Big-play defense bails out Huskers
The Blackshirts forced five South Alabama turnovers and the Cornhuskers scored three non-offensive touchdowns in the second half as Nebraska worked its way to a 35-21 season-opening win at Memorial Stadium.
Nebraska got a 38-yard interception return for a touchdown from Eric Lee Jr. on the first drive of the second half. The Huskers also got a fumble return for a touchdown by Alex Davis on forced fumble by Cam Taylor on the first play of the fourth quarter to lead a bevy of big plays by the Blackshirt defense.
In between the two scores by the defense, the Huskers got a 76-yard punt return touchdown from junior JD Spielman to give the Big Red three non-offensive scores in a span of 15:07 to start the second half. Lee added his second career interception in the fourth quarter, while Lamar Jackson caused a first-quarter fumble for the Blackshirts.
The big plays by the defense allowed the Huskers to overcome a less than spectacular effort by the offense in the second half. The Huskers ran only 17 offensive plays in the second half for just 66 total yards, and South Alabama was able to cash in a pair of Husker turnovers for 14 points in the half.
In the game, Nebraska managed just 276 total yards. South Alabama produced 314 total yards on 79 plays, including 222 yards on 47 plays after halftime.