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Northwestern Opponent Links, Week 8: Nebraska Cornhuskers

Learn some more about the Cornhuskers, who are much better than their 3-4 record would indicate.

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

On the surface, Nebraska doesn't look like very good of a team as the Cornhuskers -- in their first season with Mike Riley, and not the popular Bo Pelini, at the helm -- have struggled to a 3-4 record so far. After a strong Week 1 performance against BYU that only ended in defeat due to a last-second Hail Mary attempt, Nebraska beat FCS foe South Alabama and then put up a good fight against Miami (FL) in another tight loss.

The Cornhuskers, led by quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. and wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp, will also have star receiver DeMornay Pierson-El, who returned from a foot injury a few weeks ago but hasn't been at full strength. After getting some game action under him, he might be his explosive self on Saturday, and could resemble the player that returned three punts for touchdowns in 2014, his freshman campaign.

Here are some last-minute notes and links on the Wildcats' next conference foe:

  • The Cornhuskers are excited to see what a fully healthy Pierson-El can do, especially in the return game. Nebraska has desperately missed the explosiveness he provides.
  • Another trend going Nebraska's way is their turnover margin, which plagued the Cornhuskers in the beginning of the season but has shown signs of improvement. Their 48-25 win over Minnesota last Saturday went a long way in that regard.
  • One major reason for Mike Riley's team's tough start to the 2015 season has been injuries, which have ravaged much of the defense. Now, defensive end Freedom Akinmoladun and cornerback Daniel Davie are back, along with other key players, so the Cornhuskers should be much more stout on that side of the ball.
  • Building off that, the Nebraska pass defense, which has allowed the most yards through the air in the entire FBS, is on the right track, partly thanks to the return of Davie to the mix.
  • Jay Foreman, a former Nebraska and NFL linebacker, reviewed the Cornhuskers' win over the Golden Gophers and thinks there are a lot of positives to take from the game going forward.
  • Finally, here are some mid-week practice notes about Nebraska that sift through the positional changes the team is dealing with due to all of the guys coming back from injury.