No. 22 Nebraska will hope for a more convincing win in Week 2 when it takes on the visiting Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles Saturday evening. Television coverage begins at 6:00 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network.
The Cornhuskers eked out a 37-34 win over the visiting Wyoming Cowboys in their opener last Saturday, a disappointing result for a team with a lot of hype in a packed B1G Legends Division. The Huskies held a 37-21 midway through the fourth, keeping it a two-possession game thanks to a missed Pat Smith extra point attempt. When the Cowboys' two-point conversion attempt failed after a touchdown with six minutes left, the game appeared to be over, but it was only when a Brett Smith Hail Mary attempt fell short as the final whistle blew that the Nebraska faithful were able to breathe easy.
The Golden Eagles are coming off perhaps the worst season in program history, as they went 0-12 in 2012 and fired first-year coach Ellis Johnson. Southern Mississippi then hired former Oklahoma State offensive coordinator Todd Monken to helm the program, and the new era began with a 22-15 loss at home against Texas State. Southern Miss only had three losses by a touchdown or less in the entire 2012 season. The Golden Eagles now have three tough road games (Nebraska, Arkansas and Boise State), before a winnable contest at home against FIU.
Rankings and records: Nebraska is ranked No. 22 in the AP Poll and No. 19 in the Coaches Poll. The Cornhuskers are 1-0, while the Golden Eagles are 0-1. Nebraska leads the all-time series between the two programs, 3-1, with Southern Miss's only win coming in 2004 in Lincoln (the Huskers' first nonconference home loss in 13 years).
Vegas: Nebraska is a 28.5-point favorite Saturday. The over/under is 59.5 points. OddsShark has more.
Weather: A high of 97 and sunny.
Three names to know
Taylor Martinez. The quarterback has seemingly been in Lincoln for a decade, and while still questionable in the air, has some of the best rushing ability from a quarterback that we've seen in recent history. He holds school records for total offense, passing yards, completions and touchdown passes.
Allan Bridgford. If the first week was any indication, the Eagles will throw the ball -- a lot. The senior transfer from Cal was 28-of-53 for 377 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions against Texas State, and will need to be on his game if the Eagles stand a chance in Lincoln.
Two things at stake
Nebraska's first win was less than encouraging, and the Cornhuskers are going to want to right the ship quickly before a home contest with UCLA next week.
Southern Miss is almost a lock to go 0-4, and coming out victorious in any of these tough early games would be a huge plus for Todd Monken's program.
How to witness
TV: 6 p.m. ET on the Big Ten Network
Online streaming: BTN2Go
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