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Turning Point of the Game: Nebraska

A senior leader on defense gets our turning point of the week.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 09 Michigan at Nebraska Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

There were a lot of things that went right and a lot of things that went wrong in the Wolverines’ win against Nebraska. Michigan staved off Nebraska’s upset attempt with a field goal in the remaining minutes of the game. Jake Moody sealed the win for Michigan with a 39-yard kick to beat Nebraska 32-29. The Wolverines remain undefeated and head into a bye week 6-0.

If there was a word to describe this game, it’s disconcerting. Michigan’s drive sequence in the second quarter that had three touchdowns calls that boiled down to one and Nebraska’s disconcerting signals call was so weird, and it summarized the game quite nicely. Michigan got uncomfortable and in many instances looked out of place or didn’t know where to be. Nebraska had no issue capitalizing on this after not scoring in the first half. They rattled off 29 points in the second half to tie Michigan until the final two minutes of the game.

Regardless of how this game could have finished, Michigan’s mistakes made it easy to determine why it could’ve lost this game. I wrote previously Nebraska would get in its own way, and low and behold it happened once more. Adrian Martinez played a great game against the Wolverines by going for 281 passing yards on 18-of-28 throwing on the game, but it was his fumble late in the fourth quarter that sealed Nebraska’s fate. Brad Hawkins forced the fumble and recovered it for a 19-yard gain. Michigan went on to capitalize on this turnover to get into field goal range, allowing Jake Moody to kick the game-winner.

Credit has to be given to Dax Hill, whose massive play on Nebraska’s final drive pushed the Huskers to a final four-and-out. Regardless of the unsportsmanlike, the way Nebraska was toying with the defense all game, this play kept Nebraska from making a last ditch attempt to beat the Wolverines.

However, Brad Hawkins gets the turning point of the week for me. Michigan needed something to stop the Husker offense, and Hawkins got to it first. While Michigan attempted to retain the ball to drain the clock, it handed the Huskers the ball back with a 1:24 left in the game. Hill did what needed to be done and got the ball back to Michigan to run out the clock. It could have been ugly, in hindsight, if either of these scenarios played out differently. Points always seal the deal for me and Hawkins led us right into victory. Hill just backed him up.

Things could have gone a lot better for Michigan, but a lot of us knew this game would be no easy feat. The Maize and Blue went into a tough road game and got the win. Nebraska wasn’t going to go away easy and Michigan showed some grit and level-headed thinking to get the lead back. Michigan being in a deficit was not something anyone has seen this year until Saturday, and they acted accordingly to overcome that. There is still a lot of season left to go and more bizarre things to happen across the college football landscape, but for now we can revel in being 6-0. Michigan returns to play at home against Northwestern on Oct. 23.