Nebraska looks to get back on track on Saturday against South Dakota State after getting embarrassed by UCLA in Week 3, 41-21.
In the resounding loss, the Cornhuskers allowed Bruins signal-caller Brett Hundley to pass for 294 yards and three touchdowns to one interception. They also allowed junior running back Jordan James to scamper for 105 yards and a touchdown.
South Dakota State is considered one of the best teams in the FCS. The Jackrabbits have raced off (see what I did there?) to a 3-0 start after defeating Southeastern Louisiana 34-26 in Week 3.
In the win, junior Zach Zenner high-tailed it for 128 yards and three touchdowns.
Here's a breakdown of the clash on Saturday in Lincoln.
When: Saturday, Sept. 21 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Watch: Big Ten Network
Live Stream: BTN2Go
Betting Line (via Covers.com): Nebraska -20.5
South Dakota State Injuries (via USA Today)
Nebraska Injuries (via USA Today)
Out: LB Courtney Love (Hamstring), DT Kevin Williams (Knee)
Doubtful: QB Taylor Martinez (Foot)
Questionable: LB Jared Afalava (Neck)
Top Storyline: Is Nebraska a Mentally-Fragile Team Under Bo Pelini?
You wouldn't think a team coached by Bo Pelini would be mentally fragile, given all the hooting and hollering he does on the sideline, but the collapse in the third quarter against UCLA last week was more of the same from the Cornhuskers.
Nebraska rarely has trouble with the teams it is supposed to beat, but we've seen the program fail miserably in big games time and time again.
Last season, the Cornhuskers lost to UCLA, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Georgia. They allowed 63 points to Ohio State in October, 70 points to Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game and 45 points to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl.
We certainly know how Nebraska legend Tommie Frazier feels.
Frazier didn't just tweet his thoughts after the loss to UCLA. He sent out an extended tweet:
After letting it sink in for about 4 hours I still struggling. It's time to get rid of the defensive play caller, the Dc, lb dl and db coaches. I hate saying this but this crap is getting old. How in the hell do you not make adjustments or put your players in the position to compete? If this is what is going to happen for the remainder of the season, count me out. I don't care if we lose a game but the way we are losing is just not what #Nebraska fans deserve. I have fought, bled, and cried over this program. I didn't do all that for the program to become what it has today. Time for change! I will comment about the offense this week on Tommie's X's and O's. Trust me you don't want to miss it. #Huskers
Pelini kindly responded, via Brian Rosenthal of the Lincoln Journal Star:
"If he feels that way, so be it. We don't need him." -- Bo Pelini on weekend tweet by Tommie Frazier.— Brian Rosenthal (@HuskerExtraBR) September 16, 2013
Bo Pelini, consider yourself on the hot seat.
Prediction: Nebraska 38, South Dakota State 20
Who will win on Saturday?
Like I said, the Cornhuskers generally don't have problems beating the teams they are supposed to beat. It's just that they can't seem to raise it up a notch against top-level competition.
South Dakota State is a good FCS team, but it doesn't stack up to Nebraska. Plus, the Cornhuskers will undoubtedly be revved up to silence their critics in Lincoln, led by a coach fighting for his job.
I don't expect Nebraska to cover the 24.5-point spread, but Bo Pelini's squad should still go on to a comfortable victory.