Nebraska vs. Michigan: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Cornhuskers

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Nebraska vs. Michigan: Live Game Grades and Analysis for the Cornhuskers
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Final Score: Nebraska 17, Michigan 13

Nebraska rallied for the second straight week to win 17-13 against Michigan in Ann Arbor on Saturday. The Cornhuskers stay alive in the Legends Division race heading into a huge home game against the division-leading Spartans next week. 

For team statistics and the full box score, check out NCAA.com.

 

Nebraska Cornhuskers Game Grades
Positional Unit 1st Half Grade Final Grade
Pass Offense D C
Run Offense C B
Pass Defense B B-
Run Defense A A
Special Teams A- B
Coaching B C

vs. Michigan, November 9, 2013

 

Game Analysis for the Nebraska Cornhuskers

Pass Offense

Tommy Armstrong struggled for most of the day, but he threw the team down the field again in the fourth quarter to recapture the lead. Armstrong and Kellogg avoided the big mistakes like interceptions and sacks, which was critical in this type of game.

 

Run Offense

Ameer Abdullah was a workhorse in this game, rushing for 105 yards to pace the offense. He was also the go-to option in the red zone, scoring Nebraska’s two touchdowns. The run blocking was good enough today but will need to improve.

 

Pass Defense

Nebraska was burned most of the time when Devin Gardner had time to throw, but he was pressured frequently and sacked seven times. Holding Michigan to one offensive touchdown while blitzing for most of the day is a great accomplishment.

 

Run Defense

Granted, Michigan’s negative rushing total was the result of sacks, but Nebraska stuffed the Michigan offensive line and held Michigan running backs to 22 positive rushing yards. Huge winning effort by this unit.

 

Special Teams

In a game dominated by defense and field position, Jordan Westerkamp committed a cardinal sin in muffing a punt. But the kicking and punting were great otherwise all afternoon.

 

Coaching

Nebraska has had trouble stopping teams on first down, but the defense came in with an aggressive game plan and it worked. The offense's play-calling, however, was poor overall.

 

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

 

 

First-Half Analysis for the Nebraska Cornhuskers

Pass Offense

After Tommy Armstrong had a 27-yard completion to convert a third down on the first scoring drive, Nebraska got nothing done. Armstrong and Ron Kellogg are not hitting receivers, netting only 20 yards after that big pass.

 

Run Offense

The offensive line opened some holes early against the Michigan defensive front, but Ameer Abdullah was not fast enough to the hole at times. Still, rushing for over 80 yards put Nebraska in the lead and limited Michigan’s offensive opportunities.

 

Pass Defense

The Huskers aggressiveness paid off in multiple sacks of Devin Gardner, but he remained an efficient 7-of-10 passing for 70 yards. The linebackers need to track Jeremy Gallon better in the second half, or else they will get burned.

 

Run Defense

Another absolute disaster of a first half by Michigan rushers, as Nebraska dominated the weak and inexperienced Wolverines offensive front. If they keep shutting the run down, the Huskers defense will win this game.

 

Special Teams

Nebraska had three punt and kick returns for over 10 yards, helping to negate the field-position advantage Michigan had thanks to better punting. Great kick coverage as well all half.

 

Coaching

The play calls may not be very creative, but Nebraska did score on the first two drives. The aggressive defense stymied Michigan, just like the MSU blueprint from last week.

 

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