Friday, November 18, 2011

Nebraska Preview

Time: Noon
Location: Big House
Weather: Cloudy and High of 50
Line: Michigan -3.5
On the line: Possible BCS birth for either team if they win out

Nebraska has been welcomed to the Big Ten by getting probably the toughest Big 10 schedule this year, they have played Wisconsin, MSU, Ohio State, Penn State and now Michigan.   They have a new rivalry game with Iowa next week.  I'm sure there is a corn trophy on the line.   That is pretty much the Who's Who of the Big Ten.  They have done pretty well with only losses to Wisconsin on the road and Northwestern at home.  

Nebraska is similar to Michigan with a dynamic QB that likes to run and they have a very good RB in Burkhead who has 212 carries and over 1000 yards already.   They also (like Michigan) prefer to run then pass. Both teams on defense will single cover WR's so they can add more defenders in the box to stop the run.   Martinez is not Joe Montana but he can hit a wide open WR or TE.    So Michigan can't sleep on the passing game. 

Nebraska has always been known for it's defense and the "Black Shirts".  Those shirts this year are injured but Bo Pelini is a defensive coach and will have his team ready to stop Denard and Fitz.  
On offense, Nebraska played at Penn State with walk-ons Spencer Long and Seung Hoon Choi at guard.  These guys had to play every snap because they didn't have any back ups on the trip.  (Advatange Martin and VanBurgen).  On defense, defensive tackle Chase Rome (pulled hamstring) played at about 70 percent at PSU and Nebraska is already without defensive tackles Jared Crick and Thad Randle who are out for the rest of the year.

Tale of the Tape

Michigan Running Game vs. Nebraska Defense = Michigan

Martinez & Burkhead vs. Greg Mattison = Push (maybe a slight edge to Nebraska)

Health = Michigan

Intangibles = Michigan being at home and Nebraska's first visit to the Big House

This game will come down to which defense plays the best.   Both defenses were on the road last week and held the home teams to 14 points each.   Nebraska got behind in the second quarter against Wisconsin and tried to pass their way back which turned into a blow out.  This game will probably take about an hour to play because I doubt we will see the ball in the air much by either side.  Look for Nebraska to try to keep this game close. 

Sing Hail to the Victors if........................
  • Borges and Mattison have come up with great game plans
  • Denard is healthy and plays the entire game
  • No turnovers on offense!
  • The Michigan LB's have a great day and stay in their lanes
  • Michigan finds away to get their WR's involved in the game
  • Fitz and Denard each have over 100 yards rushing
Say I hate Red Teams if............................
  • Martinez and Burkhead get big runs
  • The Michigan D doesn't force Nebraska to pass the ball
  • Devin Gardner starts under center
  • Michigan turns the ball over on offense
  • The young Wolverine LB's look like young LB's

This is a coordinator battle and which defense can stop the others offense.   It is plain and simple as that.  Both teams are going try to make hay on the ground and the Michigan defense will have to be smart against the run option with Martinez and Burkhead.   If Mattison has coached them up this week and the LB's play smart, I like a one dimensional offense vs Greg Mattison's defense.    I would say the same thing in reverse if Nebraska wasn't so beat up on that side of the ball. 

Here is how I see it:
  • Denard has to play and play well
  • Greg Mattison has two running teams coming into the Big House back to back and he needs to shut down both teams.
  • This will be a field possession game
  • Not a ton of points
  • The Michigan defense has some confidence and needs to continue to play well
  • Stop the Run!!!!
  • Both punters will play a big role in trying to flip field possession
  • Michigan has to take advantage of Nebraska's injuries
Michigan 28 Nebraska 17


1 comment:

iblue said...

Coach Hoke,
look in your left side drawer all the way to the back, get low you'll see it. Grab your headset and coach!

It goes on your head. Go Blue