Iowa Hawkeyes 2022 schedule breakdown: Nebraska

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Here it is, the last game of the season! Hopefully, Iowa is standing at an 11-0 record with upsets over Ohio State and Michigan and the Cornhuskers represent their last stop before the Big Ten Championship… and then the national championship. Whether or not this is indeed the reality (we can certainly hope), Nebraska is a heck of a game to end the season on.

The Cornhuskers are an extremely interesting team with how they are portrayed in the media. Many have called Nebraska the greatest three-win team in college football history and suggesting that they were much better than their 2021 record suggested. If a few possessions swung the other way, Nebraska could have finished as one of the best teams in the conference!

At the end of the day, though, the Cornhuskers were still a 3-9 team last year, and coach Scott Frost is on the hottest of hot seats. As many have pointed out, Nebraska is a tough out. They gave multiple top teams a tough fight last year, including both Michigan and Michigan State. They feature a sturdy defense and hope the offense takes a step forward in 2022.

Casey Thompson, quarterback

AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz

Gone is Adrian Martinez! It feels so weird. After showing promise as a freshman, many had high hopes of Martinez becoming a dual-threat star. Hopefully, he could bring Nebraska back to being a true power! It didn’t really work out that way. He could always run, but Martinez never advanced as a passer in his last three years as a Cornhusker. If anything, he regressed.

Martinez is at Kansas State now, enter Casey Thompson. Thompson was an unfortunate casualty of star prospect Quinn Ewers’ transfer to Texas, and that might be Nebraska’s gain. In his only season as a starter, Thompson threw 24 touchdown passes and added another four on the ground. He might not have been elite, but he offers a good amount of upside to the Cornhuskers’ passing game.

Luke Reimer, linebacker

Barbara J. Perenic/Columbus Dispatch / USA TODAY NETWORK

As mentioned previously, the defense was the real star for the Cornhuskers last year. They held opponents to a shade under 23 points per game, good for 36th nationally. Michigan State only mustered up 23 points against them. Oklahoma scored 23 as well. Linebacker Luke Reimer was the leader of the Nebraska defense, totaling 108 tackles, including 60 solo tackles. Reimer was a honorable-mention All-Big Ten selection last season.

Ochaun Mathis, EDGE rusher

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

For as good as the Nebraska defense was last year, they didn’t really have a standout pass rusher. Linebacker Garrett Nelson led the Cornhuskers in sacks with five. Ochaun Mathis transferred to Nebraska from TCU for his senior season, and brings a lot of potential off the edge. As a sophomore in 2020, Mathis registered 12.5 sacks. His numbers took a step back last year, but he brings talent to Nebraska. Can he rebound?

Garrett Nelson, linebacker

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska features one of the best linebacker rooms in the Big Ten. Next to Reimer, Garrett Nelson impressed at outside linebacker. In his sophomore season, Nelson led the Cornhuskers in sacks with five. He was extremely disruptive, earning 11.5 tackles for loss. Watch out for Nelson to have an even bigger 2022.

Omar Manning, wide receiver

Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

For as much upside as Casey Thompson adds to the passing game, it is still a massive question mark heading into the season. Top receiver Samori Toure is now plying his trade for the Green Bay Packers after going in the seventh round of the draft.

Tight end Austin Allen is also fighting for a roster spot with the New York Giants. That’s 1,500 yards of production that the Cornhuskers have to replace. Omar Manning is the top returning receiver, totaling 380 yards last season. Nebraska will need him to take a leap forward in 2022.

Brian Buschini, Punter

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The last player featured in the series, and it truly is a special (teams) entry! Brian Buschini is the new punter for the Cornhuskers, and he brings star pedigree with him.

Buschini was the best punter in the FCS for Montana, winning virtually every award available to him as a punter, including being named an FCS first-team All-American. Buschini played in 15 games at Montana, averaging 45.8 yards per punt on 75 career punts. He had 30 punts of 50 yards or longer with the Griz, while placing 35 of his 75 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.

Iowa 2022 schedule breakdown series

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