It hasn’t exactly been the start to the season either Nebraska or its fans anticipated.
After guiding UCF to an undefeated season and national championship, Scott Frost, the former Nebraska quarterback, came home to the Cornhuskers in what many hoped would be a triumphant return to Lincoln. Disappointment reigned Frost’s highly-anticipated coaching debut in Lincoln was scuttled because of weather; Colorado knocked off Nebraska in Week 2, again in Lincoln, with a touchdown with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter.
Week 3 got exponentially worse as, with starting quarterback Adrian Martinez sidelined due to injury, Troy came into Memorial Stadium as a decided underdog but will head back to Alabama with a 24-19 win. The Trojans jumped out to a 17-0 lead and led 17-7 at halftime before holding off the comeback-minded but still-winless Cornhuskers.
The last time Nebraska started a season 0-2 was way, way, way back in 1957. That year’s squad finished 1-9, the worst record in the storied program’s history.
Troy, meanwhile, scored its second Power Five upset in as many years. Last year, Neal Brown‘s squad went into Death Valley and knocked off LSU, ending the Tigers’ 49-game home non-conference winning streak.
Replacing the injured Martinez, Andrew Bunch, a sophomore walk-on, completed 19-of-27 passes for 177 yards and a pair of touchdowns, although he did have two costly interceptions as well. The last of those picks came with just over two minutes remaining and extinguished any hope of a comeback after Troy ran for a first down on third-and-three; his first came as NU was marching close to field-goal range.
The Cornhuskers actually outgained the defending Sun Belt Conference champions, 364-253, while they led in first downs 22-12 as well. A 58-yard punt return for a touchdown early in the second quarter by the Trojans’ Cedarius Rookard helped negate a chunk of that offensive advantage.
Nebraska, which has now lost six straight overall in the friendly confines of Memorial Stadium, will head out on the road for the first time next Saturday as a trip to the Big House to face No. 19 Michigan looms in Week 4.