Nebraska Cornhuskers 2017 Football Schedule and Analysis

The Cornhuskers will head to the Pacific Northwest for a rematch with the Ducks and take on Ohio State and Penn State in Big Ten crossover play

Nebraska kicks off its 2017 slate with a challenging non-conference slate, getting all three non-Big Ten games out of the way in the first three weeks of the season. That nine-game league schedule makes marquee series more difficult to line up, but the Cornhuskers skirt that nicely by flying to Oregon this season, after hosting the Ducks last season.

 

Related: Nebraska Cornhuskers 2017 Spring Football Preview

 

Home tilts with Arkansas State and Northern Illinois are by no means cakewalks, but Mike Riley and the Huskers do get some good news, bad news as it relates to crossover opponents from the Big Ten East this year. They do get both the defending Big Ten champions (Penn State) and a College Football Playoff participant (Ohio State), but Nebraska also draws Rutgers this season too.

 

2017 Nebraska Cornhuskers Schedule

 

Bye: Week 8

 

Wk Opp. Date Location
1.

Sept. 2

Lincoln, NE

The Red Wolves are 52-26 over the past five seasons, as head coach Blake Anderson has kept the program churning along after Hugh Freeze, Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin led it to unprecedented heights.

2.

Sept. 9

Eugene, OR

What can you expect from Willie Taggart’s crew in Year 1? Better question: What can you expect from Taggart’s crew in its first game against an FBS opponent? (The Ducks open with FCS Southern Utah at home.)

3.

Sept. 16

Lincoln, NE

The Huskies have dipped a bit the past two years, winning eight (2015) and five (2016) games after a run of five straight seasons with at least 10 victories. Still, they were hit hard by injuries last season and are anxious to restore their status early in 2017.

4.

Sept. 23

Lincoln, NE

The Scarlet Knights went an abysmal 2-10 in Chris Ash’s first season. They can’t be any worse, right?

5.

Sept. 29

Champaign, IL

Another second-year Big Ten head coach, Lovie Smith, is looking to engineer a turnaround after a 3-9 debut campaign, although there were some signs of progress in 2016, unlike Rutgers.

6.

Oct. 7

Lincoln, NE

Nebraska’s beaten Wisconsin just once since joining the Big Ten in 2011. The Huskers will likely need to do it again if they hope to unseat the defending Big Ten West champions.

7. Oct. 14 Lincoln, NE

The Huskers won their only meeting with the Buckeyes in Lincoln, in 2011, but they lost by 59 last year in Columbus. Ohio State will likely be the Big Ten favorites in 2017.

9.

Oct. 28

West Lafayette, IN

It could be a long first year for Jeff Brohm with the Boilermakers, but the Huskers can’t afford to take Purdue for granted after a three-week stretch of Wisconsin, OSU and a bye.

10.

Nov. 4

Lincoln, NE

This has quietly turned into one of the most thrilling annual games in the Big Ten, with four of the six meetings in league play being decided by three points or fewer.

11.

Nov. 11

Minneapolis, MN

The Golden Gophers won nine games last year and now have the energy of new head coach P.J. Fleck guiding them in 2017. They’re a team worth watching in the ever-open Big Ten West.

12. Nov. 18 State College, PA

The Nittany Lions have actually never beaten Nebraska in Big Ten play, although all three meetings have been close, and the defending league champions should again be a contender in 2017.

13. Nov. 24 Lincoln, NE

The “Heroes Game” has netted three wins apiece for these two programs since 2011, but the Huskers have dropped two straight to their divisional rivals. There could be plenty at stake here if either team has the kind of season it’s hoping for.

SEE THIS YEAR'S NEBRASKA FOOTBALL SCHEDULE

 

— Written by Matt Fortuna, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and spent six seasons covering college football for ESPN.com. Fortuna’s work has been honored by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) seven times. Follow him on Twitter @Matt_Fortuna and like his Facebook page.

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