South Alabama (@ ) vs Nebraska (@ )

Our Prediction:

Nebraska will win

South Alabama – Nebraska Match Prediction | 26-08-2019 12:00

After a successful stint at FCS program Central Arkansas, Campbell was just 3-9 during his first season at South Alabama in 2018. He appears to have things moving in the right direction, but the Jaguars are still considered one of the worst programs in college football until they can prove otherwise. Its currently Steve Campbells job to do the building at South Alabama.

What was weird, according to SB Nation analytics guru Bill Connelly, was that Campbell combined players and coaches that each had a passing background, and implemented a try-to-run-the-damn-ball offense. After a 4-8 season in 2017, Steve Campbell replaced the programs first head coach, Joey Jones... Note the try part, because despite trying, it wasnt successful Whatever they were thinking, it just didnt work in 2018. and promptly went 3-9 in his first season at South Alabama.

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That placed them 54th in Division 1 in punting average. Their kickers had a field goal percentage of 78%. They accumulated 150 punt return yards and averaged 9.4 yards per return, which was 59th in college football. They returned 31 kicks for 490 yards on special teams, ranking 91st in kick return yardage. Their punters totaled 2,394 yards on 58 punts, averaging 42 yards per punt. The Nebraska Cornhuskers averaged 16 yards per kick return and they were 57th in the country in all-purpose yards with 6,114. Nebraska kickers made 98% of their extra points, going 40 for 41 last year. Nebraska was ranked 85th in the nation in punt returns with 16 last year. The Cornhuskers attempted 18 field goals last season and made 14, which was 58th in D-1.

Of course, Martinez is also a huge threat in the running game, gaining over 600 yards on the ground last year and finding the end zone with his legs eight times. Hes already being talked about as a Heisman candidate after throwing for 2,600 yards and 17 passing touchdowns last season. If you believe the hype, he should have a field day against a team like South Alabama. Everybody knows that Nebraskas offense begins and ends with quarterback Adrian Martinez.

The Jaguars were 5-6-1 ATS and their over/under record was 9-3-0. Memorial Stadium is the venue for the game between the South Alabama Jaguars and the Nebraska Cornhuskers on Saturday, August 31, 2019. The Cornhuskers were 6-5-1 against the spread last year and their over/under mark was 7-5-0. The opening line for this matchup has Nebraska as 32 point favorites.

2019 South Alabama Jaguars Football Preview

ESPNs FPI says Nebraska has a 39.5 percent chance at victory Nebraska actually has a better chance at beating Ohio State than it does against Minnesota based on ESPNs analytics. Nebraska has to bring its A-game to Minneapolis after a 53-28 win was the first of the Frost era in 2018. The Gophers have multiple quarterbacks with starting experience, multiple 1,000-yard rushers, arguably the best receiver in the Big Ten and a defense that improved significantly after a midseason 2018 coordinator change. Minnesota has many positive traits on its 2019 roster, but it is surprising to see the Gophers as a tougher projected game than top-five team Ohio State.

Those half a dozen games created immense amounts of excitement heading into the 2019 season and were even enough to put Nebraska in the top-25. The Cornhuskers lost their first six games of the season, including an embarrassing home defeat to Troy. However, they finished the season strong, winning four of their final six games and nearly pulling off upsets of Ohio State and Iowa.

Nebraska returns seven starters from an offense that averaged 30 points and 456.2 yards per game. Quarterback Adrian Martinez showed flashes throughout his freshman year and really became consistent down the stretch. The Nebraska Cornhuskers hope things are better in the second year under coach Scott Frost after winning just four games. Linebacker Mohamed Barry is back after 112 tackles and five quarterback hurries, while Ben Stille had five sacks and Lamar Jackson had two interceptions and seven pass deflections. Nebraska returns six starters from a defense that allowed 31.3 points and 433.5 yards per game. If Martinez can build on last year and take better care of the ball, he has the chance to be special and make the Cornhuskers a factor in the Big Ten. The Nebraska Cornhuskers have won each of their last four home games.


Again, I have some concerns about Nebraska being able to handle a spread this big, even against an inferior opponent. After all, Frost appears to be moving things a little faster than expected. But Ill buy the hype and give the Cornhuskers the benefit of the doubt. Ill reluctantly eat the 35.5 points and lean toward Nebraska to cover against South Alabama.

The bottom line is that Martinez is far from a one-man show on the Nebraska offense, which makes me feel a little better about swallowing 35.5 points. JD Spielman was having a great season until he got hurt, tight end Jack Stoll should be one of the best in the Big Ten at his position, and Cal transfer Kanawai Noa should be a big help. Admittedly, I do like the supporting cast that Martinez has around him. The offensive line also made major strides over the course of last season and should be in good shape.

The Huskers averaged 7.0 yards per carry on the ground and completed more than 68% of their passes in a 48-9 blowout victory in 2015. The next year, South Alabama did pull off a shocker to open the season, upsetting Mississippi State 21-20 enroute to a berth in the 2016 Arizona Bowl, where the Jaguars lost to the Air Force Academy. South Alabamas only previous visit to Lincoln was the ultimate lets all feel better balm to help soothe the sting of a Hail Mary upset by BYU the week before.