When the 2019 football season started for the Huskers, they came in with high hopes, especially after coming into the season ranked No. 24. However, as the games have stacked up in the wrong column, there is talk that a bowl game may be out of reach.
With four games left in the season, the Huskers will have to win two of those games to reach six wins on the season and be considered bowl eligible. Here are three reasons why they can do it:
Getting Healthy Again
Nebraska is currently sitting at 4-4, with losses coming from close games against Indiana and Colorado and two blowout losses to No. 3 Ohio State and No. 13 Minnesota.
In the Huskers’ losing effort against Indiana this past Saturday, they were without their starting quarterback, sophomore Adrian Martinez. However, backups Noah Vedral and Luke McCaffrey had strong showings to keep them in the game. Even if a coach has time to prepare, a team without its starting quarterback will have its challenges.
Injuries made an impact against Colorado as well, with Nebraska losing on a missed field goal in overtime from punter Isaac Armstrong, who was filling in for injured kicker Barret Pickering. Without those two costly injuries, the Huskers could be 6-2, which would have already made them bowl eligible.
With the Huskers hopefully getting back their starting quarterback this upcoming week against Purdue and with the offense rolling like they are, they are at a great start to getting into a bowl game.
In college football, high-powered offenses are everywhere. However, one big defensive stop can swing the momentum of a game.
When the Huskers have given up more than 400 yards this year, they are 0-4. When the Blackshirts have held their opponents to less than that, they are 4-0.
In the Huskers’ upcoming games, they are playing Purdue, which is averaging 396 yards per game, Wisconsin averaging 412 yards, Maryland averaging 400 yards and Iowa averaging 392 yards per game.
In the first four games of the season, the Blackshirts forced a total of 12 turnovers, and the Huskers were able to go 3-1 over that stretch. In the four games since then, they have a total of 5 forced turnovers and have gone 1-3.
Over the last four games, Purdue, Wisconsin and Maryland have turned the ball over six times, and Iowa has turned it over seven times.
If the Huskers defense can hold the opposing offenses to 400 yards or less and create turnovers, they should be able to win games. The defense has seen some struggles recently, but they will be the key to make the Huskers become bowl eligible.
Home field advantage
The Huskers are 3-2 at home, so having both ranked opponents (No. 18 Wisconsin, No. 19 Iowa) left on the schedule come to Lincoln will help the Huskers.
Being in front of the home crowd will give the Huskers some confidence, which in turn may lead to a win.
While the road games may hold the easier matchups, a big home win against the Badgers or Hawkeyes will drive Nebraska to success.
With eight games already in the books, Huskers fans have seen parts of what this team can do. If the Huskers are able to have these three key factors come together for them, they are in line to make their first bowl game since 2016.
According to Buckeyewire.com from USA Today Sports, they have the Nebraska Cornhuskers playing against the Florida State Seminoles in the Quick Lane Bowl.