3 Things to Watch for Against Nebraska

3 Things to Watch for Against Nebraska

Football

3 Things to Watch for Against Nebraska

The non-conference games are over. Every game matters even more now. The season will live or die by each and every single game from now until November. Welcome to the Big Ten season.

To start conference play, Michigan is at home and they take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Nebraska is like Michigan, where a former alumnus who has had success in coaching elsewhere, has returned back home to coach the team they used to play for. The results through three games are a little different though.

For Michigan, Jim Harbaugh’s first three games as Michigan’s head coach in 2015 resulted in a 2-1 record, while Nebraska’s Scott Frost is 0-2, with the first game of the season being canceled because of weather. Nebraska will be looking for that first win of the season, so expect this game to be even tougher than expected. Here are three things to keep an eye out for against Nebraska this week.

1. How Will The Defense Do Against Another Dual-Threat Quarterback?

Coming into the game this Saturday, Michigan has the 12th ranked defense in college football and while they have been playing well, a weakness that they have been struggling with is dealing with dual-threat quarterbacks.

Notre Dame’s Brandon Wimbush and SMU’s William Brown combined for 27 carries for 107 yards. While these aren’t staggering numbers, the thing that kills the Wolverines defense is just the ability for the quarterback to run with the ball and extend plays, and drives.

This week they run into another one, but one who is more dangerous with his legs in Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez. He has 15 carries for 117 yards and two touchdowns on the ground this season, leading the team in rushing touchdowns despite missing last week’s game. Michigan will need to be disciplined on option plays and get ready to contain a scrambling quarterback once again.

2. Will Karan Higdon And Chris Evans Play?

Last week against SMU, starting running back Karan Higdon wouldn’t play due to an undisclosed injury, and backup running back Chris Evans would get injured in the fourth quarter of the game, leaving the Wolverines with running back Tru Wilson to lead the charge on the ground.

Running back coach Jay Harbaugh updated everyone on their status yesterday, saying that Higdon practiced fully and Evans has done what they have asked of him.

With that said, it sounds like Higdon could be ready to go on Saturday since he was cleared to practice, but Evans might be in a limited role for the offense as Harbaugh said to not bet on it, but they won’t know for sure.

“I wouldn’t expect (him to be),” Harbaugh said. “We’ll see.”

3. Can Donovan Peoples-Jones Continue His Breakout Season?

With Tarik Black going down to start the season, nobody knew who to pay attention to when it came to the wide receiver group. Nico Collins got some preseason hype with his success in camp, and while he has done well so far this season, Donovan Peoples-Jones has had the spotlight shined on him.

Peoples-Jones leads the team in all receiving categories, with 14 catches for 159 yards and four touchdowns. He had a breakout game last week against SMU with four catches for 90 yards and three touchdowns.

Nebraska has allowed 461 passing yards and three passing touchdowns this season. While they vastly improved from week two to three, going from 351 yards and three touchdowns to 110 yards and zero touchdowns, this game will still be different. Michigan has bigger, faster, and stronger wide receivers than Colorado and Troy. It could be another long game for the Cornhuskers secondary.

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