Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Matt Rhule talks to an official during their game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Memorial Stadium.

Post spring projection for 2024 Nebraska football: Part 1

The 2024 spring season has come and gone for college football and now the longest part of the offseason begins. The Nebraska Cornhuskers had a pretty successful spring, which grants hopes for the Husker faithful for at least six wins in the fall. Nebraska begins its fall campaign on Aug. 31 at home against the UTEP Miners. As everyday goes by this offseason, the kool-aid pitcher will keep filling up as the season gets closer. So, here’s part one of a post spring look and projection for the 2024 regular season.

Post spring look at 2024 Nebraska football

This upcoming season schedule is a lot different from what it has been in the past few seasons. For the first time since 2019, Nebraska will start at home against a non-power five opponent. In fact, the Huskers will have four straight home games to start the season. It is also a fantastic opportunity for true freshman quarterback Dylan Raiola to settle in his first year as a starting college quarterback, assuming Raiola wins the starting gig. Nebraska will then get to host Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes, who have been the headlines all of last season and have a lot of hype going into the season like Nebraska. After a most likely emotional game against the Buffaloes, the Huskers will have a chance to reset before conference play begins with a game against the FCS Northern Iowa Panthers.

To start conference play, Nebraska hosts the Illinois Fighting Illini before going on the road for the first time for the season against the Purdue Boilermakers to end September. The Huskers return to Lincoln to take on the Rutgers Scarlet Knights before going on a much needed bye week. Nebraska returns from the bye with two straight road games against the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Huskers return home to start November to go against new conference opponent, the UCLA Bruins. The Huskers then go to SoCal to take on the USC Trojans before going on their second bye week, then hosting the Wisconsin Badgers. Nebraska then ends the season with the annual Hero’s Game against the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Season Projection

A light show before the fourth quarter between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Northern Illinois Huskies at Memorial Stadium.
Sep 16, 2023; Lincoln, Nebraska, USA; A light show before the fourth quarter between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Northern Illinois Huskies at Memorial Stadium. (Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports)

UTEP Miners

2023 Record: 3-9 (2-6 CUSA)

Date: Aug. 31, 2024, TBA

Location: Memorial Stadium

Like previously mentioned, head coach Matt Rhule and Nebraska open up the 2024 campaign against the UTEP Miners. The Miners are out of Conference USA and had a rough 2023 season, finishing 3-9. UTEP moved on from six-year head coach Dana Dimel and hired former Austin Peay coach Scotty Walden to take over the reigns. In 2023, the Governors broke multiple school records for scoring offense, total offense and passing offense. That should be something to watch to see if Walden can bring the same success to western Texas for the Miners. However, the Huskers should be able to take care of business to start off the season.

Projection: 38-10

Record: 1-0

Colorado Buffaloes

2023 Record: 4-8 (1-8 Pac-12)

Date: Sept. 7, 2024, 6:30 p.m. on NBC

Location: Memorial Stadium

After opening up the season with a win over UTEP, Nebraska gets a chance for revenge against the Colorado Buffaloes. Last season, the Buffaloes sent the Huskers home with 36-14 loss. Colorado only won two more games the rest of the way, finishing 4-8 and 1-8 in conference play. Now fast forward to 2024, the Buffaloes are back in the Big 12 Conference after the Pac-12 was seemingly torn apart by conference realignment. Colorado enters the 2024 season with some returning faces like Travis Hunter and Shedeur Sanders, but also have a lot of new faces, as that is coach Sanders way of rebuilding the Buffaloes. After a potential tough game against the North Dakota State Bison to start 2024, Colorado has to go into Memorial Stadium for a game under the lights against the Huskers. This game will be emotional for both sides and the crowd will play a huge factor, especially with the game being a night game. Nebraska will have a chance to take advantage of the opportunity to avenge for the loss last season and end a three-game losing streak to the Buffaloes.

Projection: 31-24

Record: 2-0

Northern Iowa Panthers

2023 Record: 6-5 (5-3 MVC)

Date: Sept. 14, 2024, TBA

Location: Memorial Stadium

After an emotional win over Colorado, Nebraska should be careful to not overlook it’s next game against the Northern Iowa Panthers. Not saying they will lose, but the Huskers need to not overlook this game before heading into conference play. Nebraska should get another win to improve to 3-0 before starting Big Ten Conference play.

Projection: 42-7

Record: 3-0

Illinois Fighting Illini

2023 Record: 5-7 (3-6 B1G)

Date: Sept. 21, 2024, TBA

Location: Memorial Stadium

After an 8-5 record in 2022, the Illinois Fighting Illini regressed back to below bowl eligibility with an 5-7 record in 2023. Nebraska beat the Fighting Illini in 2023 in Champaign 20-7 but Illinois has many key players retuning in 2024. Starting quarterback Luke Altmyer returns for his junior season, while sophomore running back Kaden Feagin takes over as the bell-cow back for the Illini. However, something that could hold Illinois back will be its defense. With most of its defensive production in the NFL, there will be new faces on the defense, which could bring problems. Nebraska gets a chance to end its four-game home stand with four straight wins and it’s reasonably possible that it could happen. You can chalk this game up as a close win for the Huskers to improve to 4-0 on the season.

Projection: 21-17

Record: 4-0

Purdue Boilermakers

2023 Record: 4-8 (3-6 B1G)

Date: Sept. 28, 2024, TBA

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

The Purdue Boilermakers regressed heavily after winning the Big Ten West division in 2022, going 4-8 in 2023 under first year head coach Ryan Walters. The Boilermakers most importantly return senior quarterback Hudson Card and junior running back Devin Mockobee, where both will headline the Purdue offense in 2024. This will be a test for freshman quarterback Dylan Raiola and the Nebraska offense, however, if past games in West Lafayette have said anything, the Huskers will have a tough time. Nebraska could be handed their first loss on the season.

Projection: 28-31

Record: 4-1

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

2023 Record: 7-6 (3-6 B1G)

Date: Oct. 5, 2024, TBA

Location: Memorial Stadium

The Rutgers Scarlet Knights may have finally broke threw in head coach Greg Schiano’s second tenure in New Jersey. With a 7-6 record, including a 31-24 win over the Miami Hurricanes in the Pinstripe Bowl. The Scarlet Knights brought in Minnesota junior quarterback transfer Athan Kaliakmanisย and standout senior running back Kyle Monagai, who rushed for 1,246 yards, returns for one more season. Rutgers’ defense will play a key role in the Scarlet Knights potential success in 2024. The Huskers will have their hands full on Homecoming weekend. Nebraska can get back in the right direction with a nice win over a improved Scarlet Knights team after losing on the road against Purdue.

Projection: 28-17

Record: 5-1

Main Image: ยฉ Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

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