Even Minus Carr and Adams, Fresno State Still a Tough Game
Nebraska's first road game of the 2014 season will be no gimme. The Huskers head to Fresno State to take on the Bulldogs. The team has not lost a home game in two seasons under head coach Tim DeRuyter. It helps that he had quarterback Derek Carr, who averaged 400 yards of offense per game and 52 touchdowns in 2013. Wideout Davante Adams scored 24 times and averaged over 130 receiving yards per game. Both head to the NFL, but that won't make the 'Dogs an easy out.
Fresno State still has a number of standout players returning. Wideout Josh Harper tallied over 1,000 yards with 13 touchdowns in just 11 games a year ago. Harper scored a 4th quarter touchdown against the Huskers in 2011 that cut NU's lead to 2 points. The big running back tandem of Josh Quezada and Marteze Waller amassed nearly 2,000 yards from scrimmage and 14 scores. Guard Cody Wichmann also stands out offensively.
Defensively, they bring back their top six tacklers. Linebacker Ejiro Ederaine who produced 10 sacks, safety Derron Smith who picked off 7 passes, and stout nose guard Tyeler Davison all earned all-conference attention. In addition, they have a standout punter in Garrett Swanson.
Nebraska will have to earn its points offensively against what should be a very good defense. Defensively, they will need to be sound enough to stand up against a bruising run game complemented by a genuine deep threat.
It probably won't wind up to be the toughest opponent nor toughest game of the year. Still, Fresno State will be a team worth taking seriously.