Rush Offense vs. Nebraska Rush Defense
Michigan has the #11 rushing offense in the country, but Denard Robinson has been struggling to run the ball in recent weeks . . . while Fitzgerald Toussaint has picked up the slack. For the first time in his career, Robinson has dropped below averaging 100 yards per game. But Toussaint has 63 carries, 420 yards, 3 touchdowns, and a 6.7 yard average over the last three weeks. Nebraska gives up 161 yards a game on the ground and sits firmly in the middle of the pack at #66 in the country. Outside linebacker Lavonte David leads the team in tackles, but all-everything defensive tackle Jared Crick is out for the year, which has opened up some more running room in the middle.
Pass Offense vs. Nebraska Pass Defense
The Cornhuskers don't have many ballhawks on defense, so it's unlikely that they will suddenly start picking off passes at an alarming rate. They have 8 interceptions on the year . . . but Michigan's quarterbacks have combined for 14 picks. Furthermore, Denard Robinson has thrown an interception in every game this year except for the 58-0 drubbing of Minnesota. Nebraska is #21 in pass yardage defense, #29 in pass efficiency defense, and #86 in sacks, so they know how to cover but don't get after the quarterback that well. They'll have a tough time tracking down Denard Robinson, but I expect Robinson's struggles to continue with throwing the ball.
Rush Defense vs. Nebraska Rush Offense
The Huskers are #13 running the ball with nearly 233 yards per game. Starting tailback Rex Burkhead has 1,072 yards on the year, 14 touchdowns, and averages 5.1 yards a carry. Quarterback Taylor Martinez has 768 of his own rushing yards and 9 touchdowns and has lightning quick acceleration. No real rushing threats exist beyond those two. The Wolverines have yet to shut down a stellar tailback this season, but they are coming off an excellent performance against Illinois when the Illini averaged slightly over 1 yard a carry. This will be the most potent rushing attack the Wolverines will see all season.
Pass Defense vs. Nebraska Pass Offense
Taylor Martinez has perhaps the ugliest throwing motion in all of NCAA football. Kenny Bell, the leading receiver for the Cornhuskers has 23 catches and for 307 yards, and six other players have 15 catches or more. It's a balanced passing attack . . . but it's not a very good one. The Wolverines have improved their pass coverage throughout the season and sit perched at #22 in the country, giving up 191 yards a game. Barring some crazy events on Saturday, that number will drop even further.
- Taylor Martinez takes advantage of a young defensive end/outside linebacker and breaks a big run
- Fitzgerald Toussaint continues in his groove with 150 yards
- Jordan Kovacs confuses Martinez into throwing him the ball
- Michigan 31, Nebraska 28
- Players offered by Michigan: DE Jason Ankrah (12 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 sack), RB Rex Burkhead, WR Khiry Cooper, DT Jay Guy, OC Tyler Moore, DE Tobi Okuyemi, DT Chase Rome (7 tackles, 1 sack), DT Kevin Williams
- DT Todd Peat, Jr. is the older brother of Andrus Peat, a class of 2012 offensive tackle from Arizona who has visited Michigan
- Walk-on sophomore tight end Jake Long shares a name with someone who's awesome