For the third time this season, Nebraska is a double-digit favorite. The Huskers opened at -22 at Circa Sports for Saturday’s matchup against Georgia Southern.
This is the first meeting between Nebraska (1-1, 0-1) and Georgia Southern (1-0), a former I-AA powerhouse and current member of the Sun Belt. The Eagles took care of business Saturday in Clay Helton’s coaching debut in Statesboro.
After a scoreless first quarter, Georgia Southern rolled to a 59-7 win over Morgan State, out-yarding the Bears 500-250. (It was a great day for round numbers.) Transfer quarterback Kyle Vantrease threw for 367 yards (29-for-46) and four touchdowns with an interception. He’ll be making his second start at Memorial Stadium after facing the Huskers as Buffalo’s quarterback in 2021. The Blackshirts limited Vantrease to 27-of-50 passing for 224 yards with an interception and no touchdowns.
The Eagles’ defense forced three takeaways, including three interceptions, as Georgia Southern scored 21 points off turnovers.
The Huskers enter a game coming off a win for the first time since last October. Nebraska shook off a sluggish first half against North Dakota for a 38-17 win. Nebraska is 0-2 against the spread in 2022, losing by three to Northwestern as a 12-point favorite and beating the Fighting Hawks by 21 after the closing line ballooned to -28 (from an opening number of -22.5). That dropped Nebraska to 21-25 (.456) against the spread since 2018, Scott Frost’s first season in Lincoln. The Huskers are also 6-8 (.428) against the spread coming off a win and 4-6 (.400) against nonconference opponents during that span.
Helton took over as the head coach at USC midway through the 2015 season and was fired two games into 2021. He has a career record of 47-24 straight up (.662) and 30-36-1 (.430) against the spread.
Nebraska and Georgia Southern kickoff at 6:30 p.m. CT on FS1.
Hare are the rest of the lines in the Big Ten for a week that, well, doesn’t offer a ton of curb appeal (numbers for teams facing FCS opponents are listed later in the week):
Western Illinois at Minnesota NL: The Golden Gophers pitched a shutout in a 38-0 win over New Mexico State and former head coach Jerry Kill.
Duke at Northwestern -6: The Wildcats are back in action after beating Nebraska in Ireland. Duke won its first game under new head coach Mike Elko, formerly Texas A&M’s defensive coordinator, by shutting out Temple, 30-0.
Arkansas State at Ohio State -44: After Notre Dame limited an explosive Buckeye offense to 21 points in Week 1, don’t be surprised if Ohio State pours it on here. Arkansas State beat Grambling 58-3 in its opener.
Ohio at Penn State -27: Both teams picked up close wins in Week 1. Penn State outlasted Purdue in West Lafayette for a four-point win, and Ohio topped Florida Atlantic 41-38 in Athens.
Washington State at Wisconsin -16: The Badgers gradually squeezed the life out of Illinois State in a 38-0 win to open the season. Washington State had to rally from a 10-0 first-quarter deficit to beat Idaho 24-17 in Pullman.
Maryland -23 at Charlotte: The Terrapins are making the rare P5-to-G5 roadtrip after beating Buffalo 31-10. Should be fine. Charlotte has already lost twice, losing 43-13 to FAU in Week 0 and 41-24 to William & Mary on Friday.
Virginia at Illinois -4: The Cavaliers looked solid enough in coach Tony Elliott’s debut, beating Richmond 34-17. Illinois dropped a close game at Indiana after beating Wyoming in Week 0.
Iowa State at Iowa -3: Iowa State, replacing a sizable chunk of last year’s team, opened with an easy home win over Southeast Missouri. Meanwhile, across the state, Iowa did Iowa things, beating FCS No. 2 South Dakota State 7-3 without scoring a touchdown.
Indiana State at Purdue NL: The Boilermakers will look to bounce back after a season-opening loss to Penn State. Indiana State beat North Alabama 17-14 in overtime to start the season.
Akron at Michigan State -34: There Will Be Blood. Akron survived for a 7-point win over FCS St. Francis (PA), while the Spartans cruised to a comfortable 35-13 win over Western Michigan.
Wagner at Rutgers NL: The Scarlet Knights are 1-0! Rutgers opened the season with a 22-21 win on the road at Boston College. Wagner lost to Fordham on Saturday, it’s 21st consecutive loss. The Seahawks last won in September of 2019.
Idaho at Indiana NL: The Vandals put up a fight against Washington State, but the Hoosiers might be riding high after a tough win over Illinois.
Hawaii at Michigan -46: There Will Be Blood II. Michigan easily dispatched Colorado State 51-7. Hawaii leaves home for the first time this season having lost to Vanderbilt and Western Kentucky by a combined score of 112-27.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.