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Transfer RB Dante Dowdell is exactly what Nebraska football needs



Nebraska football
Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Nebraska football is hosting former four-star running back Dante Dowdell and here’s why the Huskers have to land him.

Last season, Nebraska football ran the ball really well. It was one of the top rushing teams in the Big Ten. However, with Dylan Raiola playing quarterback, that’s going to be hard to duplicate.

Nebraska football will be playing a different way than it did with Heinrich Haarberg, Jeff Sims, and Chubba Purdy at quarterback. The zone read will probably still be part of the playbook, but the Huskers will expose their five-star quarterback to as few hits as possible.

The quarterback run game was a huge part of those rushing yardage numbers for Nebraska. Emmett Johnson was solid down the stretch and averaged four yards per carry, but the Huskers need reinforcements and thankfully, the perfect back is coming to visit next week.

A good running game is key in Dylan Raiola’s first season

I’m not saying that former Oregon back Dante Dowdell is going to be a cure-all for Nebraska football, but man, he feels like he could step on campus and run for 1,000 yards next season.

Gave Ervin is coming back but also is coming off a serious injury. Rahmir Johnson is coming off an injury too, and as I said, I like Johnson, but want him to be part of a running back committee.

Dowdell hasn’t proven anything outside of getting 90 yards on 17 carries (5.3 average). But he was a top-10 running back coming out of high school. He was ranked No. 191 overall and ninth among running backs. 247 Sports rated Dowdell as a four-star transfer and behind an experienced offensive line, his 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame would be quite useful.

Starting Dylan Raiola is one thing. Putting him in a position to succeed is another. The play-action passing game could make his life much easier, but if you can’t run the ball, it’s not that effective. A running game can also keep Raiola in favorable down-and-distance situations.

Despite the talent, Raiola is still going to be a freshman. Asking him to carry the offense would be a mistake, but putting him in a run-heavy offense with plenty of play-action opportunities feels like the recipe for success early and often next season.

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Chris has worked in sports journalism since 2005 writing for multiple newspapers and websites such as the Bleacher Report and Fansided before starting Husker Big Red, A fan site for hardcore followers of the #Huskers offering articles, podcasts, videos and more exclusive content on all things Nebraska