Husker fans who initially came up empty-handed for spring game tickets have another chance to attend Saturday’s football ritual — at a price now less than in the weeks after they sold out.
Some tickets were being offered Thursday for less than $20 on sites such as StubHub and Ticket Express.
That’s still more than the $10 face value. But that price hike doesn’t carry as big a sting as some of the prices on the secondary market when tickets first went on sale.
Husker fans in February swarmed for spring game tickets, which sold out in just over 24 hours — a first in school history.
Some tickets on the secondary market were then offered for hundreds of dollars.
Chad Carr, president of Omaha-based Ticket Express, said tickets on his website Thursday started at $17.
The majority of tickets were priced from $20 to $40, he said, but topped out at $149.
He said that in early February, his ticket prices ranged from $40 to $195, with the bulk of them in the $40 to $65 range.
He said you could thank the weather for providing a more affordable chance to see new coach Scott Frost in action.
Forecasts this week have been calling for a chance of rain Saturday in Lincoln, which probably convinced some fans to sell and watch the game on TV, Carr said.
Keith Mann, a Husker athletic department official, said additional tickets the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offered to fans last week also might have affected ticket prices on the secondary market.
The university made 1,000 returned spring game tickets available through an online lottery. The tickets were available to anyone and sold at $10 face value, with a limit of four tickets per order. More than 9,500 tickets were requested, and those receiving tickets have been notified.
He said the university was able to offer the tickets because it received some back from groups, such as corporate sponsors.
The university, he said, was glad it could give more fans an affordable way to attend the game.
“We wanted to give as many people as possible a chance to get their hands on those,” he said.
5 things to watch at the Nebraska football spring game
New Nebraska coach Scott Frost’s first spring game kicks off Saturday. Here are five things for fans to watch as the Red and White teams take the field:
1. Pedal to the metal or below the speed limit? Nebraska’s offense has been practicing at a fast-and-furious tempo all spring with little-to-no breathers between plays. Quarterbacks have to get plays, communicate them to teammates and receive the snap all on the fly, within 10 to 15 seconds. For anyone who’s watched Frost’s offense at Central Florida or Oregon, this won’t look new, but this is more of a laboratory than a game, and it’s possible Frost gears back a little bit to ensure better execution. If NU is getting off snaps with 30 seconds on the play clock, you’ll know they’re cranking it up.
2. Completion rates among quarterbacks. Nebraska’s offense doesn’t work well if quarterbacks can’t complete short, quick passes to playmakers in space. Since the QBs are likely to be protected from legitimately running the ball and taking defensive punishment, watch the rhythm and accuracy with which they throw the basic routes of a spread offense. The swing passes to the flat. The bubble and tunnel screens. The quick curl route. The tight end up the seam. A completion rate north of 60 percent is common and 65 percent isn’t out of the question. A 5-for-11 day wouldn’t be great unless it included a few home run throws.
3. The newcomers. There are plenty to watch. Of that bunch, freshman kicker Barret Pickering, junior running back Greg Bell and junior inside linebacker Will Honas are the three most likely to earn starting jobs in their first year. Slot receiver Mike Williams and defensive back Deontai Williams are the other two junior college transfers. Freshmen already on campus include quarterback Adrian Martinez, giant wideout Justin McGriff, Pickering and center Will Farniok, perhaps the most polished of the four Farniok brothers to play college football. Two sophomore transfers — Breon Dixon and Noah Vedral — await waivers to play next season. Vedral would be a factor in the QB race, while Dixon is a hybrid linebacker/safety with playmaking talents. Honas, the nation’s top juco inside linebacker, should be a treat, if what coaches say is true.
4. How aggressive does the defense get? Under coordinator Erik Chinander, Nebraska’s defense will take chances, go for interceptions and strips, blitz linebackers and defensive backs, and generally try to rush a quarterback’s thought process into a mistake. It’s the opposite scheme of the previous defensive coordinator — the ultra-cautious Bob Diaco — but Husker fans may not see a ton of it on Saturday, especially if the quarterbacks aren’t live to be hit. If Chinander rolls the dice a few times, watch NU’s secondary for coverage leaks. Are corners Lamar Jackson, Dicaprio Bootle and Eric Lee stout?
