Nebraska blows close game again as Northwestern wins in Ireland

College football is finally here and the first “marquee” game of the year didn’t disappoint as Nebraska found a creative and new way to lose a close one.

Now in his fifth season, Scott Frost is just 15-30 after a stunning loss in the Cornhuskers’ opener against Northwestern. Nebraska fell apart in the second half after a bizarre decision to try an onside kick while up 28-17 in the third quarter. The attempt failed and sparked a Wildcats comeback that ended in a wild 31-28 result in Ireland. The Huskers had come into the season with higher expectations than in recent years after a staff overhaul and influx of transfer portal talent, but it’s clear now that Frost is on thin ice before most teams even start their seasons — he’s now 5-21 in one -score games.

Though the real fun begins next week, there are several other FBS vs. FBS games left on the schedule on Saturday. There are a few Conference USA games on the slate, Florida State and North Carolina host FCS opponents and an SEC team travels to Hawaii.

What are the best games left?

Wyoming at Illinois (4 p.m., BTN)

Illinois went 5-7 in Bret Bielema’s first season but the coach was unsatisfied with his team’s output on offense. Wyoming struggled in Mountain West play but reached a bowl game for the fourth time in six years last fall.

North Texas at UTEP (9 p.m., Stadium)

These teams aren’t on the caliber of UTSA and UAB in Conference USA, but they’re probably in that next tier. Both teams played in bowl games last year and could be under-the-radar C-USA contenders this year. This could be the most competitive game of the day.

Are there any other worthwhile games?

  • Duquesne at Florida State (5 p.m., ACCN): It took until Oct. 2 for Florida State to get its first win of the 2021 season. It shouldn’t take that long this year with Duquesne, an FCS program that went 7-3 last year, visiting Tallahassee.

  • Florida A&M at North Carolina (8:15 pm, ACCN): UNC was one of the most disappointing teams in the country in 2021, finishing 6-7 after beginning the year ranked in the top 10. With new QB Drake Maye under center, the Tar Heels begin 2022 with a surefire win.

  • Vanderbilt at Hawaii (10:30 p.m., CBSSN): Timmy Chang, the legendary Hawaii quarterback, is now in charge at his alma mater. Can the Warriors upset an SEC opponent in his debut? Vanderbilt, coming off a 2-10 season, is favored by a touchdown.

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