No. 24 Nebraska opens Frost’s 2nd season against S. Alabama
South Alabama (3-9 last season) at No. 24 Nebraska (4-8), Saturday at noon ET (ESPN).
Line: Nebraska by 36.
Series record: Nebraska leads 1-0.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Nebraska, ranked in the preseason for the first time since 2014 and picked to win the Big Ten West, is looking for a strong start after opening Scott Frost’s first season 0-6. The Sun Belt Conference’s Jaguars are hoping to knock off a Power 5 opponent for the second time since the program started in 2009.
South Alabama defensive line vs. Nebraska offensive line. Tyree Turner, who played against Nebraska in 2015 before a season-ending injury, and Jordan Beaton are big and fast and anchor the Jaguars’ deepest area of strength. The Huskers will have two first-time starters, including at center.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
South Alabama: QB Cephus Johnson, who started one game in 2018 and appeared in seven others, beat out two challengers for the job. His charge is to ignite an offense that averaged 18 points per game against opponents with winning records.
Nebraska: RB Dedrick Mills is a tough runner who hasn’t played at the FBS level since 2016, when he led Georgia Tech in rushing before getting dismissed for failed drug tests.
FACTS & FIGURES
Nebraska will pay South Alabama a $1.2 million guarantee. … The Huskers won the teams’ only previous meeting, 48-9 in 2015. … The Jaguars are 1-11 against Power 5 conference opponents, with their only win against Mississippi State in the 2016 opener. … USA backup CB Tyrone Legette Jr. is the son of former Nebraska DB and ex-NFL player Tyrone Legette. … Jags RB Tra Minter led the Sun Belt in all-purpose yards last year. … Nebraska’s JD Spielman replaces 1,000-yard receiver Stanley Morgan Jr. as Adrian Martinez’s top target. Spielman had 66 catches for 818 yards and eight TDs.