Nebraska football schedule 2013: Opponents, game dates and more

USA TODAY Sports

The first two months of the Cornhuskers' schedule set up beautifully. Will they take advantage?

As is the case every year, there are plenty of teams facing a difficult schedule in 2013. Nebraska is not one of them. In fact, the reigning Legends Division champs could plausibly be undefeated well into October, if not later. The Cornhuskers return the bulk of their offensive production, including quarterback Taylor Martinez as well as their leading rusher and leading receiver.

2013 Nebraska schedule

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

8/31/2013 Wyoming MWC 102

9/7/2013 Southern Miss CUSA 93

9/14/2013 UCLA Pac-12 44

9/21/2013 South Dakota State FCS

9/28/2013 Open date

10/5/2013 Illinois B1G 87

10/12/2013 at Purdue B1G 79

10/19/2013 Open date

10/26/2013 at Minnesota B1G 72

11/2/2013 Northwestern B1G 35

11/9/2013 at Michigan B1G 27

11/16/2013 Michigan State B1G 18

11/23/2013 at Penn State B1G 21

11/29/2013 Iowa (Friday) B1G 40

12/7/2013 Big Ten Championship (Indianapolis)

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.

The only contest setting up as a potential tripping point in September is UCLA, but that game is in Lincoln, where the Huskers will play all of their first five games. After a warm-up against FCS South Dakota State, they ease into Big Ten play with Illinois and Purdue, followed by another bye week and a trip to Minnesota. As far as advantageous starts to conference play go, this one is up there.

It's November when things begin to get serious. Road trips to Michigan and Penn State sandwich a home game against Michigan State, and any one of those games could prove critical in the division race. Penn State may be ineligible for postseason play, but the outcome of that one certainly could have a major impact on Nebraska's postseason positioning. The Northwestern game that precedes this stretch will be important as well.

The Cornhuskers should be in fine shape when they hit November, and while the road games in the final month are tough, overall it's a manageable slate. Nebraska dodged both Ohio State and Wisconsin, giving it an immediate leg up on some other teams in the Legends Division. Now the Cornhuskers just have to take advantage of that.

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