Make it a perfect 4-0 start for the #2 Michigan Wolverines, who took down Rutgers 31-7. They are traveling for the first time this season, with Lincoln, Nebraska, as the destination. Awaiting them are the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who are 2-2 after consecutive home wins over G5 schools.
Will the Wolverines cruise to another win, or is Matt Rhule’s Nebraska going to remain undefeated at home?
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) September 25, 2023
#2 Michigan Wolverines vs. Nebraska Cornhuskers Odds and Match Details
|*Odds Subject to Change|
Fixture: Michigan Wolverines @ Nebraska Cornhuskers
Date and Time: September 30, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. EST
Location: Memorial Stadium in Lincoln, Nebraska
Field Surface: FieldTurf
Weather: Mostly Sunny and 92 Degrees
#2 Michigan Wolverines
Michigan may have opened with four wins, but those were expected. Their real opponent so far has been the spread, as the Wolverines are 0-3-1 ATS before this game. Along with that, the under won in Michigan’s first four meetings, all at home. This will be their second Big Ten game of the 2023 season, and they’ll try to take down Nebraska for a third straight year.
Rushing powers the Michigan Wolverines’ offense again this season, even if their numbers aren’t as dominant as last year’s squad put up. So far, Harbaugh’s 2023 team is averaging 167.8 per game on the ground and 5.0 yards per carry. Blake Corum is leading the way again, with 58 carries, 351 yards, and eight touchdowns after four games.
However, Michigan’s goal entering the year was to balance the offense through a stronger passing game. Considering that J.J. McCarthy’s completion percentage (79.8%) is the third-highest nationally, strides have been made. Although they’ve been ahead for most of the season, the Wolverines are averaging 237.5 passing yards a game, which is higher than last year’s number. McCarthy has three picks, but they all came in one game. Wide receiver Roman Wilson already has 268 yards and six scores on the season.
Don’t forget about the Michigan Wolverines defense, which hasn’t allowed more than seven points in a game this season. They’re holding opponents to 231.0 yards per game (3rd nationally) and 5.8 points per game (1st). The Wolverines have nine sacks and four interceptions, too.
Three of Nebraska’s games so far have finished under the total. The Cornhuskers haven’t beaten a Power 5 school yet, with their only game against a ranked opponent ending with a 22-point loss. The program has also dropped three straight to the Michigan Wolverines, dating back to 2018.
New Nebraskas head coach Matt Rhule will rely on his defense heavily on Saturday. They’re holding foes to 46.3 rushing yards and 1.8 yards per carry, both marks that are the second-best nationwide. The Cornhuskers aren’t as successful through the air, giving up 251.8 per game, but all told, they’re limiting opponents to 18.5 points per game. Adding to their three interceptions and 14 sacks would go a long way on Saturday.
— Big Ten Football (@B1Gfootball) September 23, 2023
When they have the ball, the Huskers are gaining 5.5 yards per rush and 234.8 rushing yards per game, albeit against far weaker defenses than Michigan’s. Running back Anthony Grant (38 carries for 208 yards in three games) will be the featured guy now that Gabe Ervin Jr. is out for the season. However, quarterback Heinrich Haarberg has both men beat in carries (42), yards (272), and average (6.5 yards per rush) so far.
His primary duty is still throwing the ball though, assuming he suits up. He and the Week 1 starter, Jeff Sims, are both questionable for Saturday’s game. Haaeberg has only completed 51.1% of his passes but has four touchdowns with no picks. Sims has a higher completion percentage (58.8%), but four interceptions in 34 pass attempts.
If Nebraska couldn’t handle Colorado, what is this Michigan Wolverines team going to do to them? Especially with the Huskers trying to pick between two hobbled QBs who aren’t impressive in the first place. While the Wolverines haven’t covered yet, make no mistake that they dominated when they needed to. All of their wins featured Michigan putting up at least 30 and holding the other team to single digits. Nebraska shouldn’t be the team to break the 10-point barrier, nor will their defense be able to stop Michigan’s improved passing game. The Wolverines have another smooth Saturday.