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Matchup to watch: Stanley Morgan Jr. vs Michigan’s secondary

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The Cornhuskers’ receiver presents a familiar challenge to a defensive backfield looking to find its footing

Troy v Nebraska Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images

So although Michigan won last week’s game against SMU running away, our own Daniel Allweiss correctly pointed out that Mustangs receiver James Proche would be a problem for the Wolverines. Proche burned Michigan’s secondary to the tune of 11 catches, 166 yards and two touchdowns:

“Proche is extremely explosive and will likely spend time matched up against all three of Michigan’s top corners: David Long, Lavert Hill and Brandon Watson. For those that didn’t notice, on nickel situations against Western, Hill snuck inside while Watson played out on the perimeter. We saw this pay dividends last week as Hill, Khaleke Hudson, Devin Bush, and others created havoc on the inside, while Watson continues to show his tremendous growth out by the hashes.”

This week, the Wolverines will face a similar, if not more potent threat in Nebraska’s Stanley Morgan Jr., who will certainly test Michigan’s defensive backs. As a junior, Morgan Jr. barely missed out on a 1000-yard season, and at 6-1, it’s not hard to see why the Cornhuskers’ top offensive weapon scored ten touchdowns.

Morgan Jr. is off to a good start to the 2018 season. In just two games, Morgan Jr. has 10 receptions for 139 yards and a TD.

While Nebraska isn’t anywhere close to as good a team as Michigan is, they’re much better than SMU. If Morgan Jr. has a performance like Proche’s one last week, Nebraska can and will float around in this game. To some extent, Michigan should be worried; many preseason pundits (somewhat prematurely) anointed the Wolverines’ secondary as one of the top ones in the country, but they’ve been burned by the deep pass countless times.

Big Ten Play is a whole different league though. Trust in Don Brown, trust in Lavert Hill and David Long, and even trust in Josh Metellus and Brad Hawkins to step up to the challenge. Morgan Jr. will get his, but the Wolverines out wide should be able to step up.