The Wolverine

102412 - NU Preview

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCT. 24, 2012 GAME FACTS the game live. The contest can be heard on the Michigan Sports Net- work (950 AM in the Detroit area, SiriusXM (channel 200) and Armed Services Radio (channel 113). Coaches: Michigan: Brady Hoke What: Michigan at Nebraska. When: Oct. 20 • 8 p.m. Radio-TV: ESPN2 will broadcast the Legends Division, Nebraska went 5-3 instead to place third — the Cornhuskers be- gan the 2012 campaign seeking redemption, and eager to live up to preseason billing this time around. But there they were, at home on national (16-4, second season). Nebraska: Bo Pelini (44-18, fifth season). History: Michigan leads the are celebrating 50 years of con- secutive sellouts at Memorial Sta- dium with Saturday's matchup at Michigan its 323rd straight game dating back to Nov. 3, 1962 … NU is one of just five schools (includ- ing Michigan) with at least 800 all-time victories, compiling a 851- 351-40 mark … Nebraska has 46 nine-win seasons and is one of eight current schools to have won nine or more games in each of the past four seasons … The Corn- huskers are 36-5 in night games played at home since 1986. series with Nebraska 4-2-1, last beating the Cornhuskers 45-17 in 2011. Nebraska Notes: The Huskers CARDIAC KIDS A BY MICHAEL SPATH fter last year's rough introduction to the Big Ten — a preseason favorite to win television, in their first conference contest, losing 27-10 to Wisconsin early in the third quarter. And there they were again, a week ago, trailing Northwestern 21-10, with hopes of a trip to Indianapolis Dec. 1 diminishing right before their eyes. Yet, Nebraska will enter play Saturday against Michigan in complete control of its postseason destiny. Win out and the Huskers will finish 7-1, holding tiebreakers over their competitors, and will play for the conference crown thanks to comeback wins of 30-27 over the Badgers and 29-28 against the Wildcats. "The best way to describe Nebraska is they play two opponents every week — the one on the field and themselves," HuskerOnline. com publisher Sean Callahan said. "When they don't beat themselves, they're one of the best teams in the conference, and prob- ably the best offense. But they just have these moments — we saw it in Ann Arbor last year, and against UCLA and Ohio State and Northwestern this season — where they just melt down completely. Bo Pelini, who is in his fifth season at Nebraska, has posted a 44-18 record leading the Cornhuskers. PHOTO COURTESY UNIVERSITY OF NEBRASKA "To their credit, they found a way to overcome those mistakes last week against Northwestern, but they just seem so inca- pable of going a game without battling some sort of mental demons." Nebraska ranks first in the Big Ten in to- tal offense (512.4 yards per game), rushing offense (279.0 yards per game) and scor- ing offense (41.6 points per game), but the Cornhuskers fell behind to Wisconsin and Northwestern because of carelessness (two fumbles each against both teams) and inef- fectiveness. In the second halves of those contests, Nebraska Has Remained In Legends Division Hunt Thanks To A Pair Of Second-Half Comebacks though, NU held onto the football and out- gained its competition 293-105 (versus the Badgers) and 310-214 (versus the Wildcats), while scoring 20 unanswered points in the win over Wisconsin and 13 straight points in beating Northwestern. "It's about executing for four quarters," fifth-year head coach Bo Pelini said. "When we don't shoot ourselves in the foot, we're pretty good. We've made enough mistakes to put ourselves in bad situations at times and we're able to overcome it, but we have to keep working to not put ourselves in that situation." Nebraska actually led Ohio State 14-7 after one quarter of play, but then suffered a com- plete collapse, yielding 28 second-quarter points en route to a 63-38 loss to the Buck- eyes Oct. 6 in a game that seemingly proved the Cornhuskers vulnerable to a dynamic offense led by a dual-threat quarterback — the sort of signal-caller NU will face this weekend in Michigan's Denard Robinson. However, the Huskers believe they found something to work with in limiting North- western multi-purpose threat Kain Colter to just 52 yards rushing and receiving com- bined, and 1-of-2 passing. "In the Ohio State game, they didn't do anything special that hurt us, we killed our- selves," senior safety P.J. Smith said. "Com- ing from the week we just had, it's just about doing the things coaches ask us to do. That was our mentality against Northwestern and it is something we'll build off of, but we still haven't played our best game yet. "Hopefully we play our best game this weekend."

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