The stakes are higher for Nebraska this spring than any other Big Ten program.

In an offseason without any head coaching changes in the league, the Cornhuskers are the team undergoing the most dramatic makeover. Scott Frost restructured his entire staff, particularly on offense.

The Huskers have a new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach (Mark Whipple), offensive line coach (Donovan Raiola), running backs coach (Bryan Applewhite), wide receivers coach (Mickey Joseph) and special teams coordinator (Bill Busch).

Frost’s motivation is no mystery. Another 3-9 season, and he’s former Nebraska coach Scott Frost.

Because of all this, there is no more intriguing spring game to watch in the B1G this year.

Yet for the very same reason, there may not be a spring game that reveals less. Or looks more ragged. Frost needs to get everything absolutely right with this team. It will probably be well into August camp before that’s possible.

Simply put, Nebraska fans shouldn’t place too heavy a burden of expectation on Saturday’s game. But that doesn’t mean we won’t get some signs of what may come this fall.

The QB “competition”

Frost hasn’t named a starting quarterback, which is probably the right call. There are a couple of transfers in the mix, and everyone is learning a new offense. This is a process.

But we might get some insight into how much longer the Cornhuskers will still have a quarterback competition.

Casey Thompson, who started at Texas for the majority of last season and seemed poised for a strong 2022 until the Longhorns added transfer Quinn Ewers, is the obvious favorite. The format of a spring game is often deceptive when it comes to dual-threat quarterbacks — they usually can’t be tackled — but there’s still a lot we can learn about Thompson.

We will also get some idea of whether fellow competitors Chubba Purdy and Logan Smothers are close enough to give Thompson a legitimate run for his money.

Is the running game making progress?

The Cornhuskers will have a new starting quarterback for the first time in 5 years, so naturally that’s going to draw the most interest.

But Frost has spent much of the leadup to the spring game addressing Nebraska’s running game. Raiola, the brother of former Huskers great Dominic Raiola, was brought in to install a more aggressive blocking scheme.

“We’ve been at or near the top of rushing in the Big Ten quite a few years, but I think we can be better, and that’s one area where I really do see improvement,” Frost said Monday. “The way the line’s blocking, the way the backs are hitting it. A combination of efficient run blocking and talent and vision in the back end helps that.”

The Huskers weren’t bad last year, finishing 5th in the Big Ten with 4.4 yards per carry. But they were more like singles hitters than home run hitters. Nebraska tied with Rutgers for 10th in the B1G with 50 runs of 10 yards or greater.

It’s likely the Huskers will allow more tackles for loss with their new approach, but the trade-offs could outweigh that. Perhaps we’ll see both elements in play on Saturday.

Which transfers will step up?

Thompson and Purdy are the most high-profile new additions to Nebraska’s roster, but they aren’t the only ones. With his job on the line, Frost hit the transfer portal fairly hard to give this roster some veteran touches.

There are 3 guys in particular who might break out Saturday.

WR Trey Palmer: The LSU transfer is already drawing rave reviews in his first spring in Lincoln. And that makes sense — he’s a former 5-star prospect who caught 30 passes for 344 yards and 3 touchdowns last season for a Tigers offense that had consistency issues at quarterback.

Palmer arrived at Nebraska with Joseph, who was sent packing along with other members of Ed Orgeron’s staff when LSU hired Brian Kelly.

Samori Toure is the toughest player to replace on Nebraska’s roster. Saturday we’ll see how equipped Palmer might be for that job.

RB Anthony Grant: Frost wants a more explosive run game, and Grant seems capable of helping with that task. As a freshman at Florida State, he was the Seminoles’ primary kick returner.

Grant spent the past 2 seasons at New Mexico Military Institute, averaging 7.1 yards per carry against junior college competition.

I suspect Whipple and Frost will have a fun play or 2 dialed up for Grant.

CB Tommi Hill: Hill wears Cam Taylor-Britt’s No. 5 and rocks a chain in his official team photo, so I’m guessing this is a pretty confident dude. And that’s a necessary trait for a cornerback.

Hill started just 1 game in his lone season at Arizona State, but played in parts of 11. His reason for leaving the Sun Devils is fairly obvious. The position coach who recruited him, Chris Hawkins, is on administrative leave due to an NCAA investigation.

Hill, like Palmer, is creating a lot of buzz this spring. And I’m guessing he’ll be pretty aggressive given the setting.