The Nebraska Cornhuskers will wrap up their 2013 spring practice regimen with the annual Red-White Spring Game, played on April 6 at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET, with live television coverage on BTN.
The Huskers face a defensive overhaul in 2013, with defensive end Cameron Meredith, defensive tackle Baker Steinkuhler, and linebacker Will Compton among eight defensive starters lost to graduation. The defensive line, where half of the players in the final 2012 two-deep were seniors, is a particular source of concern:
While there can be legitimate faith John Garrison will put together an effective starting five, it's hard to say the same for Pelini and Kaczenski regarding the four on the opposite side of the trenches.
Creativity's going to have to be part of the plan. If the defensive line doesn't get a hand from linebackers or even safeties, not even divine intervention can prevent opponents from gashing on the ground in 2013.
There are not nearly as many questions for the Husker offense. Nebraska returns starting quarterback Taylor Martinez -- the Huskers might play him every down of the season if necessary -- and halfback Ameer Abdullah, and the battles to back up Nebraska's entrenched starters has been the focus of spring. Martinez has been limited throughout spring as a precaution, giving senior Ron Kellogg and redshirt freshman Tommy Armstrong a chance to get much-needed reps.
Abdullah, who filled in for graduating senior Rex Burkhead last season while Burkhead was injured, is out this spring. Junior Braylon Heard, sophomore Imani Cross, and a bevy of walk-ons and fullbacks have split carries in his stead.
On special teams, Mauro Bondi steps in to the big shoes of graduating kicker/punter Brett Maher. Head coach Bo Pelini has told reporters he would like to use more starters on special teams this season in order to avoid some of the gaffes that plagued the Huskers' kicking game in 2012.
Tickets to the Red-White Game are still available for $10 at Huskers.com.