Game Day: Nebraska vs. Michigan

Is No. 8 enough?

While Nebraska's offense has been shaky, reliable I-back Ameer Abdullah is the one sure thing. Will Abdullah's legs be enough to carry the Huskers — down two offensive linemen, including an All-America candidate — past a Michigan team with plenty to prove?

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2-Minute Drill by Jon Nyatawa

Nebraska rush offense vs. Michigan rush defense

Opponents have had little success running against the Wolverines, who allow just 105.1 rushing yards per game. The Huskers didn’t break many long runs in their last two games against Michigan, but they have averaged 4.6 yards per attempt. Ameer Abdullah has 1,108 rushing yards, the most through eight games by an NU I-back since 1994. Advantage: Nebraska

Nebraska pass offense vs. Michigan pass defense

Tommy Armstrong has six interceptions in his last two games, though he’s had to work with a depleted receiving corps. The Wolverines will likely zone blitz frequently, which could leave openings for tight ends to flash open up the seam or receivers to gain separation on crossing routes. NU can’t rely on that, though. Advantage: Michigan

Michigan rush offense vs. Nebraska rush defense

Nebraska has struggled to stop the run for three seasons, giving up 4.4 yards per carry since 2011. The Wolverines could try to mimic Minnesota’s downhill approach, or utilize the zone-read option. But they’ve been ineffective at both lately, opting to pass first to open up running lanes against Michigan State. Advantage: Nebraska

Michigan pass offense vs. Nebraska pass defense

At one point last week at Michigan State, the Wolverines had six offensive linemen on the field — and still gave up a sack. Their pass protection is in shambles, but having an elusive QB helps — Devin Gardner’s agility might scare Nebraska out of blitzing. Plus, he averages 9.8 yards per pass attempt, which ranks seventh best nationally. Advantage: Michigan

Special teams

Nebraska has recorded a touchback on 65.5 percent of its kickoffs, which ranks 11th nationally. And its net punting average (38.2) ranks fourth in the Big Ten. But the Huskers are also averaging just 3.4 yards per punt return, which is tied for ninth-worst in the country. Michigan, at 6.8, is not much better. Advantage: Michigan

Intangibles

The Wolverines are 19-0 at home under coach Brady Hoke but, facing plenty of scrutiny after a 29-6 loss to the Spartans, won’t carry the mentality of a favorite into Saturday’s game. Nebraska, meanwhile, still feels pressure to maintain control of its destiny, and the Huskers are riding high after last week’s miracle finish. Advantage: Nebraska

Key matchup: Michigan receiver Devin Funchess vs. Nebraska's defense

How do you match up against a 6-foot-5, 235-pounder who looks like a tight end but runs routes like a receiver? Could be up to the Huskers' linebackers. Maybe it's their safeties. Maybe this is a job for senior Stanley Jean-Baptiste. NU has been vulnerable against guys of Funchess' stature and skillset all year.

Nebraska wins if ...

It can limit the responsibilities for its quarterbacks, avoid turnovers and force a couple takeaways. The Huskers need a complete performance.

Michigan wins if ...

It finds a way to confuse and rattle NU’s inexperienced quarterback and offensive line. Also, establishing the ground game for once would help.

Our take

There may not be two teams in the conference more inconsistent than Nebraska and Michigan. While it may not make sense to pick an NU team recently dominated by Minnesota — which Michigan trounced — this is Big Ten football, where logic only applies if Ohio State is part of the conversation. We’re taking the Huskers.

Our prediction: Nebraska 28, Michigan 27

Live updates

 

Videos

Extras

Printable rosters

Looking for a handy reference guide that you can take to the game? Check out our two-page printable roster, sorted by jersey number and including height, weight, year in school, hometown and high school information. Click here »

Game notes

Check out a PDF of the game notes for the Nebraska-Michigan game provided by the Huskers athletic department. Click here »

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Listen: BRT Podcast

In this week’s edition of "The Big Red Today Podcast," Jon Nyatawa and Sam McKewon analyze the fallout from Nebraska’s surprising loss to Minnesota. Why couldn’t NU stop the Gophers’ plan? And what will future opponents take from last week and use against the Huskers going forward? The staff writers also try to determine what Nebraska’s offensive strategy will be going forward. Click here »

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Big Red Today coverage

Huskers rally for road win

MILWAUKEE — The Nebraska soccer team rallied from a 2-0 deficit in the second half Sunday to beat Marquette 3-2.

Sophomore Jaycie Johnson scored two of the Huskers’ three goals in ...

Top 100 point guard commits to Huskers’ 2015 recruiting class

LINCOLN — Nebraska tapped an old but good pipeline to gain a third member of its 2015 basketball recruiting class.

Point guard Glynn Watson from Westchester (Illinois) St. Joseph High tweeted ...

Newby says 100 was nice, but NU I-back knows his role

Terrell Newby was finishing some interviews Saturday when the Fox Sports1 crawler on the main TV in the Nebraska players lounge flashed the Huskers’ score.

Included among the stat report ...

Photos: Huskers in the NFL, Aug. 31

The National Football League regular season is almost here.

Preseason games wrapped up on Thursday. Curious to see your favorite former Huskers in action? Check out our updated Huskers in ...

