Nebraska athletic director says 8-9 wins is a 'realistic expectation' for the 2021 season

Nick Bromberg
·3 min read

Can Nebraska win nine games in a season for the first time since 2016?

That 9-4 campaign of five years ago is a realistic benchmark according to athletic director Bill Moos. The traditional college football power has struggled over the last few seasons and hasn’t posted a winning season in Scott Frost’s three years with the program.

Moos expects that to change — and change dramatically — in 2021. From the Omaha World-Herald:

"We're going to have our work cut out for us, but we've got a lot better depth, we've got a lot better experience, we have a solid coaching staff that is primarily intact and a real good feel about being competitive in every game this fall," Moos said during his monthly call-in on the Husker Sports Network. "It'd be great to get into that 8-9 wins, to start getting back into the picture of conference championships and talking about more postseason. And I think in Year 4, for Scott Frost, that's a realistic expectation."

Nebraska has won a combined eight games over the past two seasons. The Huskers were 3-5 in an abbreviated 2020 season and finished 5-7 in 2019. That was actually an upgrade from Frost’s first season when the team went 4-8 for a second straight season.

And, to be frank, it’s hard to find eight or nine wins on Nebraska’s schedule unless the team makes the major leap that Moos clearly expects. Nebraska’s three Big Ten East opponents are Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State, and the Huskers also have a game at Oklahoma on Sept. 18. Going 1-3 in those four games means Nebraska would need to win its other two non-conference games and run the table in the Big Ten West to reach nine wins.

Another losing season will likely put Frost on the hot seat in the minds of many Nebraska fans. The former Nebraska quarterback has been heralded as the man to turn the program around ever since he arrived from UCF but the team's points per game has dropped over the last two seasons after Nebraska averaged 30 per game in 2018.

Nebraska will also have to get healthier over the summer, too, if it wants to get to nine wins. Frost said Wednesday that there was one point where nearly a third of the team was out with injury during spring practice.

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One of the players injured during spring practice was freshman tight end Thomas Fidone. The 2021 signee was a four-star recruit and enrolled early at Nebraska to participate in spring football. But Frost said that Fidone suffered a non-contact knee injury and would be out until at least the middle of the season. 

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