5 Players to Watch Against Nebraska

5 Players to Watch Against Nebraska

Football

5 Players to Watch Against Nebraska

Big Ten Football is back in Ann Arbor as this week the Michigan Wolverines host the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Michigan is coming in 2-1 off a win over SMU, while Nebraska is coming in 0-2 for the first time since 1957. These games mean more than the non-conference games, so expect more intensity and aggression on Saturday. Here are five players to watch for this week.

1. RB Karan Higdon – Michigan

After blowing up for 156 yards against Western Michigan, Higdon didn’t play against SMU due to an undisclosed injury. Running back coach Jay Harbaugh told reporters that Higdon is practicing fully, so odds are he could play on Saturday.

Higdon being on the field is a big help for the Wolverine offense that saw some struggles running the ball with Chris Evans, who also got injured last week and has practiced this week, and Tru Wilson. Higdon returning would be helpful for the offense as it could relieve some pressure off quarterback Shea Patterson and the passing game.

Higdon and the other running backs might have some troubles with Nebraska’s defense as they have held opposing offenses to an average of 2.75 yards per carry and have allowed 187 rushing yards this season.

2. QB Adrian Martinez – Nebraska

Nebraska saw what quarterback Adrain Martinez could do against Colorado, but he was out against Troy due to a leg injury and he is a game-time decision for Nebraska. Cornhusker fans hope Martinez can play as they are looking for their first win of the season.

Against Colorado Martinez went 15/20 for 187 yards with a touchdown and interception, but his legs are where he was even more impressive with 15 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

Michigan has had issues with scrambling quarterbacks this season so Martinez playing can be a big factor in this game as their backup Andrew Bunch hasn’t looked as impressive as Martinez. If Nebraska wants a chance to win, they will want to play Martinez, but if his injury is still lingering head coach Scott Frost won’t want to risk his quarterbacks future.

3. WR Donovan peoples-jones – Michigan

Exploding for four catches for 90 yards and three touchdowns last week, wide receiver Donovan Peoples-Jones has become the number one wide receiver for the Wolverines. Michigan has other talented receivers in Nico Collins, Oliver Martin, Grant Perry, along with tight ends Zach Gentry and Sean McKeon.

Peoples-Jones leads the team in every receiving category with 14 catches for 159 yards and four touchdowns. His one weakness is still returning punts, but when it comes to playing wide receiver he is able to make some big plays.

Nebraska has had some issues with pass coverage this season, allowing 461 yards and three touchdowns through the air. This could spell for a big day again for Peoples-Jones and the Wolverine passing attack.

4. lB luke Gifford – Nebraska

When it comes to the defensive side of the ball for Nebraska, look no further than linebacker Luke Gifford. Gifford leads the team in sacks with two and a half, tackles for loss with five, while second in tackles with 14.

He could be a problem for the running game for the Wolverines as he can fill the holes the Michigan offensive line makes and he could also keep Patterson in contain and force him to throw the ball instead of using his legs to keep the play alive.

Gifford had a quiet week last week, but in a big stadium in a Big Ten game, he could really show up and cause headaches for head coach Jim Harbaugh.

5. LB Devin bush – Michigan

While the Cornhuskers have Gifford, the Wolverines have Devin Bush. Bush has 18 tackles, two tackles for loss and one and a half sacks on the year. Bush has dealt with some minor injuries and cramps, so that has taken him out for a few plays in some games this year, but he shouldn’t have any issues coming into Saturday.

Bush will be assigned to keep an eye on Martinez if he plays on Saturday. Michigan has had issues with keeping scrambling quarterbacks in contain by allowing over 100 rushing yards in the two games where they have faced a dual-threat quarterback.

If Martinez is out, that will make Bush’s job easier, but he will still need to help stop the Nebraska run game and create pressure on their backup quarterback Andrew Bunch.

Contact/Follow @WolverinesWire@BKnappBlogs

Latest

More WolverinesWire
Home