Our 2013 NCAA Football schedule continues Saturday from Ann Arbor as Michigan hosts Nebraska. We’ll have complete coverage beginning at 3 PM Eastern on our WestwoodOne affiliates coast-to-coast and streaming live right here on WestwoodOneSports.com!
To get you ready for the game, our analyst Derek Rackley, who will call the game, filed this preview:
Nebraska Scouting Report:
It’s been a bit of a roller coaster season for Nebraska. The Huskers nearly lost their opener to Wyoming, gave up an 18-point lead against UCLA and eventually lost by 20 points at home, then lost to Minnesota for the first time since 1960. Even through all of that, they’re still very much in the hunt for a Legends division title after the last-second victory over Northwestern last week. However, the upperclassmen that made the trip to Ann Arbor two years ago will need to have a short-term memory as the Huskers were blown out by Michigan 45-17 the last time they played at the Big House. The strength of this team is their running game. Ameer Abdullah is now the Big Ten’s leading rusher and is two yards shy (98 rushing yards against UCLA) of rushing for 100 yards or more in EVERY game this season. Injuries have taken their toll on Nebraska this year and we’ll likely see Tommy Armstrong, Jr. make the start at quarterback once again for the banged up Taylor Martinez.
Michigan Scouting Report:
The Wolverines are in “pick up the pieces” mode after being stifled last week against Michigan State, finishing with just 168 yards of total offense including NEGATIVE 48 yards rushing. That miserable showing came two weeks after a record-setting performance against Indiana in a 63-47 win on October 19th. Wide receiver Jeremy Gallon set Michigan and Big Ten Conference receiving records and Devin Gardner took over the top spot in Wolverine history for total offense in a game. Defensively, Michigan has some really talented players such as DE Frank Clark (T-4th B1G sacks), CB Blake Countess (T-1st B1G interceptions) and All-Conference LB Jake Ryan. Ryan will be playing in his fourth game of the season since tearing his ACL during spring football.
Player I’ll Be Watching:
Michigan running back Fitz Toussaint. Ever since the start of 2012, Michigan has had trouble getting consistent production from the running back position. Fortunately, they’ve remained a competitive running football team because they had the electrifying Denard Robinson at quarterback and now Devin Gardner can be just as effective as a runner. Quite simply, when Toussaint has success, Michigan has success. But on the other hand, twice this season, he’s been held under 30 yards rushing for the game. That just can’t happen at Michigan.
What will determine the winner:
Nebraska and Michigan both “lead” the Big Ten in interceptions thrown this season with 12 apiece. Real simple, the team that stays OUT of the interception column will likely come away with the W.
– Derek Rackley