GAME 2: NEBRASKA vs. SOUTHERN MISS
SEPT. 7, 2013 | MEMORIAL STADIUM
LINCOLN, NEB. | 5 p.m. (CT)
TV - BTN (BTN Gamefinder)
RADIO - Husker Sports Network
SATELLITE RADIO - Sirius Channel 92, XM 196
INTERNET RADIO - Huskers.com
Record: 1-0, 0-0
Rankings: Coaches-19; AP-22
Last Game: def. Wyoming, 37-34
Coach: Bo Pelini
Career/NU Record: 50-20/6th year
vs. So. Miss: 1-0
Record: 0-1, 0-0
Rankings: Coaches-NR; AP-NR
Last Game: lost to Texas St. 22-15
Coach: Todd Monken
Career/USM Record: 0-1/1st Year
vs. NU: 0-0
Nebraska continues its season-opening homestand on Saturday evening, when the Huskers take on Southern Miss at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff for the game is set for 5 p.m. CDT with BTN providing the national television coverage.
The Huskers come into the game following a hard-fought 37-34 victory over Wyoming in the season opener. The victory extended Nebraska’s nation-leading streak of season-opening victories to 28. The win also gave Nebraska coach Bo Pelini his 50th win at the helm of the Husker program.
Nebraska showed a powerful running game in the season opener, rolling up 375 rushing yards. Four Nebraska players picked up at least 75 rushing yards, led by I-backs Ameer Abdullah and Imani Cross who both topped the century mark on the ground.
Southern Miss comes to Lincoln following a 22-15 loss to Texas State in its season opener last Saturday in Hattiesburg. The Golden Eagles showed a powerful offense in the loss, racking up 377 passing yards, but Southern Miss was hampered by six turnovers in the contest.
Saturday’s game was originally scheduled to be played in Hattiesburg, but the schools agreed to move the contest to Lincoln last fall.
Nebraska and Southern Miss will meet for the fifth time on the gridiron on Saturday evening at Memorial Stadium. Nebraska holds a 3-1 lead in the all-time series between the schools, including a 49-20 victory in the 2012 season opener. NU also defeated the Golden Eagles in Lincoln in 1999, and won at Hattiesburg in 2003. USM’s lone victory in the series came in Lincoln in 2004..
Nebraska: Bo Pelini (Ohio State, ‘90) owns a 50-20 record (.714) in his sixth season. Pelini has guided NU to nine or more wins in each of his first five seasons as head coach, joining Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne in accomplishing that feat at Nebraska. With Nebraska’s win over Wyoming in the season opener, Pelini became the fifth coach in
NU history to win 50 games on the NU sideline, joining Dana Bible, Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich.
Southern Miss: Todd Monken (Knox College, ‘75) is in his first season as Southern Miss head coach and his first season overall as a collegiate head coach. Monken has been a successful offensive assistant throughout his coaching tenure, most recently guiding Oklahoma State’s high-powered offense in 2011 and 2012.
Nebraska is 857-353-40 all-time, one of just eight schools with 800 all-time victories
- Nebraska has won five national championships (1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, 1997).
- The Cornhuskers have won 43 conference championships.
- NU’s 49 all-time bowl appearances rank third nationally.
- Since 1970, NU has 423 wins, 26 more than any other school.
- Nebraska’s 106 football Academic All-Americans lead the nation.
- The Huskers have 110 All-Americans in school history.
Scouting the Southern Miss Golden Eagles
Southern Miss opened its 2013 season last weekend with a 22-15 loss to Texas State. The defeat was the Golden Eagles’ 13th straight loss, the longest losing streak in the country. USM went 0-12 in 2012, prompting a coaching change.
Statistically, Southern Miss performed well in Todd Monken’s coaching debut, but the Golden Eagles came up short on the scoreboard. USM out-gained Texas State 400-215, but the Golden Eagles lost the turnover battle, 6-1. Southern Miss lost four fumbles - including one that was returned 44 yards for a touchdown - and threw two interceptions.
Offensively, Allan Bridgford threw for 377 yards and one touchdown, completing 28-of-53 passes. It was an impressive debut performance for Bridgford, who transferred to Southern Miss after graduating from Cal this summer. Rickey Bradley caught seven passes for 193 yards, while Tyre’oune Holmes grabbed 12 passes for 96 yards. On the ground, USM rushed for just 23 yards on 24 carries, led by Kendrick Hardy’s 27 yards. Bridgford was sacked three times for 26 rushing yards lost.
Defensively, Southern Miss limited Texas State to just 81 yards rushing on only 2.0 yards per carry. The Golden Eagles also held TSU to 134 yards passing, while recording 11 tackles for loss and allowing only 13 first downs.
Nebraska leads the all-time series with Southern Miss, 3-1, including a 2-1 record at Memorial Stadium. Last year, the Huskers defeated Southern Miss 49-20 in the season opener, marking NU’s largest margin of victory in the series. The other two matchups in Lincoln have been close, with Nebraska earning a 20-13 victory in 1999 and Southern Miss winning 21-17 in 2004, which
marked the Huskers’ first non-conference home loss in 13 seasons.
