The No. 2 Michigan Wolverines put a whooping on the Nebraska Cornhuskers 45-7 to start the season 5-0.
Here are key takeaways from the game.
Michigan’s offensive line has its best game of the season
Michigan’s offensive line put together a complete effort against Nebraska. They were able to consistently protect quarterback J.J. McCarthy as well as keep the running game churning. Michigan’s offense recorded 249 yards rushing, 187 yards passing, and six total touchdowns. The offensive line didn’t allow a sack and allowed just one tackle for loss. Their effort is a major reason why the offense was effectively balanced. This is an effort they can be proud of yet still build off of.
McCarthy has a top notch day
McCarthy was 12-of-16 for 156 yards with two passing touchdowns and added 31 yards on the ground with a 21-yard rushing touchdown. These numbers would have been even higher if it weren’t for the game becoming a blowout and McCarthy exiting the contest in the third quarter with the score 35-0 Michigan.
There were high winds and McCarthy was able to fire missiles accurately to his playmakers. McCarthy was able to extend plays with his speed and athleticism and throw great balls on the run and his passes from the pocket were steady too. McCarthy made multiple standout throws on the day. Fox analyst Brock Huard, who called the Michigan-Nebraska game, said that McCarthy’s name needs to start being mentioned in the same breath as elite quarterbacks like Caleb Williams, Bo Nix, Jordan Travis and Quinn Ewers. Huard’s not wrong. McCarthy’s a dynamic athlete who’s getting smarter and plays the game with a great deal of passion. McCarthy’s performance versus Nebraska is a reflection of his enormously high ceiling.
Roman Wilson continues his special season
We’re just five weeks into the season and wideout Roman Wilson is on a torrid pace finding the end zone. Wilson’s up to eight receiving touchdowns after hauling in four receptions for 58 yards and two scores. Wilson and J.J. McCarthy have developed a great deal of trust and chemistry. Wilson knows how to get open, especially when a play breaks down and things go unscripted. That’s where he and McCarthy seem to thrive. Wilson’s hands are becoming that of flypaper, and his ability to come away with jump balls has been impressive. On his 29-yard touchdown reception it looked like an old Lynn Swan highlight video in the manner he jumped to get the ball and then pin it to the defenders helmet and still get his feet in bounds while maintaining possession. It’s one of the best catches you’ll see all year. The scary thing for the rest of the Big Ten is McCarthy and Wilson may just be getting warmed up.
Michigan’s defense remains dominant
Heading into the tilt on Saturday Michigan’s defense allowed just 23 points through three games and that pace didn’t change against Nebraska. The defense allowed seven points with the lone touchdown coming in the fourth quarter. Michigan held Nebraska to just 3-of-10 on third down, 1-of-3 on fourth down, and generated four sacks and two forced fumbles. Michigan’s d-line was downright filthy and the pass-rush had a great day as well. Braiden McGregor had a sack, as did Derrick Moore while Josaiah Stewart had two sacks. Coming into the game some thought that the triple-option attack from Nebraska could cause Michigan some trouble. Well, Michigan passed this test with flying colors.
Kalel Mullings is a legit power back
At his Monday press conference Jim Harbaugh said that running back Kalel Mullings reminded him of Toby Gerhart, a bruising Stanford back from when Harbaugh coached there. Mullings was inserted in a short-yardage 3rd and 1 situation — Mullings took the carry to the house for a 20-yard rushing touchdown. Blake Corum received 16 carries, Donovan Edward had 14 and Mullings finished third in carries with five for 43 yards and the touchdown.
Backup quarterbacks do well
Jack Tuttle came in after McCarthy and went 3-of-4 for 23 yards. Jayden Denegal came in after Tuttle and had a nice eight yard run as well as an eight-yard touchdown pass to Peyton O’Leary. Who exactly the backup is will continue to be a fluid situation but it seems like it’s Tuttle and Denegal battling it out to be QB2. In his postgame interview Jim Harbaugh noted he thought all of Michigan’s quarterbacks played well.