The Wyoming Cowboys open up with their first non-conference game when they face the Nebraska Cornhuskers on the road at Memorial Stadium. The game kicks off on Saturday, August 31 at 8 p.m. ET and will be aired on the Big Ten Network.
Coach: Bo Pelini (49-20, five years)
2012 record: (10-4) (7-1)
2012 season in review: On the backs of four come-from-behind victories in the Big Ten, Nebraska managed to win the Big Ten's Legends division (whatever that means) last year, with a 7-1 record. However, the season would end on a sour note, after getting blown out by 39 points against Wisconsin in the B1G title game, and then losing to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl. Despite winning at least nine games for each of the past five years, Pelini's reign has not been viewed favorably in Lincoln. As result, he's certainly feeling the pressure to deliver no less than a conference championship in 2013.
Returning Offensive Starters: 7
Returning Defensive Starters: 5
Key Returning Starters: QB Taylor Martinez, RB/KR Ameer Abdullah, WR Kenny Bell
2013 Strengths: The 2013 season will be all about offense for the Huskers, as they return their top three skill players from last year -- most notably Martinez, who's the face of the program and the engine that drives this team's success. Martinez has steadily improved as a passer throughout his career (threw for 2,800 yards and 23 TDs last year), but he's still most dangerous as a dual threat. On defense, they're also great against the pass (ranked fourth in the country last year), and in returning nearly all of its defensive backs, Nebraska should still be a very tough team to mount a comeback against through the air.
2013 Weaknesses: Martinez is both a blessing and a curse, as he has a penchant for big plays, while also allowing himself to be turnover-prone. That'll have to change for Nebraska if they hope to get over the 10-win hump they've been sitting on for several seasons now. On top of holding onto the ball, the other issue will be the defensive line. With what's basically an entirely new group there, they'll need to figure out ways to generate both run and pass pressure. The Cornhuskers were 92nd against the run last year -- something to watch out for as the 2013 season progresses and they go up against many of the Big Ten's run-centric teams.
For more information on the Nebraska Cornhuskers, check out SB Nation blog Corn Nation.