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

NCAA Football: Northern Illinois at Nebraska Dylan Widger-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.

15 Smaller Predictions

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

Outlook: Not Looking Good.

Prior to the Northern Illinois game, Nebraska was leading the country in turnovers. As of today, Nebraska is tied for 128th in turnover margin. Not ideal.

They are currently losing the battle by six turnovers. It would be quite the turnaround if they can get to the positive side of things.

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.

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.

Nebraska Will Be Bowl Eligible Before Black Friday

Outlook: Unknown.

Assuming they win against Louisiana Tech on Saturday they will need to find four wins in games against Michigan, Illinois, Northwestern, Purdue, Michigan State, Maryland and Wisconsin.

Do you think they can go 4-3 in those games? I’m not so confident at this point.

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 eight. Thomas Fidone is leading the team in touchdowns.

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.

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.

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.

Now what about Buschini? Right now he’s averaging 41.5 yards per punt. That is not going to get it done.

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

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

Outlook: Unknown.

We know they didn’t close it out against Minnesota. Did they close it out against Northern Illinois?

One way to close out a game is by not turning it over. Three more games to go but at this point I’m thinking that this will turn out correct.

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. That sure doesn’t help.

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

Outlook: Still a Possibility.

We have not seen a breakout yet by any wide receiver. However, there are currently two freshmen (Malachi Coleman and Jalen Lloyd) on the two deep of the depth chart.

A True Freshman Will Play Meaningful Snaps for the Offensive Line

Outlook: Unknown.

Right now the only “freshman” who has played a snap according to the participation chart is Tyler Knaak who is a redshirt freshman transfer from Utah.

Still a lot of season left.

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

Outlook: Unknown.

Here’s hoping he has an opportunity and it doesn’t happen this week.

Heinrich Haarberg Catches a Touchdown Pass

Outlook: Halfway Unknown.

He did catch a pass but it wasn’t a touchdown. Unfortunately part of my prediction was that Rhamir Johnson would be the one to throw it. That’s not happening as he is out for the rest of the season.

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

Outlook: Unknown.

If the season ended today, I would be correct as Luke Reimer is currently leading the team in sacks with 2.5.

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

Outlook: Unknown.

Right now Gabe Ervin is leading the team in rushing. Well with him being out for the rest of the season that doesn’t look great. The next two rushing leaders are the quarterbacks.

This will be up to Anthony Grant.

One More Small Prediction: 2023 Season Win/Loss Prediction

  1. Minnesota - Loss (Correct)
  2. Colorado - Win (Wrong)
  3. Northern Illinois - Win (Correct)
  4. Louisiana Tech - Win
  5. Michigan - Loss
  6. Illinois - Loss
  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.

Nebraska will have to capitalize against a bad Big Ten West and an easier schedule of teams from the East side of the conference to get five conference wins. It’s definitely possible but we shall see.

I would have to say that my picks of losses to Illinois and Wisconsin don’t look great right now.