Nebraska Cornhuskers 2016 Football Schedule and Analysis

The Cornhuskers look to rebound from an unsavory start to Mike Riley's Nebraska career

Following a snake-bitten 6-7 season, Nebraska head coach Mike Riley’s looking to take the momentum enjoyed in the Cornhuskers’ current recruiting cycle and turn it into a season that can be called “solid” at the very least.


Related: 2018 Nebraska Football Schedule 


The Huskers have one of the most potent offenses in the Big Ten and they’re going to need it as, thanks to some departures and major question marks, the quality of 2016’s Blackshirts is a huge unknown at this time. 


2016 Nebraska Cornhuskers Schedule


Bye: Week 6


Wk Opp. Date Location

Sept. 3



Lincoln, NE

The Cornhuskers take their Top 25-quality offense for a drive against the Bulldogs for a third time. They’ll also get answers as to whether or not they can hold off a rushing attack after four defensive tackles with eligibility departed by the end of spring practice.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 43, Fresno St. 10


Sept. 10

12 PM ET


Lincoln, NE

Former Nebraska defensive coordinator Craig Bohl leads the Cowboys back into Lincoln, but it’s unlikely the Cowboys can offer up a scare like the 37-34 opening game from 2013. A 2–10 squad in 2015, Wyoming should offer the Big Red another tune up.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 52, Wyoming 17


Sept. 17

3:30 PM ET


Lincoln, NE

Even a change in conferences can’t help the Quack Attack evade Riley, but this time he’ll be wearing Scarlet and Cream. Nebraska’s defense will be taken to the limit and this contest may end up being a shootout.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 35, Oregon 32


Sept. 24

7:30 PM ET


Evantston, IL

Depending on how gassed the Ducks leave the Huskers, Pat Fitzgerald’s Wildcats may be able to take advantage of a winded Big Red team. This also will be Northwestern’s fourth straight home game, but the talent gap between Nebraska’s offense and the Cats’ defense is a wide one.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 24, Northwestern 13


Oct. 1

3:30 PM ET

Lincoln, NE

Wes Lunt gets one more crack at the Huskers’ secondary and by this point in the season, we’ll have a good idea just how much it’s improved from last year, if at all. Wide receiver Mike Dudek’s absence from new Illini head coach Lovie Smith’s initial receiving corps won’t do the offense any favors, though.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 31, Illinois 16


Oct. 15

3:30 PM ET

Bloomington, IN

The first time these two teams meet on the gridiron since Nebraska joined the Big Ten, the Hoosiers have far more questions than the Huskers do heading into the fall. Their secondary’s going to be tested by the Huskers’ offense, but who’ll be leading the charge for Indiana’s is still up in the air.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 27, Indiana 22

8. Oct. 22 Lincoln, NE

Losing to the Boilermakers was easily the low point of Nebraska’s 2015 campaign. Fortunately, the Big Red should have qualified backups this time around if (heaven forbid) Tommy Armstrong isn’t available. If he is, this should be nothing than a field day for the Husker offense.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 27, Purdue 14


Oct. 29



Madison, WI

Can the Big Red finally claim a win over the Badgers after coming so close last season? All signs point to yes if the Huskers’ offense can out-hustle a Wisconsin defense that will be breaking in plenty of new faces. This is another opportunity for the Nebraska receiving corps to shine.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 17, Wisconsin 23


Nov. 5



Columbus, OH

Nobody expects the Huskers to walk into The Shoe and leave with a victory, especially if the run defense is so-so at best. If Nebraska’s going to topple what will likely be a top 10 (if not top 5) team, it’ll need to force turnovers and put massive offensive numbers of its own on the board.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 3, Ohio State 62


Nov. 12

7:30 PM ET


Linclon, NE

The Battle for the $5 Bits of Broken Chair trophy is another game that may come down to how well the Big Red can stop the run. Minnesota’s Shannon Brook, Rodney Smith, Jonathan Femi-Cole and James Johannesson are all quality choices.

FINAL SCORE: Nebraska 24, Minnesota 17

12. Nov. 19 Lincoln, NE

These two teams have never met, but the second straight home game for the Huskers is a likely win for the home team. Last year’s cellar-dweller in the Big Ten East has a new head man in D. J. Durkin, but he’s not going to be able to turn his crew around fast enough for them to outpace the Big Red.

13. Nov. 25 Iowa City, IA

A game that could determine whether or not Nebraska represents the Big Ten West, but running back Jordan Canzeri, center Austin Blythe and guard Jordan Walsh all depart. The scoreboard may be busy for this game as well.


— Written by Brandon Cavanaugh, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Be sure to like his Facebook page follow him on Twitter (@eightlaces) and on Periscope (eightlaces).

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