll go with Yes.

I think Jalen Lloyd made enough plays as did Malachi Coleman to say that they broke out for the offense. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Jalen Lloyd catch against Wisconsin then Nebraska likely would have found no life at all against the Badgers.

They didn’t put up eye popping stats, but they played a ton of meaningful snaps.

A True Freshman Will Play Meaningful Snaps for the Offensive Line

Outlook: Did Not Happen. Wrong.

While there were true freshmen sniffing the two deep of the offensive line group, it never materialized. Which is a good thing as the offensive line group turned into one of the few bright spots on the offensive side of the football for Nebraska.

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

Outlook: Nope.

If Chubba Purdy doesn’t throw an interception against Iowa I think that it happens.

Heinrich Haarberg Catches a Touchdown Pass

Outlook: Nope.

Though he did catch a pass. Is that close enough?

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

Outlook: Boom.

Jimari Butler lead the team in sacks with 5.5 and Luke Reimer was second with 5.

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

Outlook: Wrong.

The team’s leading rusher for quarterback Heinrich Haarberg with 477 yards.

Anthony Grant was second with 413 while Emmett Johnson came up third with 411.

Johnson was coming on the last third of the season. Hope he sticks around so we can see what he can do next year.


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 (Correct)
  8. Purdue - Win (Correct)
  9. Michigan State - Win (Incorrect)
  10. Maryland - Loss (Correct)
  11. Wisconsin - Loss (Correct)
  12. Iowa - Win (Incorrect)

Final Prediction: 7-5.

Outlook: Nope. Why even having positive feeligns?

Finishing the season at 5-7 was not good enough. There were 11 games on the schedule which Nebraska could have turned into wins but when you turn the ball over and have poor quarterback play then that’s how you only win five games.

For comparison’s sake, Northwestern won 7 games and they had 22 less turnovers than Nebraska.

Incredible.