The Michigan Wolverines don’t get much time to enjoy last weekend’s big road victory at Wisconsin, as they face another daunting road challenge this Saturday. The Wolverines head to Lincoln this weekend for a primetime tilt with Nebraska, which stumbled out of the gates with an opening week loss to Illinois but has played better football since.
The Cornhuskers came close to pulling off road upsets against Oklahoma and Michigan State before last weekend’s dominant 56-7 win against Northwestern. Nebraska is just 3-3, but Michigan could have its hands full this weekend.
Nebraska quarterback Adrian Martinez has been effective running the ball this season, and containing his production will be a big key for Michigan in the game. In Nebraska’s two losses to Oklahoma and Michigan State, Martinez was held to a combined 106 yards on 38 carries.
“They’ve got a great quarterback,” Michigan linebacker Jaylen Harrell said to the media on Tuesday. “Dual-threat, he’s very fast, one cut and go and he can take it 90 yards. So we’ve just got to be disciplined on our assignments. Just lock in, do our job.”
“Just make the tackles,” added defensive back DJ Turner on the key to stopping Martinez. “Just get the quarterback to the ground, that’s the main thing.”
The Wolverine defense has also taken notice of the option Nebraska will run, something they aren’t very used to and have their eyes on.
“They do a triple option,” defensive back Daxton Hill said. “That’s one thing we really don’t see as much, so that’s one thing we’ve been kind of paying more attention to.”
Stopping Martinez on the ground and limiting him in the pass game will lead to chances for Michigan’s defense to make big plays. Michigan’s defense has been good at pressuring quarterbacks all season long and had six sacks against Wisconsin last week. Pressuring Martinez and forcing him to make mistakes will go a long way toward a Michigan victory.