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Nebraska 35 South Alabama 21: Recap and Postgame Reaction Thread

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The Huskers force five turnovers and grit out the win on opening day

NCAA Football: South Alabama at Nebraska Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

I think this sums up how most Husker fans are feeling about the start of this season

Kicker Barret Pickering is not going to play today. Dylan Jorgensen will be kicking. Maurice Washington warmed up, but no formal announcement on whether he will play was made. Dedrick Mills was announced as the starting running back, but Coach Frost had said that would be the case earlier in the week.

Part of the tunnel walk...”Good isn’t good enough”. Nice touch.

First Quarter

Nebraska won the toss and elected to receive. Good move. Everyone wants to see the offense and Adrian Martinez.

Wan’dale Robinson nearly gave 90,000 heart attacks as he fumbled the kickoff. He recovered but only advanced the ball to the 19.

A TIGHT END with the first reception of the season. Jack Stoll first down.

The Jaguars appear determined to clog up the middle and Dedrick Mills is finding some tough sledding on the ground.

False start penalty. Sigh.

Third and 14. WE SEE YOU JD Spielman!

Jack Stoll gets loose for 50+ years. First and goal!! We all predicted this tight end dominance, right?

A Dedrick Mills run was initially called a touchdown but replay showed he was just short. Second time, he was not denied. TOUCHDOWN! The Jorgensen kick was good.

Nebraska 7 South Alabama 0

The Blackshirts left a Jaguar wide open. What initially appeared to be a catch was waved off as incomplete. USA challenged. The incomplete call was upheld.

The ESPN feed was down for a bit, which led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth on Twitter, and this:

Third and six. Incomplete. Punt.

JD Spielman was back to receive. Fair catch at the 11.

Third and 12. Nearly intercepted. Whew.

Isaac Armstrong’s punt only went 32 years and went out of bounds on the Nebraska side of the field. The field position bugaboo from last year seems alive and well.

Several defensive second-teamers are on the field for South Alabama’s second drive... the defensive line (Ben Stille, Damion Daniels, and Deontre Thomas), Will Honas and Cameron Taylor.

It looked like the DL had the third and one stopped behind the line of scrimmage, but second effort netted the first down for the Jaguars at the Husker 26 yard line.

Will Honas and Mohamed Barry sack!

Late hit penalty on Deontai Williams set up the Jaguars first and 10 at the 14 yard line.

First and goal (there should have been a horse collar tackle call on Nebraska but the refs missed it).

Touchdown South Alabama. Eeek. That was...less than desirable.

Nebraska 7 South Alabama 7

Wan’dale Robinson ran the kickoff out of the end zone to the 27.

Spielman catch for 19. Wyatt Mazour sighting. It appears Maurice Washington will not see the field today.

Third and ten. Short gain. Fourth and five. Frost goes for it. Incomplete.

Another short field for the Jaguars. The Kool-Aid is wearing off.

Erick Lee Jr. in at safety after Deontai Williams was injured. The defensive backfield is an issue - especially safety right now. Open Jaguar receivers are everywhere.

FUMBLE - RECOVERED BY NEBRASKA - THANK YOU FOOTBALL GODS!!! Lamar Jackson forced the fumble recovered by Carlos Davis.

High snap by Cameron Jurgens was recovered by Adrian Martinez, but the play lost 20 yards. Third and 28. Safe dumpoff to Mazour nets 13. Armstrong’s punt was short but took a great bounce and rolled inside the 10.

Field Position. Flipped. Sometimes you don’t ask how, just go with it.

The defensive line is not the wall we were promised. Nebraska doesn’t have the linebackers to compensate if that doesn’t get cleaned up.

End of the first quarter. Nebraska 7 South Alabama 7. Not the start Husker Nation was hoping for. Overreaction time!!!

Second Quarter

We can haz good pursuit!! Shoutouts to Eric Lee Jr and Cam Taylor.

Fourth and 12 for South Alabama. JD Spielman waved his blockers off (very good thing he did too) and the punt took a tremendous backward bounce to give Nebraska the ball on the positive side of the field.

Huskers get the ball at the Jaguar 42 yard line.

Hurry up tempo. Another high snap. Sigh. MOAR Jack Stoll and his amazing Technicolor dream mullet.

Austin Allen fights for the first down. Did you know he is 6’8”? Drink. The running game isn’t netting much for Nebraska right now but the tight ends are balling out.

Fourth and two at the four yard line. Timeout. Without Pickering, this is a tough call for Frost. Neither the OL or the DL is getting much push and the run game isn’t doing much anyway. What will coach do?

Dedrick Mills follows Jack Stoll for the first down. FIRST AND GOAL!

Kanawai Noa caught a pass out of the end zone. Incomplete. High snap. Sigh. Third and goal. Incomplete (Kanawai Noa) but defensive pass interference on South Alabama. First and goal at the two.

Dedrick Mills followed Stoll again. TOUCHDOWN NEBRASKA!! The Jorgensen kick was good.

Nebraska 14 South Alabama 7

Yikes. Another big hole up the middle for the Jaguars to run through - they are outrushing Nebraska at this point of the game.

Defensive pass interference on Marquel Dismuke. The receiver’s shoulder pads were sticking out the jersey, so yeah.

Midfield for the Jaguars. Obligatory camera shot of unhappy Erik Chinander.

SACK~ Welcome to the stat column JoJo Domann! (The gif below is the first search result on Giphy when I typed in JoJo)

Good pursuit by Will Honas. Fourth down (and 12).

Short punt. Fair catch at the 21 by Spielman.

Wan’dale Robinson showed some sweet moves, but also racked up an illegal motion penalty that negated the best one - followed by a sack of Martinez.

