- The Cornhuskers can really run the ball (Ranked 13th in the country with 233 rushing yards per game).
- The Running game is led by both SO QB Taylor Martinez(153 carries for 768 yards and 9 TDs) and JR RB Rex Burkhead(212 Carries for 1072 yards and 14 TD’s)
- Because of the teams vaunted running game Nebraska has been able to outscore many teams averaging 32.9 points per game(36nd in the land)
- The main chink in Nebraska’s offensive armor is the throwing game. They rank 101st in the nation in passing with only 170 yards a game.
- The passing woes are even worse away from home with Martinez completing 53% of his passes, with 2 TDs to 3 INTS
- Along with the passing game; The Cornhuskers also have major issues on defense allowing more than half of the teams they have played to put up more than 25 points, and Wisconsin and Washington to drop close to 40.
The Michigan Defense Vs. Nebraska’s 2 Headed Monster– Nebraska has made its mark this year running the ball. They have multiple superstar running options and are currently ranked 13th overall in rushing yards per game. But on the flip side their passing game is almost non-existent ranked 101st in the country. We played a very similar team to Nebraska on offense this year. You don’t remember? Well Eastern Michigan is ranked 14th in nation in rushing yards and 115th in the country passing making their stats very similar to Nebraska. Ok Ok so it’s not really the same but the way Michigan has been flying around the ball stuffing the run lately, if Nebraska wants even a chance to keep up with us they will need to throw the ball because the ground will not be an option (Ask Illinois). Which brings me to the next point if they plan on attacking us through the air they are going to need to bring their A game because Blake Countess and JT Floyd have locked down the field in the second half of the season. To make matters worse Martinez who is not a great passer has been fairly awful on the road (see above). The combination of these facts above should lead Michigan to continue dominating on defense with the team committing to stopping the run.
The Michigan Offense Vs. Turnovers – The Thorn in Michigan all year has been the turnovers. TO ended our comebacks on State and shot us in the foot early against Iowa where the comeback came up just short. But turnovers have been a problem all year not just in our 2 losses and against an opportunistic defense like Nebraska we will need to be double careful with the ball. The best way to do this will be running the ball. Fitz has shown in the second half of the season that he is one of the most underrated backs in the B10 silencing his critics with 192 yard 1 TD performance against the Vaunted ILL defense. With the emergence of Fitz it gives defenses huge problems, which runner do you focus on? Focus on Fitz and Drob who is considered by some to be having “trouble” running the ball(I don’t think 864 yards and 12 TDs is struggling) will burn you all day. We can still win the game if we are passing the ball but the best way to limit the turnovers and keep the ball away from Martinez will be with the run game. Not to mention Nebraska has a long history of difficulty with running QBs… which of course bods well for Michigan.
This Michigan team and defense is designed to own teams like the CornHuskers. When you have a good well coached defense like Michigan, one dimensional offense like Nebraska, the opponent will have trouble all day trying to put points on the board. On the other side of the ball Michigan will not have too much trouble putting up points especially with Nebraska’s defensive line beat up (look for huge rushing numbers). This game is personal for Michigan fans, I want to show the Cornhuskers that 97 was our NC and that we are still looking to avenge 2005(I remember the Alamo). I think Michigan comes out tough at home and CRUSHES the Cornhuskers.
One more note: It’s fitting that Nebraska defense is the “Blackshirts” because they will be attending a funeral for their team this Saturday.