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Nebraska Cornhuskers National Championship Odds
They didn’t quit, which is a testament to coach Scott Frost and his staff. But the Nebraska Cornhuskers didn’t win enough games either, and failed to qualify for a bowl game for the third straight season and second in a row under Frost. It’s the longest drought in Lincoln since the Huskers went seven seasons without a bowl appearance from 1955 through 1961. In 48 seasons prior to 2017, the Huskers missed playing a bowl game just four times, so this current skid is monumental for Big Red fans. A win over No. 17 Iowa last week would have gotten the Huskers a sixth win, instead Frost dropped to 0-6 against ranked teams during his two-year stint.
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Nebraska Cornhuskers Season Review
The Huskers were nationally ranked before the season. A move brought on by a strong close to 2018 when they won four of their final six games. The team made some strides finishing with one more victory than it did last year, but in the end it proved to be a disappointing campaign, especially how it finished. Needing a win to reach the required number of victories for bowl eligibility, Nebraska gave up a last second scoring drive to see their hopes blow away in the crisp fall breeze.
You could go back to the season opener to see this team wasn’t quite ready. The Huskers were a 35.5-point favorite over South Alabama and led just 28-21 entering the final quarter. They eventually won the game, 35-21, but it was much closer than most expected. An overtime loss at Colorado the following week dropped Nebraska from the rankings. They won the next two over Northern Illinois and Illinois entering the Ohio State matchup at 3-1 with talk of an upset after coming close on the road last season. Not so fast, OSU laid a 48-7 hurt starting a stretch where the Huskers won just two of their final eight games.
Those two wins were over Northwestern and Maryland, teams that posted identical 3-9 overall records and 1-8 Big Ten ledgers. I guess you could say Nebraska wasn’t the worst team in the conference, but they were far from being one of the better teams. The offense was built around Adrian Martinez, who was coming off a strong 2018 campaign. Due to injuries his play regressed. He completed only 59.4 percent of his passes with 10 touchdowns and nine interceptions and the passing game ranked 82nd in the country.
He was lethal on the ground, though, scooting for 626 yards, second-most behind Dedrick Mills. The Huskers averaged 205 rushing yards per game to rank 31st nationally. These aren’t the run and gun UCF teams from Frost’s tenure in Orlando, however, the coach feels they are getting close. “There’s a lot of things that needed to get fixed, and I think a lot of those have been addressed. I think when you plant a seed you don’t necessarily see sprouts right away. There’s a lot going on underneath the ground before you see things shooting out of it. I know a lot of things have gotten better,” Frost said.
A sign of being stuck in the middle was the team’s point differential. Nebraska scored 336 points and allowed 333. The Huskers struggled in close games, too. They were just 2-4 in one-possession games this year and they are 3-9 over the past two seasons.
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Bracing for overtime with a chance to extend their season, the Huskers allowed two big plays and watched Iowa kick a game-winning 48-yard field goal in the final 32 seconds to see their season come to an end. It was Nebraska’s fifth straight loss to the Hawkeyes and second in a row on a late field goal. It didn’t appear that the game would even come down to a last second field goal after Iowa started hot. Two chunk plays in the run game staked the Hawkeyes to a 14-3 lead. Ihmir Smith-Marsette broke off a 45-yard run and Tyler Goodson had a 55-yarder.
Down 17-3 midway through the second quarter the Huskers got a lift from their defense. Cam Taylor returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-10. However, Smith-Marsette quieted the crowd on the ensuing kickoff going 95 yards restoring the 14-point bulge.
The Huskers tied the game on back-to-back touchdowns in the third quarter. Luke McCaffrey took over for Martinez for a play and tossed a perfect pass to JD Spielman for a 39-yard touchdown. A 13-play drive following an Iowa three-and-out culminated in a 9-yard Wyatt Mazour scoring run and the game was tied following Matt Waldoch’s PAT.
Neither team did much of anything until Nate Stanley hit a couple of 22-yard passes to get the Hawkeyes into field goal range for Keith Duncan’s game-winner. The Huskers managed just 284 total yards with Martinez completing 10 of 18 for 50 yards. Dedrick Mills rushed for 94 yards.
2019 Nebraska Cornhuskers Betting Schedule
||Nebraska vs. South Alabama
||Saturday, August 31
||Nebraska at Colorado
||Saturday, September 7
||Nebraska vs. Northern Illinois
||Saturday, September 14
||Nebraska at Illinois
||Saturday, September 21
||Nebraska vs. Ohio State
||Saturday, September 28
||Nebraska vs. Northwestern
||Saturday, October 5
||Nebraska at Minnesota
||Saturday, October 12
||Nebraska vs. Indiana
||Saturday, October 26
||Nebraska at Purdue
||Saturday, November 2
||Nebraska vs. Wisconsin
||Saturday, November 16
||Nebraska at Maryland
||Saturday, November 23
||Nebraska vs. Iowa
||Friday, November 29
It seems as though the Nebraska football program has always been good, and it’s because they have been. Over the past 55 seasons, the Huskers have experienced just four, yes four, losing seasons. They won 10 or more games 26 times, had five unbeaten seasons and claimed five national championships. They played in 51 bowl games in that 55-year span and were also ranked in the top-25 of every AP poll from 1970 to 2001.
The success didn’t start in 1961, it happened long before that. The Huskers enjoyed 17 straight winning campaigns at the beginning of the 20th century. Nebraska appeared in its first bowl game with a Rose Bowl loss following the 1940 season and wouldn’t get its first win until 1960. Bob Devaney led the Huskers to back-to-back national championships in 1970 and 1971 by going a combined 24-0-1.
Tom Osborne took over in 1972 and led the program to unprecedented success. The Huskers won at least nine games every season, were ranked in the AP poll every week and appeared in a bowl at the conclusion of each season. Osborne retired following a perfect 13-0 record and the program’s fifth national championship in 1997. Nebraska ended its affiliation with the Big 12 Conference to join the Big Ten in 2011. The success hasn’t come as easily in the past decade or so but Nebraska is hoping to take the next step forward in 2019.
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