FAU at Nebraska Odds

Lincoln, NE - Nebraska won at least nine games in every season from 1969-2001. That number won't be enough to satisfy the Cornhuskers and their coach this year.

Bet College Football Week 1

Looking to continue his program's return to national prominence, second-year coach Bo Pelini leads the No. 24 Huskers into Memorial Stadium on Saturday night when they host Florida Atlantic.

Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL have made Nebraska -23 point spread favorites (View College Football odds) for Saturday’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 89% of bets for this game have been placed on Nebraska -23 (View College Football bet percentages).

Under coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, Nebraska went 356-69-5 and won five national titles from 1962-2007. However, after Osborne retired following the Cornhuskers' 1997 national championship, Nebraska was unable to maintain its status as one of the nation's elite programs under Frank Solich and then Bill Callahan.

Pelini is determined get Nebraska back to that level. After guiding the Huskers to a 9-4 record and co-Big 12 North title in 2008, a season capped by a 26-21 win over Clemson in the Gator Bowl, the 41-year-old coach has higher aspirations for this year.

"We're not in the business of celebrating nine-win seasons at Nebraska," Pelini said. "You know, we won't be satisfied until we win them all, until we're playing for a national championship. How close we are to that, I don't know.

"I believe we have enough resources, enough talent to compete with everybody on our schedule. I think we will be a better football team. How that plays into wins and losses, we'll see that in December."

Pelini signaled he was serious about restoring Nebraska's proud tradition when he dismissed junior running back Quentin Castille last month for numerous violations of team rules.

Castille was second on the team with 467 rushing yards in 2008. The move will likely lead to more playing time for freshman Rex Burkhead and sophomore Marcus Mendoza - who was recruited as a running back but moved to wide receiver - behind starter Roy Helu Jr.

"We can do all kinds of things with him, Rex and Roy,'' offensive coordinator Shawn Watson said of Mendoza. "Those guys all possess that kind of ability to go out on the perimeter because they have receiver skills when it comes to getting in and out of breaks and being an explosive player.''

Junior Zac Lee will be charged with getting them the ball. The son of former NFL quarterback Bob Lee, the 22-year-old QB has thrown two passes in his college career.

While there might be questions about Lee's ability to run the offense, Pelini's defense could develop into one of the most formidable in the Big 12. A year after giving up 476.8 yards per game under Callahan - 112th in the Football Bowl Subdivision - Nebraska improved to 55th in 2008, allowing 349.9 per contest.

Senior nose tackle Ndamukong Suh had a team-best 76 tackles and 7.5 sacks to earn first-team All-Big 12 honors in 2008.

"I think (the players are) starting to feel the momentum that we had at the end of last year,'' Pelini said. "I think they're starting to understand what they can become as a football team and where this football program needs to be headed. They also know there's a lot of work in front of us to get where we want to be.''

That first step comes against a Florida Atlantic team led by a coach familiar to Nebraska fans.

Howard Schnellenberger, who guided Miami to its first national title with a 31-30 victory over Osborne and the Huskers in the 1984 Orange Bowl, has been the Owls' only coach during their nine years as a program.

Schnellenberger led Florida Atlantic to a 7-6 record in 2008 and a 24-21 win over Central Michigan in the Motor City Bowl.

Rusty Smith earned MVP honors in that game after going 20 of 35 for 306 yards and two touchdowns. The fifth-year senior is the Sun Belt Conference's all-time leading passer with 8,198 yards.

Nebraska and Florida Atlantic have never met.

Betting Trends:
NEBRASKA is 55-35 ATS (+16.5 Units) in home games when playing on a Saturday since 1992.

NEBRASKA: 4-8 ATS as home favorite

FLA ATLANTIC: 7-0 Under as underdog
Key Player Injuries:

No significant injuries.


No significant injuries.

Bet College Football Week 1

Posted: 9/1/09 10:16PM ET

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