Saturday’s game was originally scheduled for Hattiesburg, Miss., but was moved to Lincoln in the fall of 2012. In last year’s matchup, Nebraska rolled up 632 total yards, including 354 passing yards - the most passing yards in a season opener in school history.
Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini
Bo Pelini is in his sixth season as Nebraska’s head coach and owns a 50-20 record with the Huskers. Pelini added a Big Ten Legends Division title in 2012 to three straight Big 12 North Division crowns from 2008 to 2010, when Pelini was the the first coach in the history of the Big 12 to win at least a share of a division title in each of his first three years.
He has guided Nebraska to at least nine wins each of his first five seasons in Lincoln, and three
10-win seasons. With the win over Wyoming in the opener, Pelini reached 50 career wins at Nebraska, making him just the fifth Husker coach to reach that milestone, joining Tom Osborne, Bob Devaney, Frank Solich and Dana X. Bible.
Pelini took charge of the Huskers after a highly successful five-year run as a collegiate defensive coordinator, including orchestrating NU’s defensive efforts in 2003. Pelini picked up his first college head coaching victory as NU’s interim coach in the 2003 Alamo Bowl against Michigan State.
Following his one season at Nebraska, Pelini served as the co-defensive coordinator at Oklahoma in 2004, helping the Sooners to the Big 12 title and BCS title game. He then followed with three seasons as the defensive coordinator at LSU. With the Tigers, Pelini led three consecutive defenses to No. 3 national rankings in total defense. He culminated his time in Baton Rouge by helping the Tigers to the 2007 national championship.
In addition to his five seasons as an assistant at the collegiate level, Pelini coached in the NFL for nine seasons, serving three years each with the San Francisco 49ers, New England Patriots and Green Bay Packers. Pelini was a team captain and four-year letterman as a safety at Ohio State from 1987 to 1990.
Southern Miss Head Coach Todd Monken
Todd Monken is in his first season at Southern Miss and his first season as a head coach. Monken lost his head coaching debut last Saturday against Texas State, falling 22-15.
Monken came to Southern Miss after developing a reputation as one of college’s top offensive minds at Oklahoma State. With the Cowboys, Monken served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in both 2011 and 2012. In his two seasons as offensive coordinator, Oklahoma State set single-season school records for points scored, touchdowns and first downs, among many other records. The Cowboys scored more than 50 points 10 times in Monken’s 26 games as offensive coordinator, including five 60-point efforts, two games scoring 70 points and one game scoring 80 points.
Monken also coached at Oklahoma State from 2002 to 2004, serving as pass game coordinator and wide receivers coach. He faced Nebraska twice while at Oklahoma State, posting a 1-1 record against the Huskers.
Before returning to Oklahoma State in 2011, Monken spent four years as the wide receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He also worked with receivers at LSU from 2005 to 2006, when he served two years on the same staff as Nebraska Head Coach Bo Pelini, who served as the Tigers’ defensive coordinator. Monken has also made coaching stops at Louisiana Tech (2000-01), Eastern Michigan (1993-99), Notre Dame (1991-92) and Grand Valley State (1989-90).
Nebraska Extends Season-Opening Win Streak
Nebraska extended a remarkable streak of success in season openers with a 37-34 win over Wyoming. The win was Nebraska’s 28th straight win in a season opener, dating back to a 1985 loss to Florida State.
The streak leads the nation, bettering Florida’s 24 straight seasonopening wins. Nebraska has scored at least 37 points in each of its six season openers under Coach Bo Pelini, and has scored 40 or more points in 20 of the past 28 seasons. During the win streak, NU has limited opponents to 14 points or less 18 times.
Huskers Looks to Continue Non-Conference Success in Lincoln
Nebraska has dominated the opposition in non-conference play at Memorial Stadium in Bo Pelini’s six seasons as head coach. Pelini has guided Nebraska to perfect non-conference home records in each of the past four seasons, and the Huskers own a 13-game home non-conference winning streak heading into Saturday’s contest with Southern Miss. Overall, NU is 16-1 in home non-conference games under Pelini with the only loss a 35-30 setback against Virginia Tech in 2008.
Nebraska heads into the Southern Miss game with a nine-game home winning streak since a 2011 loss to Northwestern.
Martinez Makes Historic Start in Season Opener
Nebraska senior quarterback Taylor Martinez became the first quarterback in school history to start four consecutive season openers against Wyoming. Only Tommie Frazier (1993-94-95) and Steve Taylor (1986-87-88) had previously started three season openers at quarterback in NU school history. Martinez is one of just seven quarterbacks in the FBS ranks who started their fourth consecutive season opener in 2013.
Quarterbacks with Four Consecutive Opening Game Starts
Kolton Browning, ULM; Logan Kilgore, Middle Tennessee; Taylor Martinez, Nebraska; Taylor McHargue, Rice; Aaron Murray, Georgia; Corey Robinson, Troy; Nathan Scheelhaase, Illinois
Martinez also made his 40th career start at quarterback in Saturday’s game, the most ever for a Husker quarterback. Martinez’s 40 career starts entering the season rank in a tie for second among all players nationally, trailing only Aaron Murray’s 42 career starts for Georgia at quarterback.
Click on the "Game Notes" link in the related links section at the top of this page for more notes on this weekend's game.