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Nebraska Football: Looking Ahead at the 2014 Schedule

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A Game-by-Game Look at Nebraska's Upcoming Season

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An inconsistent 2013 season ended on a high note in the Gator Bowl as the Nebraska Cornhuskers defeated the Georgia Bulldogs, 24-19. The win allowed Nebraska to finish 9-4, after going 5-3 in the Big 10. Now adjusted to life in their new conference, the Cornhuskers are ranked 22nd in the USA Today preseason poll. Here's a look at Nebraska's schedule, with predictions.

Game 1: vs. Florida Atlantic, Aug. 30

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Game 1: vs. Florida Atlantic, Aug. 30

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Nebraska eases into the 2014 season with a home game against Florida Atlantic in Week 1. The Owls went 6-6 last season, but didn't do anything of note against quality competition. Regardless of who starts at quarterback, head coach Bo Pelini's club should start the season with a resounding win.

Game 2: vs. McNeese State, Sept. 6

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Game 2: vs. McNeese State, Sept. 6

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The second game, despite being against an FCS opponent in McNeese State, might be more difficult for the Cornhuskers than the opener vs. FAU. McNeese State is generally a pretty strong team in college football's second division. The game could be high scoring, but the Cornhuskers should prevail by something like 45-21. WIN (2-0, 0-0 BIg 10).

Game 3: at Fresno State, Sept. 13

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Game 3: at Fresno State, Sept. 13

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Here's Nebraska's first real test of the season. The Cornhuskers should be 2-0 entering this game at Fresno State, a team that has made a habit of winning big games on its home turf against quality opponents in the past. While the Bulldogs aren't a national power, they are always a top-25 threat. Nebraska should win, narrowly. WIN. (3-0, 0-0)

Game 4: vs. Miami (Fla.), Sept. 20

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Game 4: vs. Miami (Fla.), Sept. 20

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Whatever the fortunes of these two programs are heading into this game, it always brings national attention when the Miami Hurricanes and Nebraska Cornhuskers meet. The schools have played several important postseason games and both teams re looking to return to national prominence. In a tight game, Nebraska stays perfect. WIN. (4-0, 0-0).

Game 5: vs. Illinois, Sept. 27

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Game 5: vs. Illinois, Sept. 27

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Nebraska opens Big 10 play just as it does its non-conference season, with a game that it very much should win. Illinois is likely to be on the rise in the conference, but that improvement probably won't show up until later in the year. The Cornhuskers catch the Fighting Illini at a good time and improve to 5-0, 1-0 in the Big 10. WIN.

Game 6: at Michigan State, Oct. 4

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Game 6: at Michigan State, Oct. 4

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Now 5-0 and probably ranked in the top 10 in the national polls, Nebraska will be one of the feel-good stories of the season when the Cornhuskers head to East Lansing to take on Michigan State. But the Spartans last year had the best defense in the country and that won't change much in 2014. Michigan State rolls, 21-6. LOSS. (5-1, 1-1)

Game 7: at Northwestern, Oct. 18

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Game 7: at Northwestern, Oct. 18

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Coming off a disappointing loss at Michigan State, the Cornhuskers would love to have a home game in Week 7, or perhaps an easy opponent. Unfortunately, Nebraska gets neither as a road trip to Northwestern awaits. On talent, the Cornhuskers are better. But in reality, this will be a prime upset spot for the Wildcats. LOSS. (5-2, 1-2)

Game 8: vs. Rutgers, Oct. 25

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Game 8: vs. Rutgers, Oct. 25

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This is the game Nebraska needed in Week 7. Rutgers debuts in the Big 10 and it's not going to be pretty. The Scarlet Knights may grab a win along the way, but it won't be this week as the Cornhuskers give Rutgers a rude welcome to their new conference. WIN. (6-2, 2-2)

Game 9: vs. Purdue, Nov. 1

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Game 9: vs. Purdue, Nov. 1

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Purdue will have to be a much improved club in 2014 to have a chance to get a win at Nebraska as the calendar turns to November and the weather gets bitter. The Cornhuskers pile-drove the Boilermakers last season, 44-7, and that was at Purdue. This year's game will probably be closer, but the final result won't be any different. WIN. (7-2, 3-2)

Game 10: at Wisconsin, Nov. 15

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Game 10: at Wisconsin, Nov. 15

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You may be going through this wondering, where are all of Nebraska's tough conference games? With the new two-division alignment, the Cornhuskers don't play Ohio State, Michigan or Penn State this season. But a road trip to Wisconsin is on the schedule. The Badgers just missed the Rose Bowl last year, but they won't miss out here. LOSS. (7-3, 3-3)

Game 11: vs. Minnesota, Nov. 22

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Game 11: vs. Minnesota, Nov. 22

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Two teams that didn't meet last year were Minnesota and Nebraska. In the last meeting between the teams, the Cornhuskers rolled to a 38-14 win late in the 2012 season. That game was in Lincoln and so is this one. The Gophers tend to post very good efforts without getting results. This game will be an example. WIN. (8-3, 4-3)

Game 12: at Iowa, Nov. 29

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Game 12: at Iowa, Nov. 29

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In the new environment of college football, Iowa has replaced Oklahoma as Nebraska's traditional season-ending opponent. Iowa got much the better of this game last year, as the Hawkeyes crushed the Cornhuskers, 38-17, in Lincoln. Nebraska will get revenge for that and earn a decent bowl bid with a win here. WIN. (9-3, 5-3)