Goals for 2013 Offense
With eight to eleven starters returning for Nebraska's offense (depending on how you count them), the Huskers can aim high when setting goals for the coming year. Here are some benchmarks for the Huskers to aim for.
NU was tied for 118 out of 120 teams in turnovers lost in 2012, with 35 in fourteen games. If they eliminate one turnover per game, they'd climb to the middle of the pack. Since regression to the mean (where statistical outliers move toward the center) is a common and expected phenomenon, this might happen without much effort. Needless to say, it would certainly help the team. Having a senior quarterback should help the cause as well.
Tackles for Loss
Another area where the Huskers lagged in 2012 was in the number of tackles for loss they allowed. Considering the experience on the offensive line (and in the backfield), it simply shouldn't happen six times a game. The 2.5 sacks allowed per game also seems high for a team that doesn't throw the ball a ton.
Experience should help the Huskers play the right way and with composure. That should translate to crawling out of the bottom half nationally in penalties. Offensive penalties are drive-killers and a veteran group should know how to avoid them.
Building/Maintaining Areas of Strength
Nebraska was good in a number of areas a year ago and with so much talent back the Huskers could become even better. That includes a rushing offense, pass efficiency, total offense, and third down conversion percentage that were already tops for the Big Ten. NU was second in the conference to Ohio State in scoring offense, third in fourth down conversion percentage (behind OSU and Michigan) and fourth in red zone offense (behind OSU, Michigan, and Northwestern).
Scoring 40 points a game would seem like a genuine possibility for this team. Particularly if the tempo increases. The would put Nebraska in territory not seen since 2000. That year may not go down as the best in Husker history, but it did see NU finish in the top ten nationally. That's a goal that the whole team and the whole state should embrace.