The Boilermakers had won just nine games in four seasons when he arrived in West Lafayette, but he immediately improved them from 3-9 and 105th in SP+ to 7-6 and 48th. Illinois jumped from 83rd in SP+ in mid-September to 51st in early November, and after winning four total conference games in three seasons (two of which were against Rutgers), the Illini ripped off four wins in a row -- including thrilling comeback victories over Wisconsin and Michigan State -- to bowl for the first time since 2014. With Coan, Wisconsin is a mystery in 2020, and without him, a total enigma. Junior Fresno, … When his squad had a talent advantage, or at least talent equality, it fared pretty well. The longest being the 331 days between the 1892 and 1893 season. TV: The game will be televised on Fox. But while Peters certainly didn't shine behind center (93rd in total QBR), he has a seasoned and solid offensive line in front of him, and the receiving corps is loaded, led by Imatorbhebhe, Donny Navarro, Sidney, tight end Daniel Barker and now Ford and a couple of new transfers (NMSU receiver Desmond Dan Jr., USC tight end Daniel Imatorbhebhe). Jr. Fresno, Calif. Clovis West. Wisconsin has made more Big Ten championship appearances than anyone; even in a crowded West division, the Badgers are the most known quantity. He understands spacing, he understands leverage, he understands assignment and he’s a tough kid. It’s time to find out if we can play with the best. Hankwitz must replace excellent starters in ends Joe Gaziano and Trent Goens and tackle Alex Miller after accounting for about two-thirds of the line's TFLs last year, but thanks to injuries and shuffling, a lot of other linemen saw action. Previewing the Big Ten West's season, Projecting every bowl game, including the College Football Playoff, Indiana jumps into Top 25; Ohio State up to No. SP+ is bullish on Nebraska improving this year despite Spielman's transfer, but the presence of three of the top six teams in the country (per SP+) on the schedule means that a much-improved, top-30 caliber team goes 4-4. Mohamed Ibrahim and Bryce Williams are both capable runners, and the offensive line is utterly enormous (slightly less so if 400-pound tackle Daniel Faalele isn't at full health). Granted, a Big Ten-only schedule means Minnesota could be punished much more harshly for a slow start, but with a similar cruising altitude, this could be another remarkable season. Smith has undoubtedly figured out how to upgrade the talent level in Champaign -- Imatorbhebhe is particularly top-notch -- but there's a lot of talent in the Big Ten, and the Illini are still playing from behind. Your privacy is safe with us. Your favorite teams, topics, and players all on your favorite mobile devices. The crew will be: Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, and Ben McLaughlin. The offense battled injury issues but played well up front and produced in key moments. Speaking of defense, let’s take a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the defense (or remnants of it) that gave up 48 points against the Buckeyes last year. In that secondary, the Cornhuskers return three starters (junior Cam Taylor-Britt, seniors Dicaprio Bootle and Marquel Dismuke) and should have senior Deontai Williams in the strong safety spot. Although the two cornerbacks (Taylor-Britt and Bootle) have starting experience, the loss of Lamar Jackson – who had 3 INTs and 12 pass deflections – could also pose problems against Justin Fields and the rest of the Ohio State passing game. Powered by Minute Media © 2020 All Rights Reserved. Offensive Depth Chart QB-Nebraska is set at QB going into 2020. Big names are gone from the trenches. 1 nationally at the start of the 2020 season. He needed a dramatic talent upgrade. Top returning players: LB Paddy Fisher, LB Blake Gallagher, RG Nik Urban, CB Cameron Ruiz. 2019: 3-9 (1-8), 91st in SP+ One of the big questions coming in will be the wide receivers and the defensive line. These do not influence editorial content, though Vox Media may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links. Kendric Pryor was maybe Wisconsin's best receiver against man coverage last year; is he ready for a senior breakout season? NU returns more than 80 percent of its yards from last year in rushing (86 percent), passing (82 percent) and total offense (82 percent). Quarterback QB 6'2" 225 lbs 2 Adrian Martinez. More streaming options: The official Huskers app is available on iTunes and for Android users. Nebraska Team Capsule: The Huskers are trying to get Bowl-eligible under Frost, going 4-8 in his first season and then 5-7 a year ago. The college football season will forever have a small-sample problem, but it still has massive potential for narrative shifts. The expectations should be higher in 2020 with eight returning starters, including the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive POY and FWAA Freshman All-American QB Kedon Slovis," Trevino says. Under normal circumstances, this would be an awfully "Iowa" team. Still, he had his moments -- 328 yards passing and 118 rushing in a comeback win over Illinois, for instance. McAfee: The Big Ten left itself 'no wiggle room' (0:56), Can Wisconsin continue its dominance? Kicker Keith Duncan salvaged points on many a drive last season -- he was asked to attempt 18 field goals of more than 40 yards, which is ridiculous, but he made 14 of them -- and Smith-Marsette is one of the country's best kick-returners. More than seven weeks into the 2020 college football season, our 2020 preview series somehow rolls on. His 72.8 total QBR would have ranked 28th for the season. The pass defense was rock solid -- 37th in passing success rate allowed, 24th in adjusted net yards per attempt -- but the run defense was dreadful, and that was before the line lost its top three tacklers. The line no longer features NFL prospect Rashawn Slater at left tackle, but four other players have starting experience. There aren't many proven entities on O, but there are at least experienced options. We don't know what effect that tumult might have on the team, the locker room or anything else, so we'll keep things straightforward in regard to what we know about this year's team: It needs a new quarterback. No matter where you put him, no matter what position you’re going to put him in, he’s a football player. They could have really used now-canceled nonconference games against Illinois State, UConn and Bowling Green to plump up the win total in 2020. LINCOLN, NE - SEPTEMBER 28: Safety Jordan Fuller #4 of the Ohio State Buckeyes and cornerback Sevyn Banks #12 combine to tackle running back Dedrick Mills #26 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on September 28, 2019 in Lincoln, Nebraska. Buffalo transfer Charlie Jones is speedy, too. I’ve seen a lot of improvement out of Luke. The defense is where most of the problems have come. 2020 projection: 6-2, sixth Still, offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs was a top-15 pick in the NFL draft, and end A.J. But Taylor set the bar particularly high, and if there's any drop-off in the ground game, can the passing game -- now likely to be helmed by blue-chip redshirt freshman Graham Mertz -- make up the difference? Fleck's Golden Gophers were projected 30th in SP+, but they found themselves tied with South Dakota State after 54 minutes and trailing both Fresno State and Georgia Southern in the final minute. He was 9-27 overall and 4-24 against power-conference programs, and his first three recruiting classes had an average ESPN ranking of 60th.
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