I previewed Mike Riley's first game, a home date against the BYU Cougars, check out the preview here.
As a Texas fan I've fairly familiar with BYU, although much in the way that a dog is familiar with the shock fence that defines his boundaries.
While fully admitting that my experience screams out that I have a bias that would lead me to overrate the Cougars, I suspect they are much better than people assume. Fact of the matter is, they were 4-0 last year before Taysom Hill went down and he's actually one of the better dual-threat QBs in the entire nation.
Their defense is consistently pretty good as well as they are always stocked with a supply of 22-24 year olds that have been developed for years in the system as well as much more than their fair share of Islanders who make for particularly squatty and troublesome DL and LBs in the middle of the field.
Given that Nebraska's best offensive player, Pierson-El, is out I don't understand why they should be favored. However, I am optimistic about Nebraska's long-term potential under Riley. They seem to understand who they are now and hired a coach that knows how to pursue a national recruiting strategy in which his program isn't the first dog to the bowl.
2016 commitments like Elite 11 QB Pat O'Brien, a pro-style "tree" that fits their system, and promising TE Jack Stoll indicate that the Cornhuskers are going to load up on the right kind of 3-star prospects to really take off in the future. The biggest challenge will just be retooling the OL to blow holes up the middle on inside zone, as I detail in the article.
Be patient, Husker fan, be willing to endure an upset loss to BYU now in exchange for a stronger program later.