On second and 23, Scott Frost calls...a play that hasn’t been doing jack diddley or squat (run up the middle). Yes, I’m complaining about play calling less than two quarters into the season. The Huskers punt.

Another good roll for the Armstrong punt puts the Jaguars on the 21 yard line.

JoJo Domann was everywhere on this defensive series including a tackle for loss on third down.

More JoJo gif search results.

A great punt backed Spielman up - the Huskers take over on their 35 yard line.

WANDALE! Jaevon McQuitty across midfield. Tick tock. Tick tock. 1:21 left in the half. MOAR WANDALE. First down. Martinez keeper. High snap. Drink. Timeout. 51 seconds. Martinez keeper to the red zone. 43 seconds. Too high in the back of the end zone for Noa - safe throw by 2AM while under pressure. Near interception in the end zone as Martinez was hit.

The Jaguars are doing a lot of substituting on defense. Not sure if they are tired or are trying to anticipate Nebraska’s pace and keep players fresh.

Third and 10. Wide open Wandale in the end zone but Martinez airmailed it.

Jorgensen comes out to kick the 31 yarder. No good. I think we know what Frost will do if that situation comes up in the second half.

Nebraska 14 South Alabama 7

Husker fans are feeling...

Halftime

Scott Frost says Maurice Washington will play in the second half.

  • Nebraska opened the game with a nine-play, 81-yard touchdown drive to take a 7-0 lead. Nebraska scored a touchdown seven times on game-opening drives last season, and Scott Frost-coached teams (UCF, Nebraska) have scored a touchdown on their opening possession 17 times in 26 games.
  • Junior tight end Jack Stoll has set a personal-best with 66 receiving yards on 3 receptions.
  • Players making their first career start in today’s game included: C Cam Jurgens, OG Trent Hixson, WR Wan’Dale Robinson, DL Khalil Davis, LB Caleb Tannor, LB Collin Miller, PK Dylan Jorgensen. In addition, DL Darrion Daniels made his first career start at Nebraska.

Third Quarter

The Jaguars returned the opening kick 31 yards. A flag pushed them back to the 12.

Some passes followed by...

ERIC LEE PICK SIX!!!

Jorgensen hits the extra point.

Huskers 21 South Alabama 7

Jaguars started at the 20 yard line.

Three-and-out

Punt to Spielman....HOUSE CALL!

Husker fans feeling like...

Nebraska 28 South Alabama 7

If the offense is taking its sweet time to get on track for the season, the defense and special teams decided to help out. I’m okay with that.

Two penalties on the Jaguars (holding and unsportsmanlike conduct on the head coach) during the kickoff put them back to the eight yard line.

The middle of the Blackshirts still continues to look a little too open for business at times, but they’re starting to close that down quicker. Progress? You’d think this was the first game of the season or something.

At the 9:45 mark in the third quarter, we have yet to see the Husker offense. Normally that would be a bad thing, but the Huskers have put 14 points on the board with Martinez and Co. on the sideline.

This punt didn’t go as well as the previous one. FUMBLE. Jaguars recovered on the Husker 13 yard line.

Defensive timeout (to avoid a 12 men penalty on the Huskers).

Who’s that? Great tackle for no gain by Eli Sullivan.

Chinander sold out on the blitz which left a wide open receiver and easy touchdown for the Jaguars. The kick was good.

Nebraska 28 South Alabama 14

With 6:47 left in the third, we get our first look at the Husker offense in the second half.

Maurice Washington trotted out to start the first half and got the rock right away and took the Huskers to near-midfield. Will Farniok is in the game at center. The coaches indicated that Jurgens would be on a pitch count, so I’m not sure if the substitution is because of that or the high snaps.

Crap. INTERCEPTION.

Husker fans are feeling like...

The Blackshirts appeared to be in shock as the Jaguars were moving the ball at will and quickly reached the end zone.

Touchdown Jaguars.

Nebraska 28 South Alabama 21

All the good feels are gone.

Wan’dale Robinson returned the kickoff to the 40 yard line. Trying to give a spark to his team.

It didn’t work as a Martinez zone read lost yardage...and then sacked. 2AM doesn’t look like the electrifying quarterback we saw last season - at least right now.

The Husker have to punt.

Fourth Quarter

I was switching locations so I missed the Alex Davis fumble recovery in the end zone for a Husker TOUCHDOWN!!

Nebraska 35 South Alabama 21

Garrett Nelson sighting. The radio guys also reported Quinton Newsome as another freshman who saw the field today.

The Blackshirts force a punt.

The ninth offensive snap of the half went to Wan’Dale Robinson, followed by a Dedrick Mills fumble recovered by South Alabama. The Huskers and Jags each turned the ball over three times.

JoJo Domann is still all over the field. More JoJo please.

INTERCEPTION Cam Taylor!! He sets up the Husker offense near midfield.

The Husker offense couldn’t do anything with the ball and punted. Adrian Martinez looks really indecisive (to me).

The Jaguars start at the 20 yard line.

Cephus Johnson’s helmet came off and he had to leave the game for a play. His backup promptly throw the ball to a Husker!

ANOTHER ERIC LEE INTERCEPTION!!!

The offense went into clock chewing mode...Sigh...that only works if you can convert third downs. The Huskers have to punt again.

This game is absolutely validating the idea that if the Akron game had been played last season, the 2018 campaign might have gone very differently.

Armstrong dropped a nice punt on the five yard line.

With 2:21 left in the game, Husker fans are squirming in their seats.

The Jaguars move across midfield with a couple of big plays. The Blackshirt look a little gassed.

SACK by Alex Davis and Khalil Davis to bring up third and 19 with a little over a minute to go. The screen pass only gains five yards. They go for it on fourth down. Incomplete.

Ballgame.

It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t what most of us expected, but it is a “W” and we’ll take it.