Nebraska Football 2012 Bowl Capsule

Nebraska Cornhuskers
Big Ten


Nebraska had a fine season, but the big loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game may linger. The Cornhuskers won the competitive Legends Division by beating out Northwestern, Michigan and Michigan State. In fact, Nebraska beat all three of those teams in consecutive weeks and has not lost since. The offense has been extremely difficult to stop and the only time this team struggled offensively was during an extremely windy day at Iowa when the weather had a lot more to do with Nebraska’s 13 points than the Iowa defense.

2012 Record: 10-2, 7-1
Coach: Bo Pelini
Coach Bowl Record: 3-2

Big Wins: 10/27 Michigan (23-9), 11/10 Penn State (32-23)
Bad Losses: 9/8 at UCLA (30-36), 12/1 vs Wisconsin (31-70)

The offense starts with quarterback Taylor Martinez. The junior picked up his production this year, throwing for 2,667 yards and 21 touchdowns. The touchdowns are nice, but Martinez has increased his completion percentage and is looking much better as a passer. Kenny Bell has emerged as Martinez’s favorite target, but Quincy Enuwa and Jamal Turner have had some quality outings as well. And then there are tight ends Kyler Reed and Ben Cotton who are major threats in the red zone. But Martinez is not just a passer. If anything, he is a rusher first. Martinez is always a threat to run with the ball and, when he does, he is always a threat to score. But the Nebraska ground game goes well, well beyond Martinez. Rex Burkhead has been hurt for most of the 2012 season, but he is a big time runner when he is healthy. For now at least, he is healthy again. Meanwhile, Ameer Abdullah stepped in for Burkhead and rushed for 1,089 yards and eight touchdowns on 219 carries. Going even further down the depth chart, Braylon Heard and Imani Cross have had spurts of productivity.

It is unfair to call the Nebraska defense a weakness. The pass defense is among the best in the nation. Stanley Jean-Baptiste has emerged as a great cornerback, but safety Daimion Stafford is the big playmaker in the secondary. Stafford has picked off four passes and forced a couple fumbles. But most of the turnovers tend to come from Stafford. The rest of the defense has not been able to consistently create turnovers and that has been an issue for the Cornhuskers. With Martinez throwing a few picks and the rest of the offense occasionally fumbling, this is a Nebraska squad that has a very bad turnover margin. That is certainly not entirely the fault of the defense, but Nebraska may not be able to afford to lose the turnover battle in the bowl game.

Statistical Leaders:
Rushing: Ameer Abdullah, RB, 1,089 yards
Passing: Taylor Martinez, QB, 2,667 yards
Receiving: Kenny Bell, WR, 803 yards
Tackles: Will Compton, LB, 101
Sacks: Eric Martin, DE, 8.5
Interceptions: Daimion Stafford, S, 4

2012 Team Stats:
Rushing Offense: 252.17 (8th in nation, 1st in conference)
Passing Offense: 208.75 (88, 5)
Total Offense: 460.92 (26, 1)
Scoring Offense: 35.42 (29, 2)
Rushing Defense: 166.17 (73, 8)
Pass Defense: 152.17 (1, 1)
Total Defense: 318.33 (15, 4)
Scoring Defense: 22.58 (31, 5)
Turnover Margin: -.67 (100, 10)
Sacks: 2.42 (32, 3)
Sacks Allowed: 2.00 (68, 9)

Recent Bowl Appearances:
2011    Capital One Bowl    South Carolina (13-30)
2010    Holiday Bowl        Washington (7-19)
2009    Holiday Bowl        Arizona (33-0)
2008    Gator Bowl        Clemson (26-21)
2006    Cotton Bowl        Auburn (14-17)

*all team stats through 11/24


Bowl Central

 Nebraska Shop