College football celebrates 150 years in 2019 and Nebraska opens its 130th season on Saturday. The Huskers face the South Alabama Jaguars at Memorial Stadium with kickoff scheduled for 11 a.m. CT on ESPN.
The 2019 season is also Coach Scott Frost’s second at the helm of the Nebraska football team. There are a few changes to the game day experience this season, which fans can get more details about here. That includes fireworks when Nebraska departs the team hotel, a new Unity Walk route and basic stunting and tumbling for the cheerleaders.
Nebraska faces South Alabama for only the second time in program history. The previous meeting was on Sept. 12, 2015. The Huskers won that one, 48-9.
Nebraska-South Alabama football TV channel, time, live stream
TV channel: ESPN (Beth Mowins, Anthony Becht, Rocky Boiman)
Time: 11 a.m. CT
Date: Saturday, August 31
Live stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Nebraska fans can listen to the game on IMG Husker Sports Network, as well as on Sirius Channel 196 and XM 113. Internet radio will be available at Huskers.com.
Location: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, Neb.
Weather: Showers and a possible thunderstorm in the morning will give way to cloudy skies late. High of 74 degrees. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Nebraska-South Alabama football picks, odds
The line: Nebraska -36
(per the VI Consensus)
Nebraska-South Alabama preview
Nebraska enters 2019 with a No. 24 preseason ranking in the AP Poll, despite finishing the 2018 season 4-8. The Huskers’ appearance in the preseason poll is their first in five years.
The Huskers first opponent of 2019 is the South Alabama Jaguars. Nebraska is 1-0 against South Alabama, last meeting on Sept. 12, 2015. The Huskers won that matchup, 48-9, at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska is also 9-1 against current Sun Belt teams.
Steve Campbell is in his second season as the head coach of South Alabama. He was 3-9 (2-6 Sun Belt) in 2018. And there was a reason his team was 3-9. While the Jaguars have some size—their quarterback is 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds—and a standout defensive tackle, South Alabama still has plenty of issues as a team. The defense, for example, isn’t all that great. Matched up against the offense Nebraska wants to run? It could get ugly for the Jaguars quickly on Saturday.
They have a decent return game though. The Jaguars were 10th in the nation in punt returns in 2018, averaging 15 yards per return. Considering Nebraska’s special teams unit has been a topic of discussion for some time, this might be the one area South Alabama can find some footing. But again, it probaly doesn’t mean much for the Jaguars as far as the end result is concerned.
There’s rain in the forecast for Saturday morning, but it should be out of Lincoln by kickoff (or close enough). Nebraska will get its home opener (knock on wood, just in case) and hopefully a big win over South Alabama to carry into Week 2.