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
1st2nd3rd4th F 
South Alabama7014021
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

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.

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

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

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.


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


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*
Hail Varsity
Nebraska Athletics
More Neb. Sources
Opponent & Natl. sources
Pregame links & info
2019 schedule
04/13Reds 24, Whites 13
08/31S. AlabamaW 35-21
09/07@ ColoradoL 31-34
09/14N. IllinoisW 44-8
09/21@ IllinoisW 42-38
09/28Ohio St.L 7-48
10/05NorthwesternW 13-10
10/12@ MinnesotaL 7-34
10/26IndianaL 31-38
11/02@ PurdueL 27-31
11/16WisconsinL 21-37
11/23@ MarylandW 54-7
11/29IowaL 24-27
Tight end Jack Stoll



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


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


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

Omaha World-Herald

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.


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

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

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

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 Mike

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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