JD Spielman returns a punt for a third-quarter touchdown.

Nebraska 35
South Alabama 21

Aug. 31, 2019 - 11 a.m. Central
Memorial Stadium | Lincoln, NE | ESPN
1st 2nd 3rd 4th Total
South Alabama 7 0 14 0 21
Nebraska 7 7 14 7 35
First quarter
NEB: Mills 1 run (Jorgensen kick) 12:19
USA: Johnson 3 run (Onate kick) 5:32
Second quarter
NEB: Mills 1 run (Jorgensen kick) 9:15
Third quarter
NEB: Lee 38 interception return (Jorgensen kick) 13:11
NEB: Spielman 76 punt return (Jorgensen kick) 11:32
USA: Flenord 9 pass from Johnson (Onate kick) 6:47
USA: Taylor 13 pass from Johnson (Onate kick) 2:17
Fourth quarter
NEB: Davis fumble recovery in end zone (Jorgensen kick) 14:53

                             USA      NEB
FIRST DOWNS.................. 19       15
RUSHES-YARDS (NET)........ 44-83    44-98
PASSING YDS (NET)........... 231      178
  Att-Comp-Int.......... 35-19-3  22-13-1
TOTAL OFFENSE............ 79-314   66-276
Fumble Returns-Yards........ 0-0      1-3
Punt Returns-Yards.......... 1-0     4-80
Kickoff Returns-Yards...... 5-74     3-77
Int. Returns-Yards......... 1-18     3-86
Punts (Number-Avg)....... 7-41.0   6-45.5
Fumbles-Lost................ 2-2      4-2
Penalties-Yards............ 7-44     8-64
Possession Time........... 34:13    25:47
Third-Down Conv. ....... 7 of 17  6 of 15
Fourth-Down Conv. ....... 0 of 1   1 of 2
Red-Zone Scores-Chances..... 3-4      2-3
Sacks By: Number-Yards..... 2-17     4-32


RUSHING
USA: Tra Minter 10-37; Kawaan Baker 5-27; Cephus Johnson 18-9; Terrion Avery 3-8; Jared Wilson 4-7; Team 1-minus 2; Carlos Davis 3-minus 3.

NEB: Dedrick Mills 15-44; Maurice Washington 6-39; Wan'Dale Robinson 4-21; Wyatt Mazour 4-12; Adrian Martinez 13-6; TEAM 2-minus 24.

PASSING
USA: Cephus Johnson 19-34-2-231; Tylan Morton 0-1-1-0.

NEB: Adrian Martinez 13-22-1-178.

RECEIVING
USA: Tra Minter 5-47; Kawaan Baker 4-59; Cade Sutherland 4-53; Jalen Tolbert 2-38; Davyn Flenord 2-16; Khameron Taylor 1-13; Devin Voisin 1-5.

NEB: Jack Stoll 3-66; Wan'Dale Robinson 3-33; JD Spielman 2-36; Wyatt Mazour 1-13; Maurice Washington 1-13; Austin Allen 1-8; Jaevon McQuitty 1-6; Dedrick Mills 1-3.

ATTENDANCE: 89,502

Alex Davis
Alex Davis celebrates after recovering a fumble in the end zone against South Alabama.

Coverage

Stats & recap
Complete Stats

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.

Omaha World-Herald*
Lincoln Journal Star*
Grand Island Indep.*
Husker247
Hail Varsity
Daily Nebraskan
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Tight end Jack Stoll

Commentary

Stryker

The Husker offense was neither fast nor efficient, and in the second half, it was almost nonexistent.

HuskerMax
Christopherson

Let's just say the Huskers didn't make the best first impression in this 2019 campaign.

Shatel

There were no plays in Scott Frost's playbook that could get the offense going. Plays require blocking.

Omaha World-Herald
Callahan

Saturday was a reminder of how much work this football team still has ahead of them, and that a trip to Indianapolis in December is a very long ways away.

HuskerOnline
Sipple

Yes, a reality check. Maybe that's what's best for a Nebraska offense that may have to generate a big number in order for NU to beat Colorado.

Lincoln Journal Star
Vogel

This game will either be a bizarre anomaly or the first sign of some legitimate concerns, but we won’t know which one it is until much later.

Hail Varsity
Shatel

What a strange opener. Hope and doubt, from places we least expected. It’s too early to say what this means, but Saturday, the Kool-Aid tasted a little flat.

Omaha World-Herald
Hardesty

The Huskers have grown up just enough to avoid disasters on days like today. If they’re going to take that next step as so many expect, they have plenty of work to do.

Daily Nebraskan
Husker Mikle

As much as it pains me to say, Nebraska looked like a 4-8 team yet again in the 2019 season opener.

Corn Nation
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