An unbeaten Michigan Wolverines team will try to stay perfect this Saturday under the big lights in Lincoln. This team hadn’t started a season this hot since 2016 when they won their first nine games.
Still, as shown by the current NCAAF odds, the Wolverines only sit as small 3-point favorites against a 3-3 Nebraska team.
Let’s dive deeper into this Big Ten matchup and find out what we can expect Saturday night.
Wolverines’ Budding Offense
We knew that the Wolverines could run the ball well. Their rushing attack is one of the best in the nation. Led by Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum, Michigan has averaged 255 yards per game on the ground.
What we hadn’t seen much of yet was the passing capabilities of this offense. That all changed in the Wolverines’ last couple of games. In his previous game against Wisconsin, Michigan quarterback Cade McNamara tallied two touchdowns and 197 yards through the air.
If Wolverines coach, Jim Harbaugh, continues his aggressive play calling in the passing game, this offense could be one of the most lethal in the Big Ten.
Outstanding Defensive Performance
Mike Macdonald’s first year at the University of Michigan has brought a new look to this defense that has paid dividends. Coming from the Baltimore Ravens, Macdonald has brought NFL defensive qualities to the Wolverines, such as stand-up edge-rushing.
These new schemes have been holding opposing teams to an average of only 12.8 points per game. Being able to keep offenses on their toes via the blitz has worked well for the Wolverines.
Since this defense has only given up an average of 115.4 rush yards a game, I think Nebraska will have to complete some big chunk plays through the air to have any chance at beating Michigan.
Nebraska’s Bright Spots
After an embarrassing loss to start the season against Illinois, the Huskers have begun to string some wins together.
In their latest game against Northwestern, Nebraska dominated in a 56-7 victory from start to finish. Northwestern isn’t anywhere near the level of Michigan, but it’s a confidence booster for the program heading into Week 6.
Against Michigan, the Cornhuskers will have to manufacture another solid defensive performance if they want to have a chance of winning. This defense is more than capable of doing that, though, as they rank 13th in the nation in scoring defense.
On offense, the Huskers have a star under center in Adrian Martinez. He is a legit dual-threat quarterback that is one of the best runners in college. Martinez not only leads Nebraska in rushing yards with 412 but he is also tied for the third-most rushing touchdowns in the NCAA.
Can the Michigan Wolverines Stay Perfect?
Even with Nebraska starting to find its identity, I still think this Michigan team is a level ahead of the Huskers. I believe the Wolverines NFL-style defense will cause problems for Adrian Martinez and Nebraska’s offensive line.
On the other hand, Michigan could have a tough time with their rushing game against this strong Nebraska defense. I think Jim Harbaugh and his aggressive play-calling will be able to keep the Huskers on their toes, though, and I believe that the Wolverines will steal this one on the road.
Check Out Current College Football Odds
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