The Nebraska Cornhuskers have prided themselves on defense ever since Bo Pelini took office as head coach in Lincoln back in 2008, but this season it could be the offense that takes this team to the next level.
Despite having down seasons in both '08 and 2011, the Cornhuskers remain known for defense, and with it the black jerseys that became famous during the Bob Devaney years. Many who know Pelini's track record regarding defense expect the Blackshirts to bounce back this year, and despite the losses of three stars, that seems like a reasonable assumption.
But for as good as the Blackshirts were in 2009 and 2010, the offense was equally bad. In 2011 it took a moderate step forward, but with a brand new system and coordinator along with an inexperienced core, it wasn't enough to get Nebraska over the nine- or ten-win hump.
This year could be different, though. While Nebraska's defense should be better overall, the offense will likely be the biggest driving force behind the season's ultimate outcome. Here are five reasons why that outcome could be surprisingly good.