Friday, October 26, 2012

Nebraska Preview

Time: 8:00 EST
Location: Lincoln, Neb.
Weather:  42 and No Rain
Line: Michigan +2

Another primetime game for the Wolverines.   If you count the Sugar Bowl, the Wolverines have played 3 out of the last 9 games at 8:00PM.  They should be used to playing late games by now but really haven't had a good effort to date.  To make things worse; Nebraska is 36-5 in night games at home since 1986 and the Wolverines have lost 4 of their last 7 games away from the Big House.

So what happened last week?  Michigan played good defense and kicked field goals against MSU. Nebraska was down 12 points in the 4th to Northwestern but came back to win when Taylor Martinez started throwing the ball for 2 touchdown drives.   Northwestern missed their kick to win the game, Michigan didn't.

We know what happened last year when Nebraska came to the Big House and got blown out by the Wolverines 45-17.  We also know the Cornhuskers will be looking to return the favor this year.   The winner of this game will be able to control their own destiny in the Legends division.

Tale of the Tape

Denard and Big Al vs. Black Shirts =  Good Denard

Taylor Martinez vs. Jake Ryan = Edge to the home team

Denard's Picks vs. Nebraska's fumbles = Michigan

Special Teams = Michigan

Coaching = Strong + for the Wolverines

Intangibles = Strong + for Nebraska at night

There really isn't a question who the better team is.  If this was on a neutral field, I think the Wolverines would be a double digit favorite.   Nebraska's defense can't keep any decent team under 27 points and the entire team leads the nation in fumbles (they had 3 last week).  With that said, Michigan doesn't play well on the road and night games have been a struggle.   The Wolverines offense last week struggled against a good defense and if they can't run against the Black Shirts they are going to lose this game. 

Sing Hail to the Victors if.............................
  • Denard doesn't turn the ball over
  • Fitz and Denard both go over 100 yards on the ground
  • We get Denard from last years Nebraska game
  • The Michigan defense play like the defense from the last 5 weeks
  • Michigan scores touchdowns in the Red Zone
Scream I hate the color Red! if...................
  • Taylor is moving the ball on the ground and through the air easily.
  • Nebraska wins the turnover battle
  • The Black Shirts stop Denard and Fitz on the ground
  • Michigan's 8:00 pm woes continue
Nebraska figured out last week that they just can't run the ball and win the game.  They have to throw and will start out throwing the ball early and often this week.  The Michigan secondary will get tested.  Is Raymon Taylor healthy?  Will he play?  Same goes for Nebraska's best RB in Burkhead.  

I see the difference in game is which team wins the defensive line battle.  Black Shirts vs. Black & Big Will

Wolverines to Watch:  Denard through the Air, Fitz on the ground.   JT Floyd with a big pick, Craig Roh with a sack and a couple of TFL's, Kenny Demens with a solid all around game.

Did you know? Michigan hasn't lost a game under Hoke when they score 20 or more points?

Michigan 28 Nebraska 21

Go Blue!


d_ronii said...

Nice breakdown of the game. I anticipate run heavy series to setup a play action. I hope we can keep the chains moving and essentially control the clock and game. This week the O needs to pick it up for the D as opposed to last week. This is a good opportunity for Michigan to shine on a primetime national. I say that because this time yes the crowd will be more hostile but I would say the defense is the weakest we've faced in primetime. Thats gotta count for something right? I am looking for Denard to taking that big step forward towards his big ten championship legacy.

Voice of Reason said...

To say that teams are better at home doesn't really say anything much, but this is more true for Nebraska. They are a different team at home and they're confident when they're home so they should be ready to play their best game.

Michigan was spooked against Alabama on the road and was eventually manhandled. Denard was spooked at ND and was a big contributor to the loss although one could argue it was Denard that put the team in a position to win. I am not too concerned about the night game atmosphere hurting Michigan.

However, I still think that Michigan is the better of the two teams right now, and if Michigan protects the ball especially in key possessions and field positions then Michigan "should" win this game. Defense still wins championships and Michigan's defense is currently better than Nebraska's.