5. Last but never least, line play. For several years, Nebraska’s offensive and defensive lines have been building toward, well, this year, when depth and experience are at a peak. The offensive line returns eight guys who started games last year. The defensive line returns six guys who had at least 10 tackles. Neither line was exemplary last season, but a lot can change with new schemes and new sources of optimism. The trenches will be worth a watch.
6 Huskers poised to break out during the Nebraska football spring game
The spring game is an opportunity for players to solidify roles heading into next season, and here are three each on offense and defense that are poised to break out during Saturday’s Red-White scrimmage:
Wide receiver Mike Williams
What we’re hearing about Williams this spring is similar to what we heard about JD Spielman the spring before his breakout freshman year. Williams is fast, he’s elusive and coaches are giddy over him. The junior college transfer from East Mississippi Community College caught 30 passes for 669 yards and seven touchdowns en route to EMCC’s national title a season ago. He led the team with 23.2 yards per catch. Williams is a home run hitter, which the Scott Frost offense thrives on. With Tyjon Lindsey and Spielman both playing in that slot, it’ll be worth watching how Williams — and the other two — all fit organically into the offense.
Wide receiver Jaevon McQuitty
Amid Tyjon Lindsey’s last-minute commitment and Keyshawn Johnson Jr.’s dramatic exit from the program, you may have forgotten there is another four-star wide receiver from the 2017 class Nebraska has in its holster. His name is Jaevon McQuitty, and thanks to shoulder and knee injuries, he’s been out since his arrival on campus in January 2017. But McQuitty is back and healthy this spring, and from all reports, looks good. He’ll back up Stanley Morgan as a wideout, and this spring game will be the first time we’ll see just how well he’ll be able to do that.
Running back Devine Ozigbo
Where, oh where, does Devine Ozigbo fit in this offense? The senior running back battled for the starting running back spot last year to no avail, for what he said this spring were “reasons out of his control.” With the Frost offense, he gets a second chance. But does he fit as a starter? Ozigbo has been garnering praise from coaches this spring, but seems to be behind Greg Bell for the starting spot. Ozigbo’s also been very clear, for years now, that he doesn’t just want to be a third-down back. He wants to be the one and only guy. Could a good spring game put him on top? Can he show breakaway speed, the kind needed to be a starting back in this offense?
Linebacker Tyrin Ferguson
The outside linebacker position might be the most fluid on the depth chart. With Luke Gifford still out, and a brand new scheme, it’s anyone’s guess who starts on either side. Tyrin Ferguson could emerge out of this spring in good shape for serious playing time. The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Ferguson has the thickest set of notes from this spring, outside linebackers coach Jovan Dewitt said. The junior had one interception last season and dropped off. With this new defense, he could stick around awhile.
Defensive back Ethan Cox
The starting corner spots seem to be headed toward Lamar Jackson and Dicaprio Bootle, but Ethan Cox could poke in with some playing time. As we reported earlier this spring, Cox is among the leaders in “points” accrued during this spring among corners, which counts tackles, interceptions and pass breakups. Cox, a redshirt freshman walk-on from Blair, should get plenty of snaps in the spring game. Should he impress, he could solidify at least a backup spot at corner.
Defensive tackle Damion Daniels
With Mick Stoltenberg out, there’s a huge gap in the middle. Redshirt freshman Damion Daniels is a guy coaches have liked at the nose tackle position this spring. He and senior Peyton Newell are fighting for that starting spot (with Stoltenberg out). The 6-foot-2, 310-pound Daniels didn’t get any playing time a season ago, but has a new chance to see the field with Erik Chinander’s defense.
Nebraska Red vs. White Spring Game
When: 11 a.m. Saturday (Radio coverage begins at 9 a.m.)
Where: Memorial Stadium, Lincoln
Radio: 103.1 FM