The time for Kool-Aid chugging is over. Or not. South Alabama is projected to be one of the worst FBS teams in the country. A solid win by the Huskers probably doesn’t tell us much about our team, other than the demons of 2017 and 2018 may have been exorcised. If the Huskers struggle noticeably...we can join our friends in Minnesota in wailing and gnashing of teeth.
The Nebraska Cornhuskers open their 130th season on Saturday by hosting the South Alabama Jaguars. Nebraska enters the 2019 season with a No. 24 preseason ranking in the Associated Press poll, marking the Huskers’ first appearance in the preseason poll in five years.
Scott Frost will lead his second Husker team against a South Alabama squad that also features a second-year head coach in Steve Campbell. The Jaguars went 3-8 in Campbell’s first season, including a season-ending victory over Coastal Carolina.
Check out Husker Mike’s South Alabama Review.
Date/Time: August 31, 2019 11:00 a.m.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE Capacity: 86,047
Surface: Field Turf
Opposition Blog: Check out Underdog Dynasty for all things Sun Belt.
Series Record: Nebraska leads the all-time series with South Alabama 1-0. The Huskers are 9-1 against current Sun Belt teams.
TV: The game will be televised on ESPN. Play-by-Play announcer will be Beth Mowins, analyst, Anthony Becht and Rocky Boiman on the sidelines. It can be streamed through the ESPN App with a login from your cable/satellite/streaming provider.
Radio: Huskers sports radio network. The audio can also be streamed live for free at huskers.com. The crew will be: Greg Sharpe, Matt Davison, and Ben McLaughlin. Satellite radio options include: XM Simulcast 196; Sirius Simulcast 113
Weather: It will be cool and cloudy at kickoff at 66 degrees. There is a 30% chance of showers which will decrease to 20% as the game is played. The chances of storms that were such a concern a few days ago appear to be diminishing. The wind will be negligible at 6-8 mph from the ESE.
Odds: Nebraska is favored by 35.5-36.5 points.
In 1969, Nebraska became the first NCAA school to hire a strength and conditioning coach. In 2019, Nebraska celebrates the 50th anniversary of Husker Power. Nebraska will hold a Friday evening banquet to honor its Husker Power 50 team, and the team will be recognized at Saturday’s game.
Adrian Martinez averaged 295.1 yards of total offense in 2018, which was the highest average ever by a true freshman quarterback at a Power Five program.
Offensive coordinator Troy Walters in Wan’dale Robinson
“He’s a playmaker. He’s a playmaker. When his number is called he goes out there, he makes plays. He’s versatile, he can line up at receiver, line up at running back but the biggest thing was he had a lot of ‘wow’ plays. Which means when the ball was in his hands he made plays and as coaches we said ‘wow’. So we’ve got to get him on the field, we’ve got to get the ball in his hands because he is dynamic.”
Head coach Scott Frost on Adrian Martinez
“Adrian provides us with at least a “wow” moment a day. He made a throw the other day that I’ve never really seen before. Maybe watching the Chiefs play last year. We just need him to play like he’s been practicing. He’s way more comfortable in the offense, obviously he has the talent to make any play he needs to on the football field. Now we just need to be efficient and have that at a high rate.”
On Dedrick Mills
”Dedrick is a little like Adrian [Martinez] and what I was saying about him. We had high hopes when we got him out of junior college. I think he’s surprised me on how quickly he’s caught on and his talent. He’s been a real pleasant surprise in camp, and I see good things coming from him. He runs really hard and plays hard and comes to practice every day and works. He probably has better breakaway speed than I expected, and he’s hard to bring down. He’s going to be a big addition to our offense and I expect him to be on the field during our first play on Saturday.”
“I feel way less stressed going into this year than last year. We still had a lot of unknowns last year. We still had a lot of guys who were still learning and a lot of guys who were question marks in our minds on how they were going to play. We have way fewer of those this year. For the most part, we have a team that’s doing everything we ask them to do that’s competing on the practice field every day. Their consistency through camp and how they’ve been practicing leads me to believe that that’s what I’m going to see come Saturday. You still never know, but I think last year I was a little apprehensive about going into the start of the season. This year I’m excited.”
On the defense
”I hope the front seven come out on Saturday and play like they’ve been practicing because they’ve been hard to move the ball against in camp. We really have to execute well and be aggressive on offense to move it against them. This team presents some unique things and I think they do a really good job with scheme. South Alabama has some plays that you have to be really disciplined and on your assignment with. I feel good about the front seven and where they are. They’ve been playing at a really high level all of camp.”