Michigan Football: 5 things to know about Nebraska

(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)
(Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) /
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Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

Nebraska’s defense has been stingy

Nebraska comes into this matchup much improved on defense from previous years. The Huskers allowed 30 points to Illinois but the Fighting Illini scored nine points on defense. In its last five games, Nebraska has allowed 12.6 PPG. For the season, the Huskers rank 12th in the FBS in scoring defense at 15.5 PPG. Nebraska is 42nd in total defense and 35th in yards per play allowed.

One matchup to keep an eye on will be Nebraska’s run defense against Michigan’s rushing attack. Michigan football is 5th in the country at 255 rushing yards per game, however, it has found tougher sledding in Big Ten play.

Nebraska’s defense is 43rd in the FBS allowing 122.3 rushing yards per game and 51st in yards per carry allowed at 3.7 YPC. However, linebacker JoJo Domann seems pretty confident in his team’s ability to shut down Michigan’s running game, which Blake Corum has noticed.

Against Oklahoma, Nebraska allowed 194 yards on 5.5 yards per carry. Michigan will be the best offensive line that Nebraska has faced this season and I expect that the Wolverines will have some success on the ground.

Nebraska has gone back to its roots

When Nebraska was dominant and winning national championships back in the day, it had a dominant rushing attack. This season, Nebraska is 14th in the FBS in rushing offense at 236.5 YPG. Quarterback Adrian Martinez leads the way with 412 yards rushing and nine touchdowns. However, Nebraska has four running backs that are already over 100 yards this season and another with 97 yards.

Last week, Nebraska ran for 427 yards and seven touchdowns against Northwestern. Running back Rahmir Johnson leads the running backs with 231 yards this season and last week he scored his first two touchdowns of the season. Jaquez Yant was the leading rusher last week with 127 yards on 13 carries, including a 64 yard scamper.