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Last season the Cornhuskers' offense was too inconsistent to become dominant in their new conference.
Nebraska was in their first year under offensive coordinator Tim Beck's system. They were also facing defenses that the team was unfamiliar with. This season Nebraska will be more consistent as they become more familiar with the offense and more competitive now that they understand their opponents.
Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez is the most scrutinized player on the Cornhusker's team. At times Martinez has been a very productive quarterback for Nebraska. His problem is that even when he is productive he looks awkward while doing it.
Martinez had a great freshman season until he injured his ankle. Last season he struggled at times in the new offense. In 2012 Martinez will be closer to the quarterback the Cornhusker fans watched his freshman year than the quarterback he was last season.
Martinez stated his goal in 2012 was to complete 70% of his passes. Although the statement seems arrogant, it may not be impossible for him to reach. Nebraska will run more of the option this season which should open up the passing game for Martinez. The team may employ more short passes which will also increase Martinez's completion percentage.
The strength of Nebraska's team in 2012 is at running back. Rex Burkhead returns for his senior season and is one of the best running backs in the country. Last season Burkhead rushed for 1,357 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Running backs Ameer Abdullah, Braylon Heard and Imani Cross will be used as backups to keep Burkhead fresh at the end of the season. Each of these players has the skill to become a great running back for Nebraska in the future.
The wide receiver position is also deep for the Cornhuskers. Sophomore Kenny Bell will be the primary deep threat for Nebraska. He showed last season that he is ready to become an elite pass-catcher for the Cornhuskers.
Last season wide receivers Tim Marlowe and Quincy Enunwa made plays for the Cornhuskers. They will be back along with sophomore Jamal Turner. Turner was impressive in the spring game last season, but failed to take the next step once the games began to count in the record book. This may be the season when Turner becomes a star alongside Bell at the receiver position.
While the offensive skill players seem to be the strength of the Cornhuskers in 2012, the offensive line may be the weakness.
Nebraska came into summer camp with three players who had significant playing experience (Tyler Moore, Spencer Long and Seung Hoon Choi). Last week Moore left the team and left Nebraska with a hole to fill at the offensive tackle position.
Nebraska will use Jeremiah Sirles to replace Moore, but still needs to find a starting center before the season begins. This may be a make-or-break season for Nebraska's offensive line coach Barney Cotton. If Nebraska's struggles on the offensive line continue, Cotton may be looking for a new job in 2013.