How can Nebraska win?
Nebraska can win by dismantling Michigan’s offense. Right away, the Blackshirts will need to put pressure on quarterback Denard Robinson, while still finding a way to contain him in the pocket. Linebacker Lavonte David, or whoever head coach Bo Pelini chooses to spy on Robinson, will be the key player to watch, as he will be responsible for everywhere Robinson goes.
Offensively, Nebraska needs to establish the run early, and show that they can dominate the Wolverines in the trenches. If the Huskers can run the ball effectively and stop Michigan from doing so, they will be able to control the Wolverines and cruise to victory.
How can Michigan win?
Michigan can win by making Nebraska one-dimensional. If the Wolverines can manhandle Nebraska’s offensive line and limit running back Rex Burkhead, they will be in good shape. Teams that have shut down Nebraska’s rushing game, like Northwestern did, have been able to dictate what the Huskers can do. First year head coach Brady Hoke, a defensive coach, will have his troops ready for Burkhead.
Robinson will be the most important piece of Michigan’s offense, as he has been all season. The Wolverines need to exploit the Blackshirts early and often, as Nebraska’s defense typically feeds off momentum. By dicing them up with Robinson, who threw for over 2,500 yards and ran for over 1,700 yards last season, the Wolverines will be able to keep Nebraska on their toes.
The most interesting thing to watch for will be…
Nebraska’s front four. If the Husker defensive line can force pressure and contain Robinson, Michigan could be in a lot of trouble. The Blackshirts will need a big game to stop one-time Heisman favorite Robinson.
Who will win?
This game is a tough call. Two of the best dual threat quarterbacks in the conference will be facing off, as well as two of the best defensive minds at head coach. This game could go in a number of directions, but judging by how much Nebraska has struggled against mobile quarterbacks this season, this game could end up being rough for the Cornhuskers. Michigan’s Robinson will end up being a bit too much for Pelini’s Huskers.
Michigan – 35, Nebraska – 27
By Chris Peters
Photo Courtesy Getty Images