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College Football Pick: Nebraska Cornhuskers vs South Alabama Jaguars

Jags Must Step Up Big Time to Compete in Opener

Nebraska vs South Alabama Spread PickThis Nebraska vs South Alabama spread pick has the Cornhuskers at -35.5. The Nebraska vs South Alabama spread seems large, but not only are the Huskers in the second-ranked Power Five conference, the Big Ten, but Jaguars are a Sun Belt team. Of the 10 FBS conferences, the Sun Belt is considered to be the least powerful. The teams meet on Saturday, August 31, 2019 at 12 noon in Lincoln, NE at Memorial Stadium.

Presently, Nebraska is ranked 24th nationally. Many consider the Cornhuskers to be the top team in the Big Ten West. The South Alabama Jaguars are in the Sun Belt West. They’re seen as being the weakest team in that division. We expect the Huskers to challenge the Jags in every area and on both sides of the ball.

Nebraska vs South Alabama Spread Pick – History

Nebraska lost their home opener last year for only the second time in 33 years. That was to Colorado 28-33. The Jaguars are 1-11 versus Power Five teams with their one win coming against Mississippi State. That was in 2016 when they won 21-20. They’ve played Nebraska once. That was in 2015 when they lost 48-9. The Huskers were a 27.5 favorite in that one.

South Alabama

In 2018, the South Alabama Jags were fifth in the Sun Belt West. The offense averaged 24.2 PPG (100th), while they were good for 355.3 total yards per game (T-105th). The Jags tied for 92nd in rushing yards (152.0 PG), while their passing game ranked 94th (203.3 PG). There’s minimal experience at QB. Sophomore Cephus Johnson, who saw little action in 2018, will most likely start. The receivers also have limited experience. The top two rushers from 2018 return. That includes Tra Minter who covered 801 yards and scored six TDs, The O-line is improved and experienced. This team will utilize its ground game.

In 2018, the South Alabama defense ranked 122nd in points allowed (38.8 PG), while they were 101st in rushing yards allowed and 90th in passing yards. The 448.7 total yards given up per game ranked 107th. We expect that the D-line, despite having more experience, will struggle against the Huskers. Senior DE Tyree Turner, who had 51 tackles, four sacks, and six TFL, returns. The linebacking unit is down two starters. Sophomore Nick Mobley, who posted 56 tackles at WLB, returns. The defensive backs are thin and we expect Nebraska will exploit their weakness.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Nebraska Cornhuskers were led by freshman QB Adrian Martinez last season. In his first season, Martinez did well in new coach Scott Frost’s no-huddle offense. He passed for 2,617 yards and rushed for another 629. Martinez threw 17 TD passes and ran for eight scores while posting eight picks. Martinez, a player with real Heisman Trophy potential, should do even better in 2019. In addition, three of his four top pass catchers return. The biggest question on offense is the running game. The Cornhuskers are without 1,000-yard runner Devine Ozigdo. Sophomore Maurice Washington, who had 77 carries last season for 455 yards and three TDs, may not play due to a court appearance. At running back, he’s this team’s designated starter.

On D, Nebraska offers a solid defensive back unit. However, last season, this team was ranked 78th against the pass and 96th versus the run. Total yardage allowed was 433.5 YPG (94th). They allowed 31.3 PPG while the offense averaged 30.0 PPG. There are six returning starters, two on each of the three units. We expect that the D will perform better this year. More good news, as each area has a top-notch anchor. At the corners, senior Lamar Jackson (2 INTs, 7 PBU) and junior Dicaprio Bootle (15 PBU, 39 TKLs) are back. Last season, ILB Mohamed Barry topped the team in tackles (112) and TFL (9). DE Ben Stille is solid bringing 25 tackles, five sacks, and six QBHs with hin from last season.

Nebraska vs South Alabama Spread Pick –Five Factors

This Nebraska vs South Alabama spread pick offers the following five factirs that will determine the outcome of this contest.

  • Will sophomore Maurice Washington play for the Huskers?
  • Can the Jags run against Nebraska?
  • Look for Huskers QB Martinez to excel
  • South Alabama D will likely be overwhelmed
  • Huskers were young last year, now they’re experienced and at home

Our Nebraska vs South Alabama Spread Pick

Here’s how we see this game unfolding. We think home field along with a sound D and dynamic pass attack will give the Cornhuskers a major advantage. Our Nebraska vs South Alabama spread pick is the Huskers at -35.5. Nebraska is greatly improved from last season and South Alabama has not addressed any of their issues.

Nebraska vs South Alabama Spread Pick – Cornhuskers at -35.5

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pmroczka

Paul has been writing about sports betting and sports for more than a decade, offering picks on the NFL, MLB, NHL, and NBA, as well as on college sports and European football. He's written thousands of season and post-season previews, innumerable articles on sports betting strategies, and various books on sports and sports betting.

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