There are a lot of questions to be answered, especially at the quarterback position for the Huskers. Nebraska has a lot to prepare for, and it’s a significant opportunity for Head Coach Matt Rhule and his staff to get their first major win in their tenure in Lincoln.
Here is a preview of the Michigan Wolverines.
Know The Foe: Nebraska v.s. Michigan Wolverines
Review of 2022
Michigan had a very successful 2022 season. They improved from the 2021 season, where they went 12-2, compared to 2022, where they finished 13-1. The Wolverines finished the regular season 12-0 in 2022, including massive victories over Iowa, Penn State, and Ohio State.
Michigan went on and won the Big Ten Championship over Purdue and clinched a berth into the College Football Playoff. The Wolverines would brutally finish their season, losing to No. 3 TCU in a shootout.
2023 So Far
So far, the Wolverines sit at No. 2 in the country with a 4-0 record on the season. Michigan started its 2023 campaign without Head Coach Jim Harbaugh, who was suspended for the season’s first three games. They were alright without him, taking care of all four opponents by three or more scores.
Offensively, the Wolverines are led by junior quarterback J.J. McCarthy, senior running back Blake Corum, and senior wide receiver Roman Wilson. McCarthy leads the team in passing yards with 930 yards on 71/89 passes with 8 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. Corum leads the team in rushing yards with 351 yards on 58 carries and 8 touchdowns. Finally, Wilson leads the Wolverines in receiving yards with 268 yards on 15 catches and 6 touchdowns. Senior wide receiver Cornelius Johnson is close behind Wilson with 239 yards on 13 catches and 1 touchdown.
McCarthy leads the country in completion percentage, with nearly 79% of his passes completed. McCarthy could be in the Heisman conversation at the end of the season if he keeps this up.
Defensively, Michigan has the best scoring defense in the country, only allowing 5.75 points a game. Junior linebacker Junior Colson leads the Wolverines in tackles with 21 total tackles, 10 solo and 11 assisted. Former Husker linebacker sophomore Ernest Hausmann is third in tackles with 14 total, 4 solo and 10 assisted. Senior defensive lineman Jaylen Harrell leads the Michigan defense in sacks, winning 3 on the season.
What Nebraska Needs to Do
The Huskers have a tall task ahead of them. Michigan is the second-ranked team in the country for a reason. The thing that Nebraska has going for them is their rush defense. Nebraska has the No. 1 rush defense, only allowing 46.2 yards a game. If Nebraska can shut down the run game for the Wolverines, it could help them in pulling off the upset. The question is, can Nebraska stop both Corum and junior running back Donovan Edwards?
The only thing is, can they stop the pass? Nebraska’s defense has done alright against the pass, ranking No. 101 in pass defense. They will have to limit McCarthy and get pressure on the quarterback. Getting pressure on McCarthy could cause him to make mistakes and turn it over. Nebraska has done well so far this season at getting pressure, with 14 total sacks on the season. Michigan has a great offense, but this game will be a big test for them, as going into a loud environment like Memorial Stadium will be challenging.
History Between Nebraska and Michigan
Michigan holds the all-time record lead 7-4-1, and they are currently on a three-game winning streak against the Cornhuskers. The series dates back to 1905, when Michigan defeated Nebraska 31-0 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Nebraska got its first win over the Wolverines in 1962, where legendary Head Coach Bob Devaney led the Huskers to a 25-13 victory. Nebraska’s last triumph over Michigan came in 2013 when the Huskers ended the Wolverines’ 19-game home winning streak with a 17-13 win.
Where: Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Nebraska)
When: Saturday, Sep. 30, 2:30 p.m. FOX
Nebraska and Michigan face off for the 13th time, and Nebraska goes in with a 0-22 record against Top 25 opponents. The last time the Huskers defeated a ranked team dates back to 2016 when Nebraska beat No. 22 Oregon 35-32 at home.
This gives Nebraska an incredible opportunity to shock the world. The question is, can they do it? They came very close the last time Michigan was in Lincoln in 2021, where the Huskers just came up short 29-32. We will find out on Saturday, Sep. 30, at 2:30 p.m. on FOX.