All eyes will be on Nebraska football this weekend. After a frustrating start to the season in which the team greatly underperformed, they elected to fire head coach Scott Frost. Nebraska swallowed $15 million with this decision following the 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern who went 3-9 last year. This dropped Nebraska to 1-2 on the season and 16-31 in Frost’s tenure with the school.
That was a massive decision that will alter the Nebraska football program greatly. The Cornhuskers have no time to rest and figure things out. They will be facing off with the Number 6 ranked Oklahoma Sooners this weekend. Ex-Nebraska quarterback and former LSU offensive coordinator Mickey Joseph will step in as the interim head coach. The Sooners have a 46-38-3 all-time edge on Nebraska and also beat them 23-16 last year. With a new head coach at the helm and hopes to turn the season around still alive, here are three predictions for what to expect from this rivalry matchup.
3 Bold Nebraska Football Predictions For Game Vs. Oklahoma
3. Casey Thompson Tallies 400 All-Purpose Yards
In the midst of Nebraska’s turbulent start to the season, Casey Thompson has had some really positive flashes. He is coming off his best game so far. He completed 23 of his 34 pass attempts for 318 yards and a touchdown in the loss to Georgia Southern. Thompson also added 31 rushing yards and three touchdowns with his legs.
He will continue to be at the epicenter of the Nebraska offense moving forward after transferring from Texas. With his first opportunity to play in the post-Scott Frost era, expect Thompson to deliver. The Cornhuskers have not been shy to give Thompson a chance thus far. He attempted 42 passes in the opening matchup and threw the ball 34 times last week. Nebraska will be the best team that Oklahoma has played this year and they should put their defense to the test. Look for Nebraska to put the ball in the quarterback’s hand and for the 23-year-old to be prepared.
2. Nebraska holds Sooners to under 425 yards
While the quarterback and head coach may draw most of the attention, the biggest problems with Nebraska are on the defensive side of the ball. Through three games they have allowed a total of 87 points and 1,476 yards. Considering the teams they have played (Northwestern, North Dakota, Georgia Southern) this is not nearly good enough. In the matchup last week against Georgia Southern, the Nebraska defense allowed at least seven points in each quarter, 45 total points scored, and 642 total yards.
This should be the biggest focus for what needs to change ahead of the matchup with Oklahoma. The Sooners are likely frothing at the mouth. Look for Luke Reimer, Marques Buford Jr, and Isaac Gifford to each play major roles. Keeping Oklahoma under 425 yards is a manageable goal for the Nebraksa to hit, but it will take an improved effort for this to be the case.
It may be putting too much pressure on the defensive unit, but the future of Nebraska’s season is greatly dependent on if they can turn it around. It is not a question of talent but if they can put the pieces together. Putting together a strong performance this week would go a long way to building their confidence and providing the team with the production it needs. Expect a statement to be made in this matchup. Spencer Rattler threw two interceptions against Tulane last week. If Nebraska can force turnovers in the same way it would help the team’s chances drastically.
1. Nebraska Gets the Win
Nebraska is a far better team than they have shown so far this season. The hope is for the firing of Scott Frost to serve as a wake-up call to the rest of the program. During his tenure with the school, Nebraska went 5-22 in one-possession games. The overzealous play call and bold decisions often were blamed for the losses and this is a record that simply has to be better for a head coach.
Expect the team to rally around the coaching change and be prepared to fight back after being punched in the mouth in the opening weeks. With the home crowd behind them, a rivalry matchup, and little expectations, the Cornhuskers have a terrific chance to make a statement in this game. This is a throwback matchup with a long history. It is no accident that the Frost firing occurred before the Oklahoma matchup and every player should be locked in. If Nebraska is to have any chance of getting their season back on track it starts with a win in this matchup. Look for them to do exactly this and pull off the Week 3 upset.