Week Zero College Football: Nebraska – Northwestern is one to watch


The college football season kicks off on Saturday with one of the most bizarre traditions that have taken hold in recent years: Week 0, when a small group of teams open their seasons on the weekend before the generally accepted workday weekend begins.

There are two ways for teams to play Football Bowl Subdivision in Week 0: by applying for a waiver to the NCAA or by being a team that has to travel to play Hawaii at some point in the season (the NCAA allows such teams to reimburse for travel to Hawaii by scheduling thirteenth match). Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky, Duquesne, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah and UNLV will travel to face the Rainbow Warriors this season, all playing on Saturday.

So while there aren’t many high-profile teams in action on Saturday, Week 0 can still whet our appetite for next season.

Western Kentucky vs Austin Peay

Northwest vs Nebraska

Stephen F. Austin vs. Jacksonville State

Utah vs Connecticut

Florida vs. Duquesne

Florida Atlantic vs Charlotte

North Carolina vs Florida A&M

New Mexico vs Nevada

Nebraska and Northwest Travel all the way to Dublin for the first game of the season (and the only game of Week 0) featuring two strong conference teams. The Cornhuskers won just three games for the second season in a row in 2021, which almost cost coach Scott Frost his job — it was Forced to take a pay cut He fired four offensive assistants—but key stats tell the story of a potentially unlucky team: Nebraska scored 63 points more than its opponents over the course of the season, but was 0-8 in the games that were decided by a single score. Frost brought in a new offensive coordinator, Mark Whipple, who did miracles for the Pittsburgh attack. This, plus a wealth of diversions, could lead to brighter days in Lincoln (or at least Frost’s hopes). Meanwhile, the Wildcats hit a 3-9 record for the second time in three seasons, and their season slipped by a main attack (they only had 124 plays gain at least 10 yards, which ranked 124th place out of 130 teams). …

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Illinois, which hosts Wyomingshowed progress as coach Brett Bilima’s first Champaign campaign continued, winning four of his last seven matches in 2021, including This funny nine-hour overtime road disturbance then no. 7 Pennsylvania. But Illini lost a lot of production from that team and they started almost from scratch. The Cowboys deal with a similar problem, particularly with regard to attack: They must replace the top two quarterbacks, the lead rider, the top two receivers, and the two serving staffers of all conferences. But given how poorly Wyoming’s offensive was last season — the Cowboys failed to reach 20 points in six games last season — that might be a blessing in disguise. …

Hawaii Vanderbilt It’s about the “Week 0 Nightcap” any game could have, especially considering it’ll be played at the 9,300-seat Rainbow Warriors training ground after the Aloha Stadium was declared unusable after last season. Allegations of abuse by former coach Todd Graham have sent many of Hawaii’s best players to the transfer gate, meaning there is little left of last year’s 6-7 squad for new coach Timmy Chang, who has put up flashy numbers as the Rainbow Warriors quarterback in earlier this century. . Vanderbilt’s brief moment of efficiency — the Commodores went five ball games over eight seasons from 2011 to 2018 — appears to be over: Vanderbilt has gone 5-28 over the past three seasons.

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