From the archives: NU's top 5 most productive offensive games

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Stanford dominates Nebraska in historic loss

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Notes: NU’s offensive efficiency pleases coordinator Beck

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Arizona racked up 787 total yards in a 58-13 win against UNLV, 3 yards more than ...

Barfknecht's Big Ten Rankings, Sept. 1

World-Herald Big Ten writer Lee Barfknecht ranks the conference football teams after the first week of play.

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1. Michigan State

Last week: beat Jacksonville State 45-7.

This week: at Oregon ...

Barfknecht: Wisconsin can't finish, can't start playoff talk

HOUSTON — Wisconsin’s calculated risk almost paid off.

By signing up to play No. 13 LSU to open the season, the No. 14 Badgers had a chance to barge into ...

Blackshirts shake off early stumble, find success

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McKewon: Just a week, but O-line’s show merits rave review

LINCOLN — Coaches just have to love it when a hunch, even for one game, turns out to be right.

All that talk about the offensive line being as good as ...

Nebraska-Florida Atlantic: Five things we learned, don't know

Five things we learned and five things we still don’t know coming out of Saturday’s Nebraska-Florida Atlantic football game. 

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FIVE THINGS WE LEARNED

1. Ameer Abdullah has improved ...

Nebraska ties, Aug. 30

COACHES

Craig Bohl, Wyoming: The Cowboys beat Montana 17-14 in Bohl’s debut.

Frank Solich, Ohio: The Bobcats kicked a field goal as time expired to beat Kent State 17-14 ...

Webster, Diaz see countries’ teams fall

Two players with Nebraska ties saw action, but were on the losing end in their games at the Basketball World Cup on Saturday.

Husker sophomore Tai Webster started for New ...

Tracking the Husker offense, defense

World-Herald staff writer Rich Kaipust takes a look at Nebraska's effort on both sides of the ball during the Huskers' 55-7 win over Florida Atlantic.

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TRACKING THE OFFENSE

The ...

Game Replay: Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7

World-Herald correspondent Steve Beideck takes a look at some of the key moments that helped shape NU’s 55-7 win over Florida Atlantic.

WHAT WAS THAT?

Part 1: Oh, those ...

Video: Postgame analysis with Sam McKewon

World-Herald staff writer Sam McKewon offers his instant reaction to Nebraska's 55-7 win over Florida Atlantic in the season-opener on Saturday.

They said it: Bo Pelini on FAU, Armstrong, the behind-the-back catch and more

Check out the video and transcript from Nebraska coach Bo Pelini's postgame press conference following the Huskers' 55-7 win over Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

Opening statement: 

"I thought it ...

Video: Husker postgame press conference

Watch the postgame press conference with Husker coach Bo Pelini and select NU players:

Video: Nebraska coach Bo Pelini

Video: Nebraska receiver Jordan Westerkamp

Video: Nebraska quarterback Tommy Armstrong:

Video ...

784 reasons for optimism: Husker offense has record-setting day

LINCOLN — Efficient. Explosive. Impressive. Historic. Nebraska’s offense blasted its way to a modern-era Big Ten record and its defense blitzed through first-quarter glitches as if they were that new ...

Tom's Takes: Nebraska 55, Florida Atlantic 7

The World-Herald's Tom Shatel offers his quick takeaways from the Nebraska-Florida Atlantic game.

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GO FOR THE THROAT

There was a lot to like Saturday, especially on offense. Playmakers everywhere ...

Former Huskers Ankrah, Compton and Martin make NFL squads

Former Nebraska kicker Alex Henery wasn't the only former Husker to be cut as NFL teams trimmed rosters on Saturday. But there was good news for some former NU ...

Husker Talk Live: Postgame replay

Staff writer Jon Nyatawa logged on one hour after the game for a special postgame edition of the "Husker Talk Live" chat to tackle your questions about the Nebraska-Florida Atlantic ...

Third quarter: Nebraska 48, Florida Atlantic 7

Now things are just getting silly. Nebraska's in full control of its opener, but the Huskers are still providing plenty of entertainment.

Jordan Westerkamp caught a pass behind his ...

Halftime: Nebraska 31, Florida Atlantic 7

What a start for Nebraska's offense. Five scores on the first five drives. Making it look easy.

Sophomore Tommy Armstrong seems more comfortable than ever running the show at ...

The Huskers have changed the Tunnel Walk (a tiny bit)

There was a whole lot of speculation about changes to the Tunnel Walk leading up to Saturday's NU-FAU game, the season opener at Memorial Stadium.

There were some small ...

First quarter: Nebraska 14, Florida Atlantic 7

Not sure we saw this coming. Nebraska's offense begins its opener by driving efficiently down the field, while the much-hyped NU defense can't get off it.

The result ...

Former Husker Alex Henery cut by Eagles

The Philadelphia Eagles announced their 53-man roster on Saturday afternoon, and former Husker kicker Alex Henery didn't make the cut.

The Eagles listed one kicker — rookie Cody Parkey — on ...

Big Ten volleyball offers new look after banner year

Last season was a historical high-water mark for Big Ten Conference volleyball. The league saw seven teams reach the NCAA round of 16, the most by any conference in history ...

From the sidelines: Better sound system, fireworks highlight stadium changes

LINCOLN — While the figurative fireworks were going off on the field inside Memorial Stadium, a few of the literal variety were being fired, too.

They were part of